Tutorial: Quilted Digital Camcorder Case

Quilted Bloggie Case designed by Molly Stoltz

After receiving my Sony Bloggie, which is a mini-camcorder similar to a Flip camera, I realized that there were no cute or even functional cases on the market. Boo. But that didn’t stop me.  I decided to design and make my own. I happened to have a scrap of coated tablecloth on hand, which I thought would make the perfect water-resistant cover for my camcorder.

The following is a tutorial that you can cater to your own mini-cameras or other electronic devices, using whatever scraps of fabric you might have around the house. Don’t just buy a boring camera case. Make your own!


Quilted Digital Camcorder Case

What You Need:

3 scraps of fabric that are large enough to wrap around your device with fabric to spare

Thread to match (or contrast the color!)

A button

A tiny piece of jersey knit or stretchy fabric, or 3-4 inches of ribbon, elastic, etc.

Rotary cutter and cutting board (optional)

Measure your device & cut the fabric

1. First, measure your device. Measure its height and diameter. Add about 1.5 inches to the height and 0.5 in. to the diameter for seam allowance and for finishing the open edge.

Next, decide which fabric will be the outer layer, which will be the inner layer, and which will be sandwiched in between the two. I have chosen to use a coated fabric on the outer layer and two pieces of jersey knit for the two inner layers. I happen to have a lot of jersey knit around, so used two colors for the inner layers and then a coated fabric for the outer layer, but you can choose to use a fabric that you are comfortable working with. A fabric with a little bit of stretch is nice but not necessary.

2. Use the measurements from your device to cut three rectangles, one from each piece of fabric that you’ve chosen.  Make sure you measure twice so that you only have to cut once!  You should now have three rectangles of the same size.

3. Layer the three rectangles, placing them in order with the outer layer face down, the middle layer, and then the inner layer facing up. Pin them together and make sure all of the edges match. Now you are ready to quilt!

4. I decided to quilt my fabric using diagonal parallel lines. You can use any pattern you like however- perpendicular diagonal lines, vertical or horizontal lines, checkerboard, or just freestyle! The point is to sew all the layers together and also give your fabric some texture. Make sure to sew with the top layer facing up.

Sewing the case closed

5. Now, flip the quilted fabric over so that the inner layer faces up. Match the opposite edges together and pin the fabric, making a pocket for your device. On the top edge of the pocket, fold over 1 in. so that the outer layer shows (as seen in the photo). This is so that the top has a finished edge. You may want to check the fit of the pocket with your device at this point to make sure that your case is not too small or too large.

Pin it once you know you have a good fit and sew the bottom and side together with the inner layer facing out (meaning inside out!). Make sure to go slow on the upper edge that is folded over, as you are sewing through 6 layers of fabric and that is a lot for some machines to handle!

6. At this point, I chose to hand-sew the upper unfinished edge. If you can figure out a way to do this on the machine, go you! I didn’t :(. But I like to hand-sew, so I didn’t mind.

Flip the inside out!

7. Flip it inside out! Check out the fit of the device in the pocket again just to make sure. It should be nice and snug! At this point you may want to take a pen and push the corner out. You may also want to trim some of the seam allowance if there is a lot inside. It is also a good idea to sew once more around the bottom and side seam on the inside to add extra strength to those seams.

Add a button and loop

8. OK, here comes some more hand-sewing.

Pick out a cute button and sew it onto one outer upper edge of the pocket (see above photo).

Find a tiny piece of stretchy fabric and cut a little piece long enough to attach to the inside of the case, loop over it to the other side around the button, and attach again to the inside (see picture above). I used a little piece of jersey knit. You could also use a piece of ribbon, elastic, etc. I whip-stiched this piece onto one inner upper edge of the pocket to create a loop that leaves enough room to go over my device and attach to the button. This way, my device will not fall out of its case.

And go on your merry way!

TADA! Now you can travel with your mini-camcorder or camera with peace of mind.

Tell me what you think in my comments, or add any suggestions for improvement. I must say, people have asked me where I bought my awesome case, and I’m always proud to say I designed and made it myself. Happy filming and photographing!


Thrifty Tips for Painting & Re-upholstering a Gossip Bench

I recently purchased a telephone bench (above) at the thrift store for $22.50. As I waited for my man to haul the bike trailer over to the thrift store in order to haul it home, I found some mis-tinted paint and primer at the paint store next door for $4. With brushes in hand, I am ready to make some thrift store make-over magic happen. But I’ve never done this before!

The Centsational Girl blog has been a worthy blog find in helping me to finish my new finds. You can find her tutorial on finishing a varnished piece of furniture here.  Look at the beautiful dresser above which she refinished for her friend!

As for color and design ideas, I found this dip dye inspiration at Apartment Therapy. As my two color are white and coral pink, I’m excited to do something like this-

Now, although the floral fabric on the bench seat is “charming”, it was covered in cat hair and the cushion is decidedly less “cushy” than when it may have begun its life. I will attempt re-upholstering it using inspiration from this tutorial. In fact, I just purchased my first staple gun (I was so excited to pick it out- definitely my father’s child :)) I love this white and patchwork telephone bench below-

Sigh. If only I had all the time in the world. But I can’t wait to see if I can do all of this. Cheer me on!



Worm Composting-Progress

I’ve cleaned out my worm bin and harvested my fertilizer, for the second time since I began my worm bin. It took patience as I didn’t have a way to easily sift through my worms and the compost they created except by hand. So, I spent a good hour picking worms out until I was left with this.
Doesn’t look like much, but that is months of work up there. And it is more than enough for my small collection of plants on my balcony. In fact, I have plenty to share.
My worms are just a part of life in my little apartment. It’s taken time and patience, but the effort has been worth it, and it will only get better as my garden grows. 
What experiences have you had where years of perseverance paid off?

Creative 365 Projects- Guy In the Life

To pay it forward to the people who have gone before me and attempted their own 365 projects, I’d like to feature the projects that inspire me. The first I’d like to feature is Guy In the Life 365 Project. Fujoshi lives in North Mississippi and has decided to take a photo of a person wearing a Guy Fawkes mask everyday. And these photos aren’t just haphazard. They’re quite beautiful and well-thought out.

Enjoy Fujoshi’s photos!

Welcome my newest model, Annie!

Annie is my newest model. We’ve been good friends for the past two and a half years and I’ve done many photos shoots for and with her but never OF her. I finally got to do that today and it was an absolute joy.

Annie’s not just a pretty face, she is also pretty bad-ass. She’s a talented dancer, aerialist, and skater who choreographs her own aerial and burlesque dance pieces. She also teaches youth how to make their own skateboards and is a painter as well. I actually met her through a Craigslist ad for dancers for a show that she produced herself. Since then, we’ve become Balboa dance partners in a social dance club. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, she is also a fantastic social dance lead :).

She even went the extra mile to put curlers in her hair for my photo shoot. I could never make my hair do that if I tried.
Look for Annie and my newest scarves on my Etsy shop
And here is a beautiful photo of Annie that I did not take to show off her skills. I would give credit to the photographer, but I can’t find their information anywhere. Suffice to say, photographer, if you find this photo and would like to take credit, please do because it’s a lovely photo.

I’ll leave it at that :).

Find my designs for purchase at www.ragsbysockmonkey.etsy.com

t-shirt shag rug tutorial

Here it is, finally! My shag rug is complete. I love how it feels under my feet, and if it starts to look a little flat, I pick it up, shake it, and it fluffs right back up! 
It took some time but I finished it and I’m glad I decided to make one. You can too, especially if you like to cut up t-shirts but never know what to do with the scraps afterwards. The scraps from my scarves are perfect candidates for making a rug. And this craft is very easy, even children can learn how to thread the rug with some assistance with cutting the scraps.
Feel free to message me with any questions. The idea and instructions for this rug came from the book Generation T, which is a great book to purchase if you like making eco-friendly t-shirt clothing and crafts. Please visit their website and check out their multitude of fantastic ideas.
How to Make a T-shirt Shag Rug

Supplies: 1 XL t-shirt, cloth scissors, and lots of small t-shirt scraps
the base with a few scraps threaded through
1. Make the base.
For the base of the rug, lay the X-L t-shirt flat and cut a large rectangle out of the shirt, as large as you would like the size of your rug to be. It’s possible to make a larger rug by sewing more t-shirts together- two to make a runner, four to make a large square, etc. You could also cut it into a circle shape for a circular rug.
a rotary board makes cutting easier
perfect sized scraps!
2. Make scraps.
If you are me, you have scraps of t-shirts all over your apartment. If you aren’t, you may need to go to the thrift store and purchase a lot of t-shirts to make into scraps. I would go for 10-12 to start, although I’m not positive exactly how many you will need. Go for more rather than less, and choose complimentary colors, or try to purchase t-shirts that are the same color for a monotone rug. 
Cut these t-shirts into strips that are approximately 5-6’’ long and 1-1 ½’’ wide. You can use scissors, or if you are lucky, a rotary cutter and board, which helps make things faster. Some t-shirt fabrics stretch and so you can pull them to make them longer. Others don’t.  Once you cut a few t-shirts you’ll begin to see what works. Also, don’t be afraid to use imperfect scraps-scraps that have odd edges, have a serged edge on them, are ruffly, etc. They add to the shaggy look of your rug.
holes before and after scraps are threaded through 
3. Cut holes into the base.
Starting 1’’ from the edge of the base, carefully poke or snip horizontal and vertical rows of small holes about 1/2 ’’ to 2/3’’ inches apart. It will look like a big Lite-Brite board without the little pegs! You can also do this as you go along while putting the rug together, as I did, or just go ahead and make all of the holes before you start to thread the scraps into the rug. If you want perfect rows, you can mark the holes first using a ruler to mark the spots. 
see how the scraps share each hole? 
4. Start threading scraps into the base.
Beginning at one corner, thread a strip down through the first hole and back up through the second. Take a second scrap and thread it through the second hole (the same hole you just pulled the first scrap up through) so that it shares this hole with the first scrap, and then pull it up through the third hole.
Continue doing this for a very, very long time… Do this while watching movies, television, when you have a really short moment of time and you don’t know what to do. It will take time, but it will be finished!
the back and top side of the rug- pretty on both sides!

5. Give your rug a haircut.
When you are finished, you can give your rag a little haircut to even out any longer scraps that look off, or you can leave your rug uneven for a shaggier look. But remember, these scraps don’t grow back!

The top side of the rug looks great, but so does the bottom side. Flip the rug over for a new look and feel! If a scrap falls out or gets uneven, simply put it back in or pull it until it is even. It’s very easy to maintain. If you would like to wash it, please use a lingerie bag and run it in a delicate cycle as it could fall apart in the wash. However, the fabric is not delicate itself, so if something were to happen, it can be cleaned.

Send me pictures of your own rugs, and I’ll post them here. Or, make one for a Christmas present this year. It’s not too early to start!