Friday, April 10, 2009

Convertible strap tutorial

Did someone mention convertible straps? Detachable straps? Here's a little how-to...

1. It doesn't really matter what form it takes, but first you need to attach a loop or ring to the inside of the bag. You can use a small four-fold strap (follow the directions for the strap below or see this button loop tutorial).

The loop can go between the lining and the facing...

or on the lining itself...
2. It's important to make sure (before you attach the lining or facing to the bag) that the loop or ring can be hidden away inside the bag when it's not wanted. When the bag is finished you must also remember to anchor the seam allowances of the lining to the seam allowances of the bag. This will stop the strap from pulling the the lining out.

3. FOR THE WRIST STRAP - Measure and cut a straight grain strap that is four times the width of the strap that you need. Make it long enough to double over your wrist and the swivel hook - with a little room for movement.

4. Fold the two outside edges in to the centre of the strap
TIP: I use a 25mm bias tape maker.

5. Fold the strap in half again - sandwiching the outer edges inside.
6. Topstitch several lines through all layers to flatten the strap.
7. Loop one end through a swivel hook.


8. Stitch the folded end back to the main strap.
HOT TIP : Use a tailors awl to hold in the raw ends of the strap as you sew. If you don't have a tailors awl... well, you'd better go and get one! They're like the small pointy finger you need when you can't get your normal finger under the presser foot to hold things in place. If you're really stuck for one you can use an unpicker or a darning needle.... but really - if you intend to make a lot of straps, the few dollars an awl will cost you is a worthwhile investment.
9. Fold under the other end of the strap and press it.
TIP: Pressing will help it to stay put (one less thing to try to control) while you sew.
10. Stitch the folded end of the strap over the top of the raw end, encasing all of the raw ends (USE THAT AWL!!!).

11. You can either stitch very neatly or use the subtle art of disguise on the join of your strap. A vintage button..
or a yo-yo works a treat.....
And don't forget you can also add a purse chain as an optional extra. Use pliers to prise apart the last links in the chain and close them around a swivel hook at each end.

Enjoy the versatility of your new purse!

14 comments:

Becky said...

clever! :)

casserole said...

Great tutorial! I posted a link on Craft Gossip Sewing Blog:
http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-sew-a-convertible-strap-for-your-purse/2009/04/10/
(Link will be active April 10, 1:00 pm CST)
--Anne

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Oh this is fabulous Nikki! I have a few oversize clutches that would be perfect with a strap, thanks! I'll be linking to this post.

Mal* said...

thank you for your generous teaching

My Black Cardigan said...

I am continually amazed by the time you put into your tutorials Nikki. You are incredibly generous with your time and knowledge. Thankyou.

My Black Cardigan said...

Hey Nikki.... About making that 3.. don't wait too long because I think a '4' would be worse!!

Katherine said...

Great tutorial, Nikki. Love all those great sewing tips, too.

Janelle said...

I LOVE your idea for using the bias maker. I have never even heard of that before. Making straps is a pain, now I'm excited about going it. Thanks for your tutorials. They're awesome!

Carolyn (addtwist) said...

What about using a chopstick or pointy metal skewer instead of a tailor's awl? Hmmm!

Thanks for the tute!

Tase said...

Thanks for this Nikki; the finish on your bags is beautiful

Lindsay said...

Excellent - thank you!

secret cake said...

So helpful!! Thanks very much :)

NennyS said...

Thank you for the tutorial. It really is very good one! ^_^

Robin (RsIslandCrafts) said...

Wonderful tutorial! I would love to know how to add a zipper to a purse like the pink one above. Is that one of your patterns?