How To Make Adjustable Strap - For Any Bag!

How To Make Adjustable Bag Strap. Love sewing bags? Let's make it even easier! Here's an easy to follow step by step tutorial for how to sew an adjustable strap for any bag. Do you want your bag to change into a crossbody bag like this one in a moment? Or shorten the strap to sling it over your shoulder? You can do it all with this diy adjustable strap tutorial.
How to make adjustable straps for bags

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A bag that has an adjustable strap is so much better than those with a fixed-length one!

Not all bags come with an adjustable strap, but it's such a handy thing to have on a bag! Imagine the many times would like to wear your bag across the body, to keep your hands free! And other days, when you'd like it to keep it simple and short over one shoulder. With an adjustable strap, just change the length, so it suits all your needs!

Let me show you how easy it is, and I bet you'll always want to make all your bag straps adjustable! Here's the how-to.

How To Make Adjustable Straps For Any Bag - Tutorial

This tutorial is meant for the strap width of 1 1/4 inch (32 mm). If you want another width, adjust accordingly. 


You'll Need:


How to make adjustable straps for bags
  • bag hardware: 2 rectangular rings (width 1 1/4" = 32 mm)  and  1 strap slider adjuster (width 1 1/4" = 32 mm)
  • a long strip of fabric, at least 53 inch long
  • fusible woven interfacing

FABRIC CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS

You'll need these pieces:

OUTER FABRIC:
- cut a long stripe: 53" long, 5" wide (= 134.5 cm x 12.70 cm)
- cut two pieces for side strap tabs: each 2 3/4" long, 5" wide (= 7 cm x 12.70 cm)

INTERFACING:
- use stiff, fusible woven interfacing
- cut a long stripe: 52" long, 2.5" wide (= 132 cm x 6.3 cm)
- cut two pieces for side strap tabs: each 2 3/4" long, 2.5" wide (= 7 cm x 6.3 cm)


ALTERNATIVELY, you can use ready-made cotton webbing: length 60", width 1 1/4" will be the same as the fabric measurements above (for my metric-countries friends, that would be 150cm x 32 mm)

Sewing Instructions:

These instructions are split into 4 parts, to make it easier for you:
A) Make the SIDE STRAP TABS
B) Make The LONG STRAP, and 
C) Attach the SLIDER
D) ATTACH ADJUSTABLE STRAP TO THE BAG

How to make adjustable straps for bags
1) First, let's apply interfacing:

- to the middle of the entire long outer fabric stripe
- to the middle of the side strap tabs (mind the direction of the interfacing pieces! – see the image)

2) MAKE SIDE STRAP TABS

For each side strap piece, do this:

adjustable bag strap
- First press both unlined edges towards the center and then
- Fold the tab in half along the center. Press again.
adjustable bag strap
These are the two pressed stripe tabs. You'll finish one short end on each of these.
Unfold the center fold and re-fold it inside-out – see the image:
adjustable bag strap

Stitch over the short end, using the 3/8" (=1 cm) seam allowance.
adjustable bag strap

Trim the corners to reduce bulk and turn right side out and press. Now you have this:
adjustable bag strap

Repeat on ONE short end of the OTHER stripe tab.

adjustable strap tutorial

Fold the stripe tab through the rectangle ring, leaving the unfinished edge hidden behind the finished edge. (See the image?)
adjustable strap tutorial

I usually baste stitch to keep the fold in place.


Now it's time to attach the side strap tab to the side of a bag. No matter how it is constructed, you want to attach the tab to the side, so the top part with the hardware is on the bag level or a bit higher.
adjustable strap tutorial

Get ready for bulk. Stitch slowly, pivot at corners.

You will notice that I only stitch a rectangle when there is a lot of layers to sew through. The seam is strong enough, but if you prefer, you can do it the 'envelope style' (see below)


Repeat with the other tab. Attach the second one on the other side of the bag side seam.

B)MAKE THE LONG STRAP

adjustable strap for bags

•First press both unlined edges towards the center and then
•fold the strap in half along the center. Press again.

adjustable strap for bags

You should have a long narrow stripe measuring 1.25″ (=32mm)
adjustable strap for bags
Now we'll finish the short ends: unfold the center fold and re-fold it inside-out – see the image.
Stitch over the short end, using the 3/8" (=1 cm) seam allowance.
adjustable strap for bags
Repeat on the other short end of the bag strap.

adjustable strap for bags

Turn both short ends right-side-out. Then topstitch first along the open (and pressed!) long edge, all the way to the end of the long stripe. Repeat the topstitching on the other long side.

add slider to strap

This is the finished strap. Now you'll add a few pieces of hardware to make it adjustable.


C) Attach the SLIDER


Attach the metal slider adjuster to one end of the strap:
add slider to strap

Place the slider adjuster 'right' (front) side down, and the strap should be placed with the outer side facing down, too.
bag slider strap

Thread the end of the strap around the middle bar of the tri-glider.


bag slider strap
Stitch in place, using the 'envelope-style' seam. Or you can simply stitch a rectangle to secure the end of the strap.

See the next image to learn how to form the 'envelope-formed' seam.

diy adjustable strap
How to stitch:

-Start at the green dot
-Follow the steps 1-7
-End at the red dot.


D) ATTACH ADJUSTABLE STRAP TO THE BAG

You've already got the metal slider adjuster on one end of the strap. Place the stripe so that the fabric fold is visible from the top of the stripe.
How to make adjustable strap

(1)Now, grab the other, free end of the strap, and guid it through one side strap tab on the bag.
(2)Guide it through the slider.
(3)Feed it through the other rectangular tab on the other side of the bag, from the bottom.

diy adjustable strap
Your free end of the strap now just needs to be attached to the side tab on the bag. Fold it ...

…and stitch in place.
diy adjustable strap

How to stitch:
How to make adjustable strap

  • Start at the GREEN dot
  • Follow the steps 1-7
  • End at the RED dot.


Congrats! You've just learnt how to make adjustable straps for any bag you want!

Save For Later, so you keep the tutorial at hand for whenever you need it:
How to make adjustable straps for any bag you want! Easy sewing tutorial for bag sewing, this adjustable bag strap tutorial will help you make your sewing projects - your own bags - look better.



Damjana


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