While it is easy to purchase pre-made straps from craft stores, sometimes giving your project a personal touch makes all of the difference.

In this tutorial we will show you how you can put together your own Bag Straps to finish your project off perfectly.

First of all we will show you how to make a very simple fabric strap and then we will show you how to make a more advanced strap and add a PVC strip to smarten it up.  This type of strap is featured in our beautiful Patchwork Handbag pattern.  https://sewswpea.com/collections/bag-applique-patterns/products/patchwork-handbag-applique-and-bag-pattern

Let's get started!

Start with your selected fabric and fuse a light interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric.

We have used a piece of fabric 43/45cm (17/18") long x 15cm (6") wide and our interfacing is 7.5cm (3") wide (approximately).  You can choose your own dimensions depending on the bag you are making the strap for.

Fold both edges of the fabric to the centre and press with an iron.

Now fold your strap in half and press. 

Next stitch a topstitch down both edges of your strap.  You can stitch any distance really from the edge but for this strap we topstitched about 6mm (1/4") in from the edges. 

You have now made a simple strap.

Make two of these and your bag will look wonderful.

If you are looking to make some handles similar to what we have on our Patchwork Handbag pattern we are about to show you how.

We have used a strip of PVC, which looks like patent leather on our handbag to give it that little something extra.

Like our previous straps we will start with your choice of fabric and some iron on pellon.

Using our Patchwork Handbag pattern, the fabric for these straps were cut 43/45cm (17/18") long x 8cm (3") wide (approximately).

The iron on pellon is about 43/45cm (17/18") x 4cm (1.5") wide.

Place the pellon into the centre of your handle fabric, with the sticky side of the pellon facing up. Having the sticky side up will ensure the seam sticks to the glue of the iron on pellon.

Fold the fabric over the pellon to the centre of the strip and carefully press the fabric onto the pellon.

Tip: Do your best to keep this central, and try your best not to touch the iron to the sticky side of the pallon as the glue will stick to your iron face.

If you get a bit of glue on there, just give this a quick wipe off and keep going. The glue should come off easily. You don't want that to mark your straps.

Meet those two raw edges in the middle, press all the way to the end and you will have the basis of your strap.

The pellon inside the strap adds to the sponginess in the strap, making it a little more comfortable to carry around.

Now we will add our PVC flourish to the strap. You could use PVC or an accent fabric, lace or whatever you would like to use to add a little something extra to your bag.

We have chosen PVC as it looks a little like Patent Leather, and it will add additional strength to the strap.

The PVC is 6cm (2.25") wide by 43/35cm (17/18") long.

To start with place a piece of double sided sticky tape in the centre of your PVC strip.

 

We have chosen to use double sided tape as this PVC material is very easily marked with an iron. So rather than risking marking this beautiful material with heat, peel off the tape and then press the PCV into the centre of the strip.

Fold each edge of the PVC in half way to meet in the centre.

It's important to butt these edges together.

Then with the warmth of your fingers, finger press along the length of the folded PVC strip and ensure that the material is flat to the double sided tape and joined at the centre.

Do this on each side of the PVC strip.

Now that you have both the basic bag straps and your embellishment strip ready, place the PVC on top of the bag strap with both seams facing each other.

This will mean it is going to be seam on seam, the join seam of the PVC and the join seam of where you have used the iron on pallon for our fabric.

Now we are going to get to the stitching.

Depending on the material you are going to use for your bag strap you may have to change your foot.

As our PVC sticks to everything, especially the foot of our machine, we have had to change our foot to a teflon foot.

Warning: Some people like to use these clips to keep their material together when sewing. Be careful as to what you use as these have little teeth and can mark your materials.

This isn't the worst thing in the world, as you will be sewing over this, however it is just something to be mindful about.

Next stitch a topstitch down both edges of your PVC to stitch your strips together. 

We have used a longer stitch (3.5-4mm) with an ordinary thread.  

You can stitch any distance really from the edge but for this strap we topstitched about 3mm (1/8") in from the edges. 

Tip: If you would like to use something to hold these two together you could lightly spray base the base of the PVC strip or a thin piece of double sided sticky tape. This will stick the two strips together well enough.

Congratulations.  You have finished making your new bag straps!

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