Make a two tone adjustable strap – sewing tutorial

Hello my crafty friends!

In todays tutorial I will show you how I make a two tone adjustable strap that you can add to any bag! This type of strap is best when working with a heavyweight and thick fabric such as vinyl ,faux leather or wax canvas, but you can use any fabric. I bet I am not the only one when I say that my domestic machine is barely able to sew through 4 layers of vinyl, let alone 8 layers once you fold the strap around a D-ring or a swivel hook. Oh, and don’t forget that hugggggeee amount of bulk when you try to feed the strap through the strap adjuster! I am sweating just thinking about it! So what can you do? After many strap failures I decided that method I will show you in this tutorial is the easiest one (for me anyway) to make a nice looking strap, without breaking a sweat or various needles for that matter.

What is so special about this method? Well, the quickest answer is nothing, but the sewing process is much easier when you use a lightweight fabric on at least one side of the strap. That’s it!

Supplies needed

Before you start, decide on the width you want the strap to be. That will determine the size of the hardware and the length of the fabric needed. Whatever width of the strap you need, you will have to cut two strips of the fabric that is doubled the width. For example: for a 2.5 m (1″) strap, cut two strips 5 cm (2″) wide. If you need a narrower strap e.g. 1.9 cm (3/4″) then the strips of fabric need to be 3.8 cm (1.5″) wide and so on.

The length of each strip = the strap length + 10 cm. I usually cut the strips using the entire width of the fabric, which is about 150 cm wide, so the strap will be 140 cm long once finished. When I work with a narrow fabric – 114 cm wide or less, I join two shorter strips to make 150 cm (or longer) strip. I try to avoid this whenever I can, because that adds to the bulk and can produce uneven stiches.

To make a two tone adjustable strap you will need:

  • 2 x strips of fabric of your choice (preferably in two colours).
  • 2 x fusible interfacing (same size as fabric)
  • 2x D-rings or 2x Swivel hooks if you prefer a removable strap (width of the strap)
  • 1x Strap adjuster (width of the strap)
  • 2x Rivets (optional)

Sewing the two tone strap

First, fuse the interfacing to the wrong size of each strips of fabric. This will add some stability to the fabric and prevent the strap from stretching during use. You can skip this step when working with vinyl, waterproof canvas, faux leather etc because those types of materials have enough stability as it is.

On the wrong side of the each strip of fabric, draw a line down the centre.

TIP: Apply a row of a double-sided tape on each side of the line if using cork, faux leather, or vinyl.

Fold the long edges towards the centre line. Press it flat or pin in place.

Open the fold and with right sides facing each other line up the short edges, pin in place and stitch using 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance by half and press to one side.

With wrong sides together line up the folded edges enclosing the seam allowance and pin in place.

Edgestitch the strap around all sides.

Fold one end of the Strap by 4 cm (1.5”), wrap it around the middle bridge of the strap adjuster and pin it and stitch in place at the short end. Optional: install a rivet.

Insert the other end of the strap into a swivel hook (or D-ring). The short-folded edge should be facing down.

Making sure the strap is not twisted wrap the loose end around the middle bridge of the strap adjuster from the opposite side than previously and pull it through.

Fold the loose end of the strap by 4 cm (1.5”) and wrap it around the other swivel hook (or D-ring). Hold it together with a clip. Stitch a box at the short end. Optional: Install a rivet in the centre.

Clip the strap to the bag and off you go!

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