Last updated on March 2nd, 2023 at 07:44 pm
Learn the Easy Way to Sew and Turn Fabric Straps
Here’s how to sew and turn narrow fabric straps for a dress, purse or other sewing project.
The turning technique may also be used to turn other small pattern pieces, such as the arms and legs of a doll or teddy bear pattern.
An alternative, shortcut turning technique using a small safety pin is also described at the end of the step-by-step sewing tutorial.
- Select and cut the length and width of fabric need for each strap. If you need two straps, make two the same way.
- Make sure the strap fabric is just a little longer than you need. This is because you sew across one end to tether the cording prior to turning.
- Select piping cord, an old shoe lace or other cording that is just a bit longer than the strap.
- Lay this cord on the RIGHT side of the fabric. Fold the fabric over the cord and evenly line up long edges.
5. Sew along the length of the strap with the piping cord on the inside.
Your sewing line will determine the width of your strap so place it according to your needs.
IMPORTANT: Avoid catching the cord in the seam. The cord must move freely inside the strap as you complete the turn to right sides out.
6. Hold the open end of the strap gently in one hand and begin pulling the cord out of the other end. You may need to ease the open end inside itself to begin the turn.
7. The strap will start to gather along the piping cord.
8. Pull the entire strap through itself, until it is right side out. Cut cord free of the strap.
9. Cut off the end of the strap holding the cord.
Prepare Strap for Sewing
10. Prepare strap for ironing.
Slightly wet your fingers then gently rub the fabric back and forth between your fingers to ease the seam to the edge.
11. Pin as you go to keep seam straight.
Pinning keeps the seam in position for ironing, which will permanently set the seam and finish the strap.
11. Iron your strap.
12. Finally, sew the strap to your project, following your pattern directions.
Turning a Fabric Strap with a Safety Pin
In a pinch, a simple safety pin can be used to turn a fabric strap. If the strap is very thin, use a small gold safety pin; if the strap is wider, use the largest safety pin that you can move through the fabric tube.
See video, below, for a quick demo.
Simply attach the safety pin to one end of the strap, with the closed end of the safety pin pointing inside the tube. Use your fingers to move the safety pin through the tube, so that the end of the fabric strap is gradually drawn through the inside.
Once the safety pin emerges from the other side, pull it gently until the fabric is turned right side out.
How to Turn a Fabric Tube Right Side Out: Video
The first method shown in the video below is the safety pin, followed by quick strap turning demos using a tube turner or a loop turner.