Wednesday, September 28, 2011

camera bag

As mentioned in an earlier post, the main lens I use on my camera was involved in a tragic accident and went on to a better life.  I ordered a new one and it arrived the other day.  Woo!  Seeing that I carry two different lens in my small, cramped bag, I figured now is as good of a time as any for a new one.  Unfortunately, decent looking camera bags cost a crap-load of money for some reason.  I'd love to have a Ketti Handbag but I would also like my son to eat for the next few months.

So, I decided to make my own - for a fraction of the price.

A purse - preferably one that is sturdy and has a large main compartment (as opposed to a purse that has a few dividers already built in)
Headliner fabric - thats the stuff you'd probably find on the roof of your car (inside, duh) but they sell it at any fabric store.  I probably used about a 1/2 yard.

Forgive me in advance but I don't know the technical terms for any of this stuff.  Also, I'm not much of an instructions gal so I pretty much just winged it.  As with all DIY projects, you can find a zillion tutorials online if you want to attempt your own bag.

Here's the purse I started out with.  I think it was about $15-20 at Marshalls.  (I don't remember the exact amount but I try not to spend more than $20 on anything so I assume that's how much it cost.)

I cut a few rectangular pieces of cardboard out of a box from our recycling bin.  I then laid the pieces inside of the purse to make sure they were the right size.  One piece lays flat on the bottom of the purse and the other two lay horizontally on each side.  I made sure the horizontal pieces weren't too tall so that I can still make use of the side pockets in the purse.  I wrapped the bottom piece in some batting.  The headlining fabric has some cushion to it so the batting just added some extra smoosh to the bottom.

Next, I laid out a long piece of the headlining fabric, the same width of the pieces of cardboard I already cut out.  I figured out where I wanted to secure a few pieces of velcro and then sewed it on.  I forgot to take a picture of that step but here is a picture from later on in the process but it shows what kind of velcro I used:

Next, I folded the piece of fabric in half and then sewed seams in where the folds/bends in my camera bag insert would go.  I hope this picture explains it because I don't know how I would with words.
In the picture above, I already sewed two straight lines where the insert would fold up along the sides of the purse.  The opening that I am holding up will be at the bottom of the purse and won't show - so I wasn't worried about doing anything major to hold it together.  To close up the ends, I just sewed a straight line down the two sides of the insert.  Here it shows how it will look inside of the purse:
Disregard the horrible sewing job but James was napping and I knew I probably only had another 10 minutes to finish this project.  Yes, I was rushing.  No biggie though - all of this would be inside of the purse and not-so-visible. more wiggly lines!
I've seen several tutorials online that make sides for the insert but that would have been too fancy for me.  Instead, I just made three dividers to slip inside.  Because they have velcro on the ends, they can be adjusted to fit whatever it is they are dividing:
With these all sewed up and inserted into the insert, it looks like this:
I could make additional dividers if I wanted to tote around additional lens or other items.  For now, it holds a spare lens, my camera (old camera is in the pic above for staging purposes along with some rolled up batting in the 3rd compartment) as well as a wallet, phone, etc. can all fit!

Much better than what I used to have to carry around in addition to my regular purse!

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