A new camera bag - The Ansel pattern by Sew Sweetness

by - 14:20

Back in the summer I was bought a new-to-me Canon camera. It was a big surprise for my birthday, and I have cherished it and used it loads and loads since. But it didn't come with a bag.

So I bought myself the Ansel camera bag pattern by Sew Sweetness to make myself a bespoke bag for my needs. I hurriedly read the instructions and looked at the supply list, cried a little inside, then left the project alone. Sew Sweetness are American, and a lot of their supplies are obviously American based. I discovered that I could buy some of the exact same supplies here in the UK from Amazon, but they were hugely expensive.

In the end, I went to Truro Fabrics and asked for their help! I ended up buying similar supplies (that yes, were still expensive, but not quite so bad) that would do the job. For the By Annie's Soft and Stable, I used a 1/4" sew in foam interfacing, yes, it was a little thicker than suggested, but it's all I could lay my hands on at the time. For the craft foam, I used 1/2" upholstery foam. The black side release buckles were from a buckle jar, and the strap metal work pieces were Prym branded. For the Pellon branded fusible interfacing, I used some medium weight interfacing that I already had in my stash (probably bought from Trago). I already had a length of velcro that I bought from a local market, it just happened to be 1cm too short overall, which meant I used that short piece on the bottom of one the main panels.

Due to a recent, very expensive, car breakdown, I'm on a self imposed ban of fabric buying, so need to make a start on using up fabrics I already own. Luckily for me, I have a large choice ;)

The outer bird fabric is by the French brand Stof. I bought it whilst on holiday in France a few years ago. It's 100% cotton, but slightly thicker than quilting cotton. I made my daughter a little blazer with it which she has long outgrown. I probably have enough to make her another jacket to be honest, it's a very wide width fabric.

The lining is a cute green bird and flower print quilting cotton that I bought the last half metre of from a now closed down fabric shop. I don't know the brand, but I'd always planned to make something for my daughter, but half a metre isn't enough for much on it's own, and nothing else I had particularly went with it, so it's sat unused for over a year. I didn't have quite enough of this to make the internal pocket, but just squeezed out the lining nicely. Then for a contrast, I decided to use the bright purple Cloud 9 organic cotton for the strap, buckles and binding (and that inner lining pocket). I'm not great at colour coordinating, but this works really well against the grey outer material.

There were 66 individual pieces to cut out for this medium sized camera bag. It took me a little over two hours to get all the pieces cut out. I'm sure this will be less then next time I make it. I think to speed up the process, I'll cut paper pattern pieces to size, then cut more than one layer of fabric at once! Then came ironing on the fusible interfacing, then basting on the sew-in foam to the exterior fabric pieces. All this preparation took so long, but it's necessary. The sewing itself wasn't difficult, but I did find it fiddly with all the thicknesses of fabric. The sewing and preparation part took close to eight hours, so in total, this was a ten hour project. Probably one of the longest items I've ever made!

But it was all totally worth it to produce such a stunning and practical bag. What I need to do is buy some waterproof spray to give the material a small barrier against rain, which happens a lot here in Cornwall.... I'm even thinking of how to make a waterproof version, but it's making my brain hurt a little.

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