I recently bought myself a new toy. Well, a “new” one that I bought used anyways. I purchased my first DSLR camera, and I’m SO excited about it! I’ve never owned a camera other than my iPhone and a little Canon Powershot that I had for 6+ years and quit carrying years ago because it had less megapixels than my phone 🙂
I found a pre-owned Canon Rebel xTi online that came with 3 lenses and a carrying case, and got it for a steal! I haven’t been this excited about buying something in a long time, and it has already earned its keep 🙂
HOWEVER, it came with the generic, boring, Canon neck strap that is stiff and itchy and cuts into your neck if you wear it too long. Boo. Do people really use those things long term? I decided to make a camera strap cover to make it more comfortable and cute!
I found a fabulous tutorial at Priddy Creations about how to make a padded, lined camera strap cover, and decided to make a couple of changes. I wanted to add a little pocket to hold my lens cap so I don’t have to spend 15 minutes looking for it every time I finish using my camera, and to do that, it needed to be a little bit wider than the tutorial measurements.
I ended up making two camera straps at once and it only took me about an hour! It would have taken even less time, but I had to keep stopping to take pictures and entertain the munchkin 🙂 Needless to say, this is a quick and easy project that I’m sure you’ll love!
So, Let’s get started! Make sure you read through all of the directions first. It makes more sense that way… and always remember: Measure twice, Cut once!
What You’ll Need
- Cotton fabric: 1 print and 1 coordinating solid (or you can just use the print twice… you won’t really be able to see it anyways), plus a tiny bit extra for your pocket. The pocket fabric can be the solid color you chose or a different printed fabric that contrasts your first print.
- Matching thread
- Lightweight Fusible fleece (found near the interfacing at your fabric store)
- Peel & Stick Velcro (optional)
- Rotary cutter and cutting mat (or scissors)
- Acrylic ruler
- Iron and Ironing board
- Sewing machine
Start by measuring and cutting your fabric. You’ll need a printed piece that is 23 inches long by 7 inches wide, and a solid piece that matches (23″x7″). Again, you can have two printed pieces if you don’t have a coordinating solid.
Also cut a pocket measuring 7 inches by 4.5 inches, then cut your fusible fleece 21 inches by 6 inches. The fleece needs to be smaller than your cotton fabrics by at least ½ an inch on all sides because it will stretch when you iron it. The extra room on the edges also makes sewing much easier.
Iron all of your pieces (except the fleece) to rid them of wrinkles.
Now, take your pocket piece, fold the long edge over ¼” and press.
Then fold the same edge over another ¼” to create a large, rolled hem look and press again.
Sew that down with an 1/8″ seam allowance and you’ve created a hem for the top of your pocket!
Next, line up your pocket piece on top of your printed fabric, both right sides facing up, with raw edges together and the hemmed part of your pocket at the top. Layer your solid piece on top of that, right sides together. It should look like this:
Again, with right sides together, (printed fabric and pocket facing solid fabric with the backs of each fabric on the outsides), sew together the length (the longest sides) of both fabric pieces using a ¼ inch seam allowance leaving the ends (short sides) open. (this will make an inside out fabric tubing where printed fabric is facing in). You can also serge these sides if you have a serger. I don’t 🙁 so I used a basic straight stitch.
With your fabric tube still inside out, lay your fusible fleece with the fusible side down (it usually has little plastic bits that look like goosebumps on the fusible side), and center it on the solid fabric side. Using your iron’s hottest setting, and lots of steam, press the fleece into the solid fabric until they fuse together. Allow the fabric to cool. The fleece tends to stretch out as you press it so you may need to trim the excess off. It will look like this once it is fused:
Next, turn your fabric right side out, and press the seams down on the long sides that you sewed.
Turn both ends of straps ½ inch toward the inside of the strap (tucking raw edges of fabric into the strap) and press.
On the pocket side, make sure you tuck both the printed fabric AND the pocket fabric inside.
Sew both ends of straps (short sides of strap) together with a straight stitch using a 1/8 – ¼inch seam allowance.
I actually sewed both an 1/8″ and a ¼” seam allowance. This way you’ll have two rows of stitches to make the ends a little bit stronger. (It’s a little bit hard to see in the picture below because the thread is so light colored, but there are two rows of stitches.)
Next, fold your strap in half lengthwise, with the solid fabric on the inside. Press flat.
This step is optional, but to create two separate pockets, one on each side of the strap, you’ll want to sew a little divider right along the crease of the fold you created. Open the fabric back up and sew along your crease just from the pocket end of your fabric to the top of the pocket, making sure to reverse/backstitch on both ends for thread strength. I used a blue fabric pencil to mark the crease and where the top of the pocket was, but if you can see the fold well enough, you won’t need to do that.
Fold the fabric back together, with your solid fabric in the middle, and sew the long side together using a 1/8 inch seam allowance starting at the top. (Leave the two short ends open.) Make sure that you reverse/back stitch at stress points (ends of straps near openings and over the edge of the pocket.)
Yay! You now have a camera strap cover with a lens cap pocket! We’re almost finished!
The last thing we need to do is add some velcro to keep your cover from slipping all over the strap. You can sew your cover onto the strap if you want to, but I wanted to be able to take it off and wash it or switch it out with a new one when I get bored with this one 🙂
I cut some velcro pieces to about ¼” wide by 1″ long. This doesn’t need to be exact. You won’t be able to see them. You’ll need four “male” or sticky pieces to put on your camera strap, and four “female” or fuzzy pieces for each cover you want to use. Since I’m making two covers, that means I have 4 male pieces and 8 female pieces.
Peel the male (sticky) pieces off of their sticky backing and place them on the ends of your strap. One each for both sides and both ends of the strap.
Next take the female (fuzzy) pieces and velcro them to the male (sticky) pieces. Center your strap cover where you want it, peel the backing off, and stick your strap to the sticky part of the velcro. Repeat for all four pieces of velcro.
Now your cute cover has been fixed to the strap and isn’t going anywhere (unless you want it to haha). I repeated the “female” velcro process for my second strap, and voila! TWO cute camera straps!
What Do You Think?
Does it look easy enough? I hope my directions are clear and easy to follow! Let me know if you have any questions! 🙂