A couple of months ago I asked for tips on sewing rip stop nylon. I
wanted to make some light panels for DS to use in his photography work.
The project was put on hold along with every other project until my
shoulder healed enough to allow me to sew. To make a long story short I
started the panels over the weekend. After playing with tensions and
stitch length I serged the cut edges, then I pressed in casing on the
sides and held them in place with fabric glue. I then used a small
zigzag stitch on the casings, increased the foot pressure to 4 and the
tension to 4. I delivered the first panel on Saturday. DS is delighted
with the results. I was delighted with the results and I made 2 more
panels since then. One left to make.
This was my first try with something as slippery as rip stop. It was fun
to do and much easier than I anticipated.
Ripstop is not as slippery as some satins etc. I sew it quite often and
just loosen the tension, then if it's rainwear I'll seal the needle
holes with a wax stick to make it completely waterproof. Of course, I
use poly thread as cotton will rot in time and besides it will wick
rainwater to the inside.
Like you, I've made several photography light panels, raincoats for 2 x
friend's and my own cameras, photographer's rain ponchos, lens bags
lined with polar fleece, photographer's light boxes and rain ponchos for
my DGD's. While I don't embroider directly on the ponchos, I make an
embroidered patch out of ripstop, and attach it with a large zigzag
stitch to lessen the number of needle holes, although these are then
sealed with wax as well. Another item was a photog's safety vest with
reflective tape so I can get out of the car on the highway (or other
roads) if I see something I wish to shoot, and meanwhile be totally
visible. All of these items have their own matching ripstop drawstring
I've also made an awning which is attached to the roof rails on my car
with velcro, and can be used when camping or for picnics.
It's great stuff and makes up so quickly.
You have set me to thinking of something I could make for DS. He has so
much equipment and carriers for it all. He probably could use draw
string bags for the light panels and the PCP pipe he used to make stands
for the panels. He has plenty of safety clothing, so he doesn't need that.
I also used poly thread when making the panels and yes it's easy to sew
on, especially since I used the fabric glue stick to hold things in
place when sewing.
I'm sure your son would appreciate some drawstring bags for his gear, I
use mine heaps and always stitch my mobile phone number near the edge
somewhere, just in case I drop them and don't realise, then if some
honest person picks it up, hopefully they would phone me. Well that's
the idea anyway.......hasn't been put into practice to see if it works!!
While I'm in no way promoting this person's ebay listing, I've included
the url to give you an idea for a camera raincoat/poncho. The 3 or 4
I've made have elastic cord in the front hem so they can be used with
various lenses. I also make them longer than the ones in the photo and
put some weights in the bottom corners.....assuming the camera would be
on a tripod. Velcro at various places under the camera will keep it
located, but I'm sure you'll have no trouble figuring out where they
need to go.
shoot motor racing in all weather and while our lenses have weatherproof seals, I still don't like them to be exposed to heavy rain....last month I used the raincoat at a night speedway meeting where the dust was horrendous (due to the drought).
Lens bags, as previously mentioned, have polar fleece (for protection)
on the inside...just lay it over the ripstop and run both layers through
the overlocker, then fit a drawstring with toggle in the top hem.
Again, these are embroidered with phone numbers.
As my son doesn't like a camera bag to scream 'expensive camera inside'
I bought a hiker's backpack then some closed cell foam (yoga/fitness
exercise mat $5 at the cheap shop), and proceeded to cover sections with
polar fleece velcroing them into place so they are movable as required.
Now all his camera gear is the same colour, he likes red/black and
mine is green/black so instantly we know who owns which lens bag.
All camera gear is expensive so may as well be protected.
Hope this helps? You may have some other suggestions?
Thanks again for the picture of the camera poncho. Am I correct in
thinking it's a large bag with several openings for lens and tripod. It
also looks like a clear vinyl is in it so the light from the flash is
not diminished. This is a whole new area of sewing for me so I'm not
quite sure where I'm going with it. I think it would be great if I can
come up with some gifts for DS that he will never have too many of. He
loves his photography, does some freelance and is always looking for
I just made them as a flat piece of fabric but with velcro tabs along
the edges so they can be held together under and around the tripod and
this works quite well. I set up my camera on the tripod in my sewing
room and draped a piece of ripstop over the top and let it hang to get
the measurements.....very technical (not)!!! LOL This was done with
the longest lens I own so it will cover all options and long enough to
cover your hands which will be underneath the poncho.
It could be also be made with 'sleeves' so you can put your hands
inside, but I decided this would be too fiddly and went with more of a
poncho style. I also put some weights (metal washers) in small pockets
on the corners in case of driving rain and winds.
Clear vinyl windows can be inserted but as the three I made were rush
jobs I didn't include these thinking I could do that at some future
time. Just make sure you use a wax stick on any needle holes to keep it
Anything like this will make great gifts for your son, at first I didn't
think mine appreciated (or used) what I made for him but on a recent
nightshoot I was surprised to find he uses them all and when I made
mention he said he wouldn't be without them. He just didn't seem too
excited at birthday time though.
Maybe if you could borrow your son's camera, longest lens and tripod for
a day or so you'll soon get an idea of what's needed to keep them covered.
It would be easier to separate DS from his wife and 2 children than his
The next time I visit I'll ask to see how the panels are working out and
be sure to have a towel in my hand to gauge the size I would need to
cut. The towel might just happen to land on top of the camera and tripod
while we're talking. He always has something set up in his little studio
and is always willing to show off his work. Thanks again for all your