When I designed The Spring Fling Bag I kept the straps on the smaller size for hand-holding or resting on the forearm. But for those who would like to have more options try an adjustable cross-body strap! They are easy to sew, plus it will free up your hands.
Here are my two favorite go-to tutorials for creating various adjustable straps:
- 1. Sew Sweetness – Sara’s tutorial shows you how to make an adjustable strap with swivel clips on both ends. A great tutorial for those of you who would like to remove your strap when you don’t need it.
- 2. Emmaline Bags – Want to try Leather or Faux Leather? I’ve known Janelle for several years now and her tutorials are fantastic. This is one of the best.
If making your own fabric or leather straps are not your thing, try using store bought or recycled items. Go to the thrift store and see if there are old belts you can cut to size. While you’re there, take a look at the old bags. See any with adjustable straps that you could use? Cotton webbing is also a great idea and easy to attach to a bag. Jute webbing is a unique option as well, just be sure to pre/hand wash for shrinkage and color bleeding if it has stripes.
When I make my own straps, I tend to want 1 1/4″ wide finished with a longer adjustable strap. Here are other measurements I tend to use:
1″ Strap: 4″ W x 50″ L (50″ is my preferred length as I am 5’10” LOL) shorten if needed.
1 1/4″ Strap: 5″ W x 50″ L
1 1/2″ Strap: 6″ W x 50″ L
** Note: The strap ends are made the same way your straps are. You will need approximately 3″ in length for each finished strap end.**
To attach the adjustable strap you will need 2 strap ends and 2 D-Rings that measure the same width as your finished strap. To make and attach strap ends:
- Fold finished strap-end in half lengthwise and finger press. Reopen.
- Add D-ring and refold in half, then pin. Stitch along short bottom end to secure ends together.
- Take secure end you just made and move it to back side. (The unfinished end will be hidden when you attach it to the bag.)
- Pin finished strap end to side/gusset. From the *V* (see image above!) Pin in place about 1 to 1 1/2″ down, centered.
- Stitch 1/8″ around all 4 sides, then stitch an *X* in the middle to secure. The top edge will be close to the D-Ring, so make sure you go slow.
- Repeat for the other side and you’re done!
Ideally, you will want to complete these steps while you are assembling the exterior shell of the bag. If you decide to add it at a later time you can as well. Just make sure your bobbin thread matches the bag interior so the *X* mark is not as visible.
I hope this helps you in your bag construction! Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions or tips!