I can’t believe the weekend is over already! I hope you all had a good weekend. It has rained and rained here in ThimbleannaLand — and from some of the blogs I’ve been reading, it looks like we’re not the only place. I love it — perfect weather for staying inside and sewing.
A few weeks ago I decided I wanted a ruffley camera strap, so I made one yesterday. I’ve seen them on blogs and there are even tutorials out there, but I thought I’d show you how I made mine. It’s kind of hard to even see my ruffle in the picture above, but it’s there.
If you’d like to make a camera strap like mine, you’ll need a camera strap (I found a reasonably priced one here), and two pieces of fabric — one for the strap body and one for the ruffle. I took this picture of the supplies and then decided to swap out the Paula Prass polka dots for my favorite black polka dots. For pictures, I definitely wish I’d stayed with the lighter Paula Prass polka dots — they’re much easier to see. On the other hand, black polka dots will show less dirt and they will match my backpack better — if I ever get it finished.
Remove enough of the stitches on the camera strap to separate the actual strap from the strap holder. At this point, I was going to make the body of the strap out of a very heavy piece of interfacing, but I didn’t want to waste a perfectly good strap-piece, so I decided to use the old strap for the core of my new strap.
Cut a piece of strap fabric the same length as the old strap and the width of the strap x 2 + 1 inch. My strap was 1 1/2 inches wide, so I cut my fabric 4 inches wide. Press one long side of the fabric under 1/4 inch. (And please do notice that my authentic ironing board cover is staying pretty clean. Before too long, we’ll look back fondly on these pictures!)
Fold the strap fabric around the old strap and pin close to one edge. Then sew this long edge down on your machine. (Oops, forgot a picture — the stitching will run approximately where the pin is in the picture below.)
Turn the strap over and place another line of stitching along the other long side of the camera strap, the same distance in from the edge. Your camera strap will now look like this:
Now you need to prepare a ruffle for your camera strap. I cut mine two times the length of the camera strap and 1/4″ wider. How wide you cut your ruffle fabric will depend on how you finish the edges of the ruffle. I finished mine with the narrow hem edge on my serger. Unfortunately, you can’t really see it in this picture. ;-(
If you don’t have a serger, you can turn the edges under 1/4 inch and stitch with a zigzag stitch. You can also use a narrow-hem foot. Before I got my serger, I used to use this foot quite a bit — it’s really a handy foot to add to your foot library.
See the little curli-que in the foot? It rolls the fabric over as it runs through the foot, and then the needle sews the rolled fabric down. Very cool. I chose to use a very narrow zigzag stitch, but a straight stitch works just as well.
Back to the ruffle. Press it in half to mark a crease down the middle of the ruffle.
Adjust the stitch to a basting length on your machine, and then run a length of stitching just on either side of that middle crease, all the way down your ruffle. You can gather fabric with just one line of stitching, but if you’ll just take the extra time to sew that second line whenever you need to make ruffles, your ruffles will be much prettier.
Now, for my strap, I decided to place a monogram label in the middle of the strap. To do this, you need to mark the middle of your strap and the middle of your label and line them up. Then, mark the edges of the label.
Cut the ruffle in half and place an edge of each half just to the label side of the pins that marked the edge of the label. Then, stitch those raw edges down, across the width of the camera strap. (Don’t forget to return your straight stitch to it’s normal length.) You don’t have to worry about these raw edges, they’ll be covered up by the label later.
Now, from each outside end of the ruffle, pull on the bobbin threads of the two lines of basting stitches and gather, until each ruffle piece is the same length as it’s half of the camera strap. Pin down the middle of the ruffle.
Stitch down the middle of the ruffle. You can remove the lines of basting stitches from the ruffles if you’d like — I chose to leave mine in, since my fabric is dark and they aren’t that visible.
If you did a monogrammed or other label for the middle of the strap, stitch that down next. (Oops, another forgotten picture!) Place one end of the ruffley strap in between the ends of one of the strap holders. Follow the old stitching lines and stitch the strap holder down. Repeat for the other strap holder on the other end of the camera strap.
And that’s it. You’re done. Attach it to your camera and you can go around announcing who YOU are, rather than who the camera is!
I’m sorry my fabrics are so dark and hard to see, but hopefully, you get the idea. Now, this week’s project is to try and get my backpack finished so the camera strap and backpack can match for a little while before that frilly ruffle wears out!
Have a good week everybody!
P.S. Don’t forget — only a few days left of the Bella by the Bolt sale in the store — sale ends April 30th!