Design criteria: I wanted a very simple, almost minimalist case - no extra pockets for batteries or SD cards; just a padded case with a simple closure that would be easy to open and close.
This is a reasonably basic sewing project but I am assuming you know how to work a sewing machine - straight stitch, zig-zag stitch, etc.
Step 1: Materials and Equipment
- Denim recycled from a pair of jeans
- Fleece blanket for padding
- Cotton material for lining
- Short length of 2mm elastic cord
- Large button
- Sewing thread
Standard Sewing Equipment:
- Sewing machine
- Fabric shears
- Thread snips
- Sewing needle
- Iron and ironing board
- Chalk or fabric pen
Step 2: Cut Fabric
I used a double layer of polyester fleece to make the padding inside the case. I sewed a test piece on my machine to make sure it could handle the thickness and the fabric would feed nicely through the feed dogs (which can be a problem for slippery fabrics like polyester).
I sewed the two layers of fleece together so they would stay together during the quilting phase.
I also pre-cut the fleece so that it would end up short of the sides of the case, reducing bulk when sewing and finishing the sides.
Step 3: Sandwich Quilting
I marked straight lines on the fabric using a ruler and a chalk marker. This helps keep the lines straight and parallel to each other.
The fabric layers do end up sliding around a bit and may not end up matching together at the edges - that's why I cut the fabric with a fairly big margin.
Step 4: Triangle Top
I trimmed the ends of the elastic loop. I used a lighter flame to melt the ends of the elastic and stop them from fraying. Then I turned the triangle right-way out. Now is a good time to iron it flat.
Next I cut a piece of fleece padding to fit inside.the triangle and stitched this in place. I found that it was best to start at the raw edge, sew down, across and then back to the raw edge. This way there are no loose ends of thread which could come unstitched later - the loose ends will be safely enclosed inside the seam when we join the flap to the case.
I made the triangle quite a lot longer than necessary so I could trim it to size later.
Variations: You could sew a traditional buttonhole into the flap rather than using a loop of elastic. I think the loop is slightly faster to undo (vital when you suddenly need to take a picture!)
Step 5: Edge the Opening
Now you can top-stitch the seam closed with a straight stitch, very close to the edge.
This edge will be the front edge of the camera case.
Tip: Make sure you avoid the polyester fleece when ironing - it will melt into a sticky mess!
Step 6: Stitch the Sides
Mark a straight, ruled line over your pins and then stitch this with a basting stitch (the longest stitch on your machine). Put your camera back in and repeat for the other side. Now you can (carefully) turn the case the right way out and test that your camera fits nicely. It is easy to remove the basting stitches to adjust how loosely or tightly the case is around your camera.
When you're happy with the fit, you can stitch the sides up with a tight stitch. Leave an inch unstitched around the top for the next step.
Step 7: Stitch in the Flap
Check with the triangular flap to see where the button is going to end up. You'll probably want to trim the flap a bit.
Then insert the triangular flap into the seam before pinning and top-stitching the edge.
If you wanted to add a belt loop, you could stitch one end of the belt loop inside the same seam as the triangular flap. Keep in mind that with denim, this could get very bulky. You would also want to add the belt loop before stitching up the sides.
Step 8: Finish the Sides
If you don't have an overlocker (serger) you can use a zig-zag stitch to finish the edges.
Tip: If using an overlocker, make sure it can handle denim. You can get denim needles which are much less likely to break!
Now is a good time to tidy up all the loose threads inevitably hanging off the case.
Turn the case the right way out, you're almost done!
Step 9: Sew on the Button
My button ended up quite tight to the camera case, it would have worked slightly better if it had been a bit looser.
Here's a handy Youtube video about sewing on buttons.
Step 10: Box Corners (optional)
Turning the case inside out again, you simply fold the corners so that the side seam forms the halfway point of a triangle. Then you sew across the corner. My camera is about 1 cm thick, so I sewed across a 1cm triangle. Repeat for the other corner.
The tricky part is getting your stitch line at 90 degrees to the side seam, otherwise your corners can look a bit skewed. Possibly worth a basting stitch so you can remove and adjust if necessary.
Here's a video from CraftyGemini showing the box corner technique on a larger project.
Once you have your stitched corner correct, you can restitch the seam with a tight double stitch, then trim off the excess fabric from the corner and finish it with a zigzag stitch to stop the raw edges from fraying.
Step 11: Belt Loop (optional)
It's reasonably straight-forward to sew a tube and then turn it inside-out to use as the belt loop, just make sure you use a reasonably wide tube - the denim is very difficult to turn inside-out for smaller tubes. A dowel or pen is useful for the turning-inside-out process.
The belt loop will require a different order of operations - you'll want to top-stitch the edges, stitching the flap and the belt loop inside the seam, then stitch the belt loop onto the body of the case, and finally stitch up the side seams.