Creating A Custom Made {and very happy} Camera Bag

I had a simple black camera bag. It is fine and functional and practical.

camera bag 27But it is not happy.

heather bailey challenge 07My strap cover is happy. It is all a mix of Heather Bailey fabrics. It was simple to make, and its functionality is awesome since it has a little lens cover pocket. [You can see my strap tute here and the tweak here.]

camera bag 01So I decided to make myself a new camera bag. I grabbed some fabrics from my stash, mostly lovely Heather Bailey fabrics with a bit of navy gingham and grey polka dot thrown in, some bag hardware (which I cut off my hubs’ worn ragged old gym bag when he threw it out like a year ago), and a 1/3 yard x about 80″ sheet of 1/4″ padding/foam ($2/foot at the fabric shop upholstery section). [So basically, this bag only cost me $2 total to make. WINNING.]

camera bag 02And I just, you know, started piecing together some bag goodness. This is a pretty basic construction–five rectangles, two for sides and one for bottom. But I also added pockets. I reinforced the big ones on the front and bag with a piece of felt, then divided them into pockets by sewing the pockets to the body with a couple of straight stitches, forming three slip pockets on the front and two on the back.

camera bag 25[Here’s the back with a stitch up the middle to divide the pocket into two.]

camera bag 03But for either end, I did a non-reinforced pocket cut wider than needed with an elasticated opening.

camera bag 28So storage and functionality abound!

camera bag 04[Here is a close up of the front pockets… and the big button I later added for the flap top closure.]

camera bag 05

Of course, maybe the most important part of this bag is its padding. If it cannot keep my camera safe, it’s not worth much. I cut two loooong skinny 1/4″ thick rectangles and two wide squat rectangles to criss-cross the lining of the bag (so each side has two layers and the bottom has four. [Below this padding, the bottom also has a piece of stiff felt sewn in to reinforce it.]

camera bag 06Now it’s good and cushioned!

camera bag 07To add the liner, I made a second bag, slightly smaller, and attached it just like in my simple tote tutorial.

camera bag 08Then I padded and lined a simple flap (read: big rectangle), sewed a straight seam where I wanted it to fold, and sewed it straight to the bag at the top of the body’s back.

camera bag 30With the body of the bag complete, I moved on to straps!

camera bag 09I had this fabulous bag hardware in my sewing drawer for an age just waiting to be put to good use.

camera bag 26It came off my hubs’ old worn out gym bag that we trashed last year. Yay for a new life for it!

camera bag 10I made a super simple two-sided strap with a couple of long, skinny Heather Bailey fabric scraps and attached them to the hardware.

camera bag 29This strap is reversible (just flip it over) and totally length-adjustable.

camera bag 11And y’all. I know some of you might think I’m crazy, but for me, all these colors and patterns just completely go. Oh! They make me happeeeeee! 🙂 [From left to right above, you can see the back and side pocket then the front and other-side pocket.]

camera bag 13With the bag complete, I made four padded dividers with the leftover padding and more scraps.

camera bag 12They are a simple overlapping closure (the back is shown on the bottom right one). They fill in gaps and secure all my goodies, making sure lenses don’t rub together!

camera bag 14Okay, yay, so let’s fill this bag with some picture-taking goodness!

camera bag 15I have my camera body, two lenses (one of which is always on the camera), some random bits and pieces (in the lens bag above), hood, as well as items not shown here like battery charger, extra memory card, and memory card USB.

camera bag 16So with the removable pads, I can organize my bag however I like, and depending on whether the lens I have on is long or short. [And see the flap top?]

camera bag 17Here my camera strap is all neatly tucked in…

camera bag 18…but if I know me, I’m sure it will usually just be loosely curled right on top of the camera.

camera bag 19I put the charger and USB converter in a side pocket (pack of gum on the other side, and a front slip pocket is a great spot for my cell).

camera bag 20Here’s an aerial view with the flap closed.

camera bag 21And here it is in all its glory. Now THIS is a happy camera bag.

camera bag 22Now I’m ready to go!

camera bag 23And I can wear the bag on my shoulder or quickly adjust the strap longer to become a crossbody.

camera bag 24Yay! Happy bag equals happy Gina!! [And many thanks to my adorable 7-year-old cameraman for snapping these pics of me holding my new bag!]

camera bag 29'So who else is going to tackle one of these? C’mon! could be fun, wheeee!

Wheeee! blog signature

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