I Made That! Monday · Sewing

“I Made That!” Monday – Padded Camera Lens Case

Today (yes today!) I’m off on a short trip to Berlin! I cheated and wrote this yesterday, but I have a plane to catch this afternoon so forgive me.

I’ve mentioned previously about the new camera The Boy has and therefore how I get to take his old one out on the town. Between us we have a spare lens that we wanted to take but I didn’t want it to just roll around in the bottom of my bag with water bottles, maps, spare change and other tourist- or girl-related miscellany.

In my immense list of Pinterest Pins and bookmarks of things to try and make I found this tutorial by Melissa at Polka Dot Chair for a padded lens case! Perfect.

The hardest part of this for me personally was sewing the base circle to the sides of the case. Sewing two things together that are clearly meant to be at perpendicular angles was a hurdle I stumbled to get over in my mind, but I got there in the end with a lot of pins!


There were some gathers as it goes around but that’s natural, I was happy at the lack of massive puckers in the end product though!

did make a minor mistake part way through that I’m going to share – because that’s what this blog is for, I’m not going to pretend I didn’t fudge up a bit!

When making the drawstring top part of the case, instructions called for stitching from the sides of the fabric to roughly 1/2″ either side of the fold line in the centre, leaving a total of approximately 1″ unsewn gap in the centre. So I happily marked the two points with my sewing marker pen (that I still don’t trust fades away by the way) and got going…


…and then managed to completely miss the mark to stop and sewed straight over the bit I was clearly instructed to leave alone. Obviously I am an idiot. I clearly cannot even follow basic instructions or my own marks.

Luckily this wasn’t a major issue in the general scheme of things, my new BFF Sally-the-Seam-Ripper came in handy and I got it right the second time!

The final article didn’t turn out too shabby! It’s a little too big for the spare lens we have (this is in no small part due to The Boy telling me to make the medium sized one instead of the small) but it at least it will happily fit all three of the lenses we own and without much rattling around. I call that successful!

Lens case collage

Notes for Next Time (or Newbies!)

  • I’m pretty glad the final pictures don’t show in too much detail how messy my bias tape finish was. It is all over the place. I think I’m capable of better but by then I just wanted to be finished. It’s definitely not my best work. It’s really important to make sure that when folding tape in half to finish a raw edge that it is folded equally and that you are sewing through the tape on the other side too and not just missing it completely or have accidentally folded or creased it.
  • IMG_2594The tutorial calls for foam, which I don’t have and have literally no clue where I’d go around here to get foam that isn’t the sheets-of-brightly-coloured-paper-crafty stuff. So instead I used this padding stuff that came on a roll that I bought when entertaining the notion of padded Kindle and iPad cases that I’ve still not gotten round to! This stuff worked fine for padding this case out though so if you’re going to make it, don’t stress yourself looking for foam if – like me – you’re at a loss, other padding will work out well too!
  • I also added iron-on interfacing to the inside-face of the outer fabric to give it more of a sturdy and stiff look to compensate for the less-sturdy padding I used. I think if you use foam for the padding your finished item will look adequately sturdy (gathered from the pictures in the tutorial). However as my padding had a bit more give in it I wanted to make my outer fabric look extra crisp and firm.
  • Not exactly a tip but an amusing note: The Boy asked for the case to not be “girly and/or flowery fabric” so he can take it out by himself to carry his spare lenses. This is a sensible request really as I tend towards using pretty florals and cute polka dots (that I couldn’t quite bring myself to banish completely here whoops!) So I made part of it out of one of his own shirts that he was throwing out (the checkered fabric). I’ve decided to keep an eye on the clothes we get rid of as who knows what material I could squirrel away? For example a book (Sew Bunting) I have on different ways to make bunting features an awesome tutorial using the pockets of jeans strung together to make denim-pocket-bunting. I almost have enough pairs of worn out jeans to make this now! (Expect to see that on here at some point when I do!)

This has definitely been the hardest thing I’ve made so far, mostly due to the sewing-on-the-circle-bottom thing. It was one of those scenarios where I just looked at the mess of fabric under the needle and was like I have no clue what’s meant to be being sewed to what right now. It was probably sheer luck that I didn’t get all tangled up and start sewing the sides together or something. I also got stuck with pins, a lot.

But now I am ready for my few days away, exciting!

P.S. A camera themed post demands a photography joke:

Q. What is the best way to get the professional photographer off your doorstep?
A. Pay him for the pizza.

Badum tish! I jest.

Happy Monday!



4 thoughts on ““I Made That!” Monday – Padded Camera Lens Case

  1. That looks great! And I love that you upcycled a shirt that otherwise wouldn’t have been used for anything. I tried a couple of fabric baskets recently and had trouble keeping the bottom round. Then I read about using a light ring of Elmer’s glue, ironed to the fabric, to keep the bottom fabrics from slipping. I haven’t tried it yet but it’s something to consider next time. Enjoy your trip to Berlin – I’m looking forward to seeing some photos.


    1. Thank you! Yes I’m going to try and focus more on what can be saved from things we’re throwing out. So much fabric going to waste! That sounds like an interesting idea, I’ll definitely have to look it up for the next time I do something like this! Thanks for the tip!


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