How to make an adjustable strap

June 9, 2016

An adjustable strap not only looks professional, it will also make your bag more versatile! You can carry your bag over your shoulder or lengthen it to wear across your body. You can add an adjustable strap to any bag that has a single strap that is attached from one side of the bag to the other.

 What you will need:

An adjustable strap set which consists of 2 x 5 cm (2") Rings and a 4.5 cm (1 13/4") slider buckle.

(These are available in antique gold and silver from my website)

20 cm of fabric for the strap. Finished strap width is: 4.3 cm (1 3/4")

15 cm of medium weight iron on pellon for inside the strap.

(I like to use pellon to make a soft comfortable strap)

 

 

Cut the following:

Fabric: Cut 2 x 5.5 cm (2 ¼”) strips, cutting across the fabric from selvedge to selvedge, trim both strips to a length of 107 cm (42”) Strap tabs: Cut 4 pieces, 5.5 x 15 cm (2 ¼” x 6”)

Pellon: Cut 2 x 5.5 cm (2 ¼”) strips for the straps and tabs, cutting across the width.

 

Iron the fusible pellon onto the wrong side of 1 of the straps and 2 of the strap tabs starting and finishing the pellon 6 mm (1/4”) away from the short ends to reduce unnecessary bulk. As the pellon is not long enough for the strap, make the required length with an extra piece and simply butt together before ironing. Set the iron to cotton and steam. Do not iron directly onto the pellon as it will stick to the iron, therefore, iron with the right side of the fabric facing up and the pellon underneath with the glue dots facing the wrong side of the fabric. (Test a sample piece first).

 

    To make the strap tabs, place a piece with pellon and a piece without pellon right sides together. Sew around all 4 edges with a 6 mm (1/4”) seam allowance leaving a small opening on one long side. Clip the corners to reduce the bulk and turn through to the right side and press. Top stitch around all 4 sides of the tab, sewing 3 mm (1/8”) away from the edge. This first row of stitching will close the opening so there is no need to hand-sew. Sew another row of top stitching that is 6 mm (1/4”) in from the first row. Make up the other tab in the same way.

    Attach a metal ring to the end of each tab. To do this, thread the tab through the ring, fold the end over the ring by 3 cm (1 ¼”) and pin in place. Stitch across the end of each tab twice, sewing on the previously sewn rows of top stitching, reversing at the beginning and end of each row of stitching to firmly secure.

     To make the strap, place a piece with pellon and a piece without pellon right sides together. Sew around all 4 edges with a 6 mm (1/4”) seam allowance leaving a small opening in the centre on one long side of the strap. Clip the corners to reduce the bulk. Turn the strap through to the right side using a thick knitting needle or chop stick as indicated in the diagram.

    (Check out my how to turn straps the easy way tutorial)

     

    Top stitch around all 4 sides of the strap, sewing 3 mm (1/8”) away from the edge. As with the tab, this first row of stitching will close the opening so there is no need to hand-sew. Sew another row of top stitching that is 6 mm (1/4”) in from the first row. Thread one end of the strap through the centre bar of the buckle. Fold the strap over the centre bar by 4 cm (1 ½”) and pin in place. Stitch across the end of the strap twice, sewing on the previously sewn rows of top stitching, reversing at the beginning and end of each row of stitching to firmly secure

    Referring to the pictures attach the strap to the tabs in the following way; Place 1 tab with the right side facing up. Thread the free end of the strap through the ring with the wrong side facing up.

    Next, thread the free end of the strap through the buckle.

     

    Finally, thread the free end of the strap through the other tab and stitch in the same way as instructed for the first tab.

    Make your bag up completely and then attach the adjustable strap to opposite side edges of the bag sewing through all layers of the main fabric, interfacing and lining with multiple rows of stitching. (This is a nice secure way to attach a strap)

     

     

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