Friday, July 17, 2009

A DIY "Shootsac"

I posted a few months ago about the most beautiful shooting bag I've ever laid eyes on. And it's unfortunate $179 pricetag.

After coming so close to purchasing it one day, I finally decided I just couldn't do it. I'm way too frugal for that. So a few weeks later, I ventured out into the wide wide world to see what I could find. I had done a little bit of online research on how to make a Shootsac-type bag on my own so I had somewhat of an idea what I was looking for.

The reason you're getting all the details is because I promised them to a few people after my bag was finished. And also, I'm so super proud of my accomplishments. Well, okay I'm not that proud. But moving on....

I needed some basic supplies to get started. So first, I hit up the office store.

Neoprene laptop case. Check.

Then I drove to the craft store.

Quilting thread and strapping. Check.

And then I drove home.

Ok, this story isn't entirely true. I bought more things than I needed and actually bought double of everything because I had originally planned to make my bag a little different than what I actually ended up doing. I was going to sew two laptop cases together, giving myself a pocket in the middle for my clipboard or client paperwork. And I was planning to make an adjustable strap for the bag. I was also planning to make a cover for my shooting bag. But those details don't matter. So I'm not even going to tell you about them.

Here's what ended up happening:

First, I sewed three "pockets" into my laptop sleeve. Actually, again...that's not really what happened. I actually tried to sew four but when I reached the 4th pocket, I realized the pockets weren't going to be big enough so I started over. But I'm not even going to tell you about that part.



The laptop sleeves are patterned on one side. I don't really care much for the pattern, so I generally just flip it around and wear it with the black side out. That has nothing to do with my next step.


Next, I sewed on the strapping. I did a pretty terrible job with it because I was kind of in a hurry when I did it. I should really reinforce those, I suppose. You can see how the laptop sleeve had a zipper that unzipped all the way down one side. To remedy this, I simply sewed the strap over the zipper so it can't be unzipped.



I know, I'm so smart.

And finally, I filled the bag with my flash and a few lenses.



And wah-lah! My very own Shootsac-ish bag for about 1/6th of the price of the original! Sure, mine isn't quite as pretty and it doesn't have a cover yet, BUT...I kind of prefer the fact that my bag has a zipper, unlike the original Shootsac. It's a bit deeper than the original, but I have found that that's actually kind of convenient because I can store my extra lens as well as my camera body in it as well when I'm not shooting.

So there you have it! I'm a bit crafty! Oh, and I messed up my sewing machine.

So...not that crafty.


Danielle McCann Photography said...

AWESOME job Heidi!!!

Maybe I should learn how to use a sewing machine and join your ranks! :)

jamiedelaine said...

Wow, I love my Shootsac, but this is impressive. ;)

Sweetwater Photography said...

Brilliant! You're like the Macgiver of photography accessories!

Miney said...

I'm impressed. :)

The Miz said...

This is flippen me out! I soooo wanted a shootsac but I soooo didn't have the money. What a great money saver and it looks fab!

Sandra said...

That's fantastic!

Kim Dalton said...

wondering why I can't view the photos? it tells me it's a private gallery. can you help? Thanks!

Heidi @ Indy Photography said...


The photos are in a private gallery, yes. But the gallery photos are the exact same size as the photos on the blog. Are you unable to see them ON THE BLOG as well or just when you click on them?

Libby said...

I am so doing this! Thank you to you and my 8th grade home ec teacher!!

get an eyefull of this... said...

Can you use a sewing machine or is it better to hand sew? If hand sewing? any particular method?

Cathy said...

Thanks for sharing I thought there had to be a way to make one comparable. At least for starters it beats 179 dollars + .
Did your lap top bag not come with a carrying strap or did you need to add a reinforced strap ?

Cristian said...

Great..great work !

Hi from Romania. i whant to do my own shootsac but I need some information from you: what laptop bag did you buy: 15" or 17".

Thank you !

Mel Lawrence said...

I'm so doing this... well getting my mum to do the sewing ;)

Amanda Wilson Portraiture said...

What a great idea! I love the shootsac, but I totally can't justify dropping $200 on one! I bet you could find a great purse at ROSS or even an inexpensive messenger bag to drop this into :) Thanks for the tip!