Friday, January 14, 2011

Padded camera case

I had a friend point out that I had my comments section on the wrong settings and a lot of people were not allowed to post on my blog.  I have since changed that.  If you wanted to post to my giveaway for the little girl skirt, the blog should let you do that now.  I'll leave the contest open until next Wednesday at 10pm MST to allow everyone who wants to play an chance to get in on the fun.

Now for today's project.   I got a Flip camera as a gift for Mother's day last year.  I love it but I needed a cute case.   I finally got around to making one this week:

 Cute huh?   The case is not a beginner project.  It has some more complicated steps and the piping is annoying to sew.   You can leave the piping off if you want to simplify it.   I'll post a simple envelope style bag next week that would be easy for beginning sewists.   Either bag is super cheap to make and uses very little fabric.  You probably have enough scraps laying around to make several.  You will also need to have 1/8" upholstery foam.  I found it in the decor fabric section at Jo-Ann.  It's a high density foam with a knit fabric fused to one side.  You will only need 1/8th of a yard to do a small camera case.  You'll have a ton of leftovers besides.

This technique works for any sized pocket camera.  I'm not going to give measurements for the most part.  Just use this process no matter what brand or type of camera you own. 

To start, wrap a zipper around two sides of the camera, with the zipper closed and the pull at the top edge of one side.   Mark the far edge on the bottom.  The zipper should be as long as two sides of the camera.  Trim the end off.   Next, take a couple of small squares of fabric right sides together and sew them across the ends of the zipper with a 1/4" seam allowance.  If your lining is different from your outside, make sure the outside is on the front of the zipper and the lining is on the back.  Your zipper will look like this:
 To make the pattern, lay the camera down on pattern tracing fabric and trace around each side.  You should make a top, a bottom, a top edge, and a side edge.   Now add 1/8" to one side and one end on each pattern piece.   This extra fabric allows for the camera to fit in easily and makes space for the thickness of the padding.   Draw another line 1/4" out all the way around for seam allowance.

If your camera is like mine, the front will be just a little bit bigger than the back.  A standard sized Flip will have a front piece that's about 1/8" wider than the back.  It is important that you keep track of which piece is the front and which is the back.  Mark them with disappearing ink.  Sew a stitch.  Put them in a different pile.  Whatever you need to do, but you need to know at all times which pieces are which and you won't be able to tell just by looking at them. 

To make the pieces for the zipper sides, fold the side piece in half.  trace it on the pattern fabric.
 Now add 1/4" seam allowance along one edge.   I use my seam gauge.  It has a very handy little hole in one end and I can set the guide 1/4" away from that hole.   I just keep the guide lined up, put the pencil in the hole and draw away.  I do this to add seam allowance for every pattern I make.  It saves a lot of headaches and messing with tape measures.
Do the same thing for the bottom end piece.   If your camera doesn't have a rectangular shaped end, you will need to make a half piece (plus seam allowance) for the each side.   For my Flip camera I made one small zipper end piece that had a curve along one long side and one that had two straight long sides. 

Ok, cut one front, one back, one side, and one bottom from your outside and your lining.  Cut two zipper sides from the outside and lining.  Cut fabric and lining for the ends as well.  Do not forget to keep track of which piece is which.

Now we get to start sewing.  If you are doing piping, sew the piping 1/4" from the edge all the way around the top and bottom outside pieces.  They should look like this:
 I'm keeping my pattern with the fabric pieces to keep track of which is which.

Now sew your side pieces together.  Be sure you get the lining and the fabric sewn opposite of each other.  For your zipper side, sew the long edge together with the bottom edge for each half.
 Now put them together and baste them together in the center for an inch or so on each end.  Press that seam open making sure to also press the un-sewn center down 1/4" as well.  (see next picture.)  Now sew all your side pieces together in a loop.   Sew the sides to the front and back pieces. 
 Just like that.  Be careful when sewing the outside that you get close enough on the corners.  That can be harder to do with piping.
 Next, take your pattern pieces and cut out the foam to the size of the original tracing line.  This is the line you had before you added the seam allowance and the 1/8" extra.    You need one piece for the front, one for the back, one for the bottom, and one for the long side.   Again, keep track of which is the front and which is the back. 
 Carefully tuck the long side piece into the outside camera case.   Then add the front, back, and bottom pieces.  If they do not quite fit, trim them down until the cover is smooth and everything fits properly.  Pin the foam in place.
 Ok, this is where it gets tricky.   Fit the lining into the outside, wrong sides together.   See that open section on the sides?  You're going to fit the zipper along that side between the outside and the lining.  Open the zipper up. Keep the pull at the top.  Take your time to get the front and the lining lined up along the zipper so it's straight and fits how you want it to, pinning it as you go.    Sew the zipper in place. 

No I don't have pictures.  I've told you before zippers hate me.  We won't discuss it.  I'm sure your zippers will be beautiful.  Anyway, when you are done it will be pretty and no one will ever tell you if your zipper wasn't done perfectly.  They won't even notice.   At least no one's ever commented on any of my zippers, and that's saying something.

The construction method can be a bit tricky.  I'm going to make another one and see if I can make this case easier to sew.   In the meantime, please experiment around with this and let me know if you find an easier way.  Drop me a link in the comments so I can see what you are doing.  

Also, this case does not have a strap on it.  It would be pretty easy to add either a simple wrist loop or a flat strap across the back side. 

Play around with the pattern and as always, leave me a link so I can see what you are doing with yours!

1 comment:

  1. Zippers... I have no idea how to do zippers. I should probably learn.