Make the Strap Closure
We will need:For this step we will need the strap (contrasting fabric) and 1" polypro strapping.
We will also use these tools:
- Sewing machine with 1/4" foot
- Pins, fine-point
- Quick Turn Fabric Tube Turning Tool or 20" strip of selvage fabric
- Large safety pin
- Hemostat gripper
Objective:We will make a long fabric tube into which we will insert the 1" strapping to give it good body, stability, and strength. We'll turn the ends to the inside on one end so that we have a finished edge when we attach the strap to the organizer.
We will cover two methods of turning the fabric tube. Method 1 uses a selvage strip and Method 2 uses a turning tool. Each of these methods is a terrific technique to have in your bag of tricks, so let's get started.
Method 1: Turning the Tube Using a Selvage StripFor this method you will need a selvage strip that is at least 20" long and ¼" to ½" wide.
TIP: Most sewists know to remove the selvage edge from fabrics before cutting pieces for a project. We do this because the selvage edge is much more tightly woven so it shrinks at a different rate than the rest of the fabric. Leaving the selvage strip on the fabric can result in unsightly puckers when the project is completed.
Because of their strength, selvage strips are perfect to use as a turning tool. I keep a bag of selvage strips in my sewing supply bucket so that I always have a strip close at hand.
I particularly like to use this method of turning a strip when I have a long strip. For shorter strips, I usually use a turning tool (Method 2).
1. Begin by laying the selvage strip in about the middle on the right side of the strap, leaving at least ¼" extending beyond one end.
3. Pin along the length of the strip to secure the layers.
4. Stitch along the short end to secure the selvage to the strip. Make sure that the selvage strip is extending a bit beyond the strap.
5. Pivot at the corner and stitch an accurate ¼" seam all the way down the long edge. TIP: A stiletto helps to hold the fabric in place as you stitch.
6. Press seam open. TIP: Rather than position the seam in the middle of the strip and try to press it open (which results in pressed creases on each side which can be hard to remove), I just position the strip on my ironing board and press one side of the seam open. Easy!
7. Turn right side out by pulling on the selvage strip.
8. Cut off the end of the fabric tube to remove the selvage strip.
TIP: Watch a video tutorial of this method at my website:
Make a MiPad Case: Make the Carrying Strap
9. Proceed as directed below to complete the strap.
Method 2: Turning the Tube Using a Turning ToolFor this method we will use a turning tool such as a Quick Turn Fabric Tube Turning Tool. This method is especially good for smaller straps and handles and is SO easy and quick to use.
1. With right sides together, fold the fabric strap in half lengthwise. Pin along the length of the strip to secure the layers.
2. Stitch along long edge with accurate ¼" seam. TIP: A stiletto helps to hold the fabric in place as you stitch.
3. Press seam open. TIP: Rather than position the seam in the middle of the strip and try to press it open (which results in pressed creases on each side which can be hard to remove), I just position the strip on my ironing board and press one side of the seam open. Easy!
4. Select the appropriately-sized plastic cylinder. For this size tube, we used the largest cylinder which is for ½" (or larger) tubes. Slide the plastic cylinder into the fabric tube until there is about 1½" to 2" of fabric extending beyond the tube on the end.
5. Fold fabric end over cylinder. With round end of corresponding wooden rod (either end of metal rod), push fabric end into the cylinder while sliding fabric tube over cylinder.
6. Continue sliding fabric along tube until turned tube end comes out of the cylinder. Note that on longer strips it may be necessary to gather the fabric tube on the cylinder to see the turned end.
7. Pull on fabric end until entire tube comes out of the cylinder. Rod will remain in the fabric tube.
8. Use rod to push out corners. If necessary turn around rod and use pointed end in corners. Remove rod when finished.
9. Proceed as directed below to complete the strap.
View the steps to turn a tube using the Quick Turn Tool in our latest YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0-Wja2JAWo
Completing the StrapOnce the fabric tube has been turned right side out, the steps for completing the strap are the same.
10. Press, placing seam in center of back of tube.
11. Fasten a large safety pin into one end of an 18” piece of 1” polypro strapping.
12. Pull strapping into tube, being careful to keep the seam allowance centered on one side and to keep the strapping and fabric from twisting.
13. Smooth the fabric over the strapping and use the hemostat gripper to adjust the strapping in the tube so that there is about ½” of fabric extending beyond strapping on each. Smoothly turn the raw edges of the fabric to the inside on one end.
14. Remove the safety pin and topstitch the strap along all edges about ⅛” from the edge. Beginning stitching on the end with the raw edges, stitch along length of strap.
Pivot at end and stitch across end to secure folded edges.
Continue stitching along other long side of strap to raw edge at short end.
Pivot and stitch across short end; clip threads. Set strap aside.
NOTE: Strap will have finished edges on one end and raw edges on the other end (these will be caught in a seam).