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
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
- Fabric for your purse strap
- Medium-weight Fusible interfacing
- Cotton cording, yarn or strong crochet cotton
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″.
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.
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.
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.
Holding the end of the strap where the cord is attached, gently pull the cord from the other end. The strap should bunch up.
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.
Once pulled through, remove the basting stitches so the cording falls away.
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.
Flip the safety pin so that the head of the pin is inside the tube.
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.
Once the pin is visible at the other end, gently pull the fabric until it is all turned right side out.
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.
And what you end up with is … a simple and perfect purse strap !