Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A tutorial (at last!): Corded rouleaux straps

Rouleaux is a bias-cut tube, used to make things like shoestring/spaghetti straps or button loops on lingerie or evening wear. If you fill the tube with cord (that's piping cord), you get a strong, rounded strap that can turn a hand-held purse into an easy-to-carry wristlet.

There are instuctions for making this type of strap in my Teardrop Purse, Evening Bag and Clutch patterns. The new purse pattern will also include instructions.... but I know that some people need a few more visuals on this one, so I've decided to demonstrate it in colour and with the odd moving picture show.....
1. You need to cut a bias strip that is wide enough to wrap around the piping cord and leave 13mm (half inch) seam allowances on either side. You will need a piece of piping cord that is twice the length of the bias strip.
Note: For this particular 6mm piping cord, I've cut a 4cm (I think that's an inch and a half) wide bias strip.

2. Starting at the halfway point on the cord, fold the bias strip around the piping cord, with the right side of fabric facing inward. 3. Stitch the end of the folded bias strip securely to the cord at the halfway point. (Reverse and sew forwards a few times - you don't want this to come undone).

4. Using a zipper-foot (and a small stitch) on your sewing machine, stitch along the side of the cord to join the two raw edges of the bias strip.
NOTE: Don't sew so close that you risk catching the cord in the stitches. 5. Ok.... this is where we need moving pictures. Watch this!
(... ahem.. if you feel like it).


6. Snip off the uncovered cord and the stitched end of the bias strip.

7. Pull the last 1-1.5cm (half inch) of cord out of each end and trim the cord off.
8. Hold onto the cord and give the rouleaux a gentle stretch over the cord. (It's at this point that you'll notice if your stitch length is too long or your tension too tight!)
9. Squash (or unravel) the ends of the cord within the rouleaux tube to flatten them.

10. Sew the cord into the seam of a purse at the point where the cord is squashed. Don't trim the empty ends (they're needed to stop the strap from fraying).

Hey, look! You've made a corded rouleaux strap!

***

PS. I dug out a huge roll of upholstery piping cord from my pouffe-making days. I'll be selling it off at 50c + GST per metre until it runs out. It's PERFECT for corded straps!

***

PPS. The fabric in this photo was designed by the uber-talented Sarah Arnett from the UK. The purse is made from scraps from her 2009 clothing range. EDITED TO ADD: I've been in contact with Sarah, and we may be seeing some yardage here soon!!! Woot!!!

12 comments:

meri said...

Thank you, Nikki!
Great tutorial.

Holly said...

Very impressive! Will try to store that somewhere in my brain for when I need it. Many thanks!!!

Fiona said...

Great tutorial, Nikki - wish I'd had it when I attempted these straps (not very successfully!) last year!

Esther said...

Thanks that explains how to do it very well indeed and I love the scissors !

Rocio said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial! I will use it, for sure!

Fer said...

Who knew it could be that easy! Thanks Nikki!!

Dorothy said...

How clever using utube for that great demo. Haven't done one of these for years. Can't wait to try it now with some of your clever hints.

Vegan said...

Great tutorial! Thank you for the video!

aracne said...

I always wondered how to do it without too much trouble! Thanks a lot for this tutorial.

leslie said...

Thank you! Your site is lovely! I'm new at this, any suggestions? www.etsy.com/shop/levansrn

Cennetta said...

Great tutorial. Thanks.
C

Holly said...

Very clever - thanks so much for posting this!