How to Sew and Turn a Simple Purse Strap

Posted by LindaM | February 18, 2015

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How to Sew and Turn a Simple Purse Strap

One of the most common aspects of making your own handbag, purse or tote, can also be one of the most frustrating; the simple act of turning a purse strap or fabric tube inside out.

You could use a special tool such as a tube turner, however if you’re anything like me, you can never find them when you need them. I’m all for taking the easy way out, so here’s two super quick ways to get the job done.

How to Sew and Turn a Simple Purse Strap Method #1

Using a piece of strong cord, yarn or thick crochet cotton

How to sew and turn a fabric purse strap tube

I keep various bits of yarn and cord in a variety of thicknesses depending on how wide my fabric tube is, and I keep them rolled up in little balls in my sewing accessory tray so they are always handy when I need them and they don’t take up much room.

And this method is SO easy.

What You Need

Instructions

Note: This tutorial is for a 1″ finished width purse strap. You can adjust the measurements to suit your needs.

Cut a strip of fabric and a strip of fusible interfacing 2-1/2″ by the length of your strap. Following the manufacturer’s directions, iron the fusible interfacing to the fabric strip.
Cut a piece of cord slightly longer than the finished length of your strap by about 3″-4″.

How to sew and turn a fabric purse strap tube

With the right side of the fabric facing up, baste stitch one end of the cord about a quarter of the way in along the short edge of the fabric strap.

How to sew and turn a fabric purse strap tube

Fold the right sides of the fabric strap together lengthwise, making sure the cording is tucked close up against the fold so it doesn’t get caught in the stitching, and sew a 1/4″ seam.

How to sew and turn a fabric purse strap tube

When you’re done sewing the seam, the cording should be basted securely to one end of the strap and extend out the other end of the tube.

How to sew and turn a fabric purse strap tube

Holding the end of the strap where the cord is attached, gently pull the cord from the other end. The strap should bunch up.

How to sew and turn a fabric purse strap tube

Once it’s bunched up a bit, carefully pull the cording so that the other end begins to pull through the inside of the tubing, and it should now be quite easy to pull it completely through so the right side is facing out.

How to sew and turn a fabric purse strap tube

Once pulled through, remove the basting stitches so the cording falls away.

How to sew and turn a fabric purse strap tube

How to Sew and Turn a Simple Purse Strap Method #2

Using a safety pin

Attach a large safety pin to one end of the strap opening approximately 1/2″ down on the opposite side of the seam.

How to Sew and Turn a Simple Purse Strap

Flip the safety pin so that the head of the pin is inside the tube.

How to Sew and Turn a Simple Purse Strap

Push the pin through the tube. As the tube begins to bunch up, gently pull the fabric at the bunched up end and keep pushing the pin till it comes out the other end.

How to Sew and Turn a Simple Purse Strap

Once the pin is visible at the other end, gently pull the fabric until it is all turned right side out.

How to Sew and Turn a Simple Purse Strap

Top Stitch

Once the strap has been turned right side out, you can topstitch the purse strap.

Tip: For a really easy way to get a perfectly straight topstitched edging, use a stitch-in-the-ditch sewing machine foot and nudge the sewing machine needle over to the left a little. The center guide of the foot is perfect for positioning the edge of the strap and ensuring that your topstitching is straight and even. For topstitching, use a long stitch length. I like a 3mm length.

How to sew and turn a fabric purse strap tube

And what you end up with is … a simple and perfect purse strap !

How to sew and turn a fabric purse strap tube

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6 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips. I find that after awhile the strap get mushed up. It doesn’t stay flat and tidy with use. What do you do about that? Someone suggested that I put a layer of batting in the center of the strap and not turn it inside out. They said they sew the seam down the center back enclosing the batting with in. I’d be glad to hear what you do in this case. I don’t want the strap to be too thick though.
    Nice chatting with you.
    CindyRQuilts

    Reply
    • Cindy you could try batting but I find that gets mushy too after a while, although a combination of interfacing and batting could work, but for a crisp, firm strap I use a double layer of heavyweight interfacing; something like craft fuse; this works fine for me.

      Reply
  2. Great tutorial. I have those tube turners and always end up more frustrated with them …. not worth the effort. Never thought of using cording. Thanks for the great ideas and tips.

    Reply
    • Yes, those tube turners are forever getting lost; still not sure where mine are.

      Reply
  3. Great tutorial. I usually use this method when I am using decorator fabric. I find that the turning tools do not work with thicker fabrics.

    Reply

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