Monday, February 21, 2011

The Skinny Camera Strap (Tutorial!)

Today I'm going to show you how to turn this:

Into this:

Ready?  Let's get started!

  • 1 flash drive lanyard
  • 3/8" twill tape
  • general sewing supplies

Step 1: Remove lanyard hardware
What you really want from your flash drive lanyard is this part.

That's because that little string part will fit through your camera the same way the strap that came with your camera does.  Convenient, no?

So go ahead and snip off the lanyard as shown.  Toss (or make something else out of) the lanyard and just keep that little black piece of hardware.

Step 2: Cut your twill tape
Grab a measuring tape and measure from your hip, up around one shoulder, and back down to your hip.  This measurement should give you a good idea of how long you'll want your camera strap to be.  (Of course, if you want to make it longer or shorter to fit you differently, just measure that instead.)

My fun pink twill tape (that I got on clearance a while back--score!) is 3/8" wide.  The opening on that little piece of hardware we saved is actually about 1/4" wide, but it's okay.

I cut my twill tape to about 58 1/2" and it fits me perfectly.

Step 3: Thread hardware onto twill tape
Thread one end of your twill tape through that little hardware piece.

Slide the hardware down the twill tape to keep it out of the way for the next few steps.

Step 4: Sew raw ends together
Making sure your twill tape lays flat all the way down (so you don't have any little twists), match up the raw ends of your twill tape.

(Note: I was very careful to make sure that I didn't have any little twists, but because of the way things get folded, I ended up with one anyway.  So maybe you do want one twist in there?  I'm not sure.  Feel free to experiment to see what's best for you.  In the end, I was fine with the one little twist.)

Pin ends together.

Sew ends together using a 1/2" to 3/8" seam allowance.

*TIP: If your sewing machine tends to eat small things like this, keep a firm grip on your thread ends and use the hand wheel on your machine instead of the foot pedal and it should hopefully keep your sewing machine from turning into a mean mean monster.

Clip off any crazy frayed ends.

Step 5: Enclose raw ends
Hold the sewn ends of your twill tape like so.

Fold both ends over.

Fold over again, so that the raw ends are now enclosed in your little cinnamon roll-looking thing.   
(Very technical, I know.)

Then, making sure to keep your little "cinnamon roll" intact, slip your finger in between the top two layers of twill tape.  Unfold that top layer so that you now have a straight line of twill tape, with the "cinnamon roll" in the middle.

It should now look like this.  Pin in place.

Sew "cinnamon roll" together by sewing a square all the way around the perimeter and an X through the middle.  This will keep your strap nice and secure.

You're Done!
Like I warned you about before, if you followed the tutorial exactly you'll end up with one little twist in your strap.

If this bothers you, just move the twisted part into the spot down into the hardware (as shown) and it'll be less noticeable.

Also, I just wanted to add that I had originally planned on sewing a little line right down next to the piece of hardware to keep the hardware from sliding down the strap.  If you'd like to do that, do it now!

However, I decided to skip that step because I realized that I really like having the hardware be able to slide down the strap.  That way, when I'm wearing it and I want to take a picture, the strap doesn't get caught on my shirt and make everything all bunched up.  Instead, the strap stays in place and the hardware (and camera) just slide up the strap without any fuss.  Hooray!

This is how the strap hangs normally.

Olivia wearing her SPRING DRESS and Me

So now you're ready to be on your way!  
Happy photographing!


Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

Maybe I'll have to try that. That looks like something you might have gotten from that online sale. I think I have some similar twill tape. :)

Kathy Haynie said...

Smart girl. By the way, I like to use things like the leftover lanyard strap as strings in drawstring bags...and I love drawstring bags...