Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Beginner's Sewing Tutorial: How to turn straps

This is a really simple sewing tutorial. If you are a seasoned seamstress, feel free to skip this post. But if you are new to sewing, this is an easy tutorial that will save you the pain of figuring this out on your own.

Yesterday, I was working on the Butterick 3477 pattern (I'll post pics soon) when I remembered my first experience making straps. I had no idea what I was doing. I naively thought the pattern would explain the process.

Needless to say, it didn't explain how to do this. All I had for instructions:

1. Fold straps.

2. Sew seam.

3. Turn and press.

It took me way too long to figure out how to do this, so I thought I would save you the trouble. I have a fancy tube turning tool, but I have found that I prefer to use my scissors (carefully!) or a chopstick if the strap is narrow. If you are sewing spaghetti straps, you will need a turning tool to do this.

You first need to fold your strap, right sides together, and press. Sew along the edge opposite of the fold and the bottom of the strap, leaving the top open. Clip the corner of the bottom of the strap to make it lay smoothly, being careful not to clip the seam.

To begin turning, bunch the fabric at the bottom of the strap (which has been sewn.)
Carefully, use your scissors (or a chopstick) to begin gently pushing the fabric up through the strap.

Continue feeding the fabric onto your scissors and up through the strap until you can see the bottom of the strap peek through the hole at the top.

Holding the bottom of the strap, remove your scissors and pull the rest of the fabric down.

Rub the corners to make the fabric lay nice and square. You could use your scissors to help push the fabric out in the corners, but it usually isn't necessary.

Congratulations! You have made a strap. Now press and you're done.


casserole said...

Great tutorial!! Blogged at Craft Gossip Sewing Blog:

kidletsmum said...

Thank you for this very timely tip. I'm of the itended audience-- a beginner about to make straps. I didn't search for you, just stumbled across this post... and I'm set to sew straps this afternoon. Thank you for saving me what would have otherwise been a stressful afternoon!

Sharon said...

Great tutorial. I own those tube-turning thingies and almost always go back to chopsticks or my scissors if I'm too lazy to leave my sewing table. :-)

Kristin said...

Thank you SOOO Much! I am a beginning seamstress, and was a little stuck on how to turn my straps! I googled and found your tutorial and am SO thankful!!!!! You made a tedious process very simple!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Fabulous! Thank you so much :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Quick and likely stupid question-Do I then just sew the open end closed with a regular stitch?

bandit said...

One item that I found to work well is using a knitting needle. If the strap is wide enough I use the flat base to turn it.

nannie+sabree said...

Hi Melissa :) I searched google to find sewing tutorial and turned out I found your blog.. Thanks for the tutorial, it is useful for me.. I will visit next time for more..

Tara said...

thanks for the info! i am a beginner and was working on a project tonight, and wasn't sure how to turn my straps. i found your blog by doing a Google search! thanks again for the great tip!

CreativeMama said...

Thanks for sharing this! i was straining my brain before i found this technique to use for one-end closed fabric tubes!

robert said...

i like this blog...
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