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Old 10-20-2012, 08:11 PM   #1
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Question Easiest way to make straps for bags??

Hey Crafty Mamas (& maybe a Papa or 2)-

I'm making some canvas library bags/diaper bags to sell but can't figure out the most time efficient way of making the straps for the bags. Any ideas???

I am ordering a 2" bias tape maker tool but once that's folded in half, I just don't think an inch is wide enough. Am I right? Wrong?

As of right now I've been just doing it by hand but jeesh, it's beating me up doing it like that!!! PLUS, sometimes the ironing and lining up is a tid bit off and doesn't look professional.

Any crafty people out there that make bags that would be willing to divulge their secret would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!

Feel free to PM me if you don't want to put your secret way out here for all to see.

Thanks in advance!!!
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:06 PM   #2
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I just don't think there's an easy way to make bias tape by hand. I don't like doing it either!! did you consider just buying some kind of cotton strap material? I think 1.5-2" would be good depending on the size of the bag. Sorry if I'm not being very helpful. Good luck!
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:09 AM   #3
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It doesn't have to be on bias. Use your rotary cutter.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:58 AM   #4
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Re: Easiest way to make straps for bags??

The fastest way to make straps is to buy cotton or nylon strap/belt material. Joann keeps theirs with the rope by the yard. Then you cut and add it to the bag. If you want to make it out of the fabric you are using for the bags, just cut a strip 2x as wide as you want + a half inch to make 1/4in seam allowance. Sew wrong sides together, turn right side out and press with your iron. That is all you have to do, but I would suggest topstiching at least on the seam side (I usually topstitch both sides) as it makes the strap lay flatter and look much better. If your bag is out of quilting fabric, your handles will feel a bit flimsy with this method, but will likely work fine for a small library bag. If it is out of a heavier fabric, they will work great no matter the size of the bag.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:59 AM   #5
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Re: Easiest way to make straps for bags??

You can also encase the canvas strap material in a sleeve of matching fabric
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:59 AM   #6
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Re: Easiest way to make straps for bags??

You can also encase the canvas strap material in a sleeve of matching fabric
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:06 AM   #7
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Re: Easiest way to make straps for bags??

Sort of related (although I don't know that I would do this for straps) I also saw the coooolest sewing machine foot that makes bias tape. I've never seen one in person, but on some random PBS sewing show, they used the foot attachment to make bias tape in an instant. If you were going to be using a lot of bias tape and wanted to make it out of matching fabric, I would totally look into one of those. And then please let me come over and play with it?

ETA: This particular attachment actually folded the fabric for you AND stitched to the other piece of material. You basically cut your bias strip from fabric, then thread it in flat - from there the attachment folds it up for you and sews it down to the fabric underneath, or just sews it to itself.
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Last edited by emeyer76; 10-21-2012 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:49 PM   #8
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Re: Easiest way to make straps for bags??

@ Rachel- OMG!!! DUH! Such an EASY way to do this. Thank you all SO much for the suggestions. I'm going to try Rachel's way and see how it will hold up to a pile of books in the bag.
I think it will work great!
I'm going to leave this thread open for when I try it and post a couple pics if some Mamas want to see how it works out using this method.
YEAH!!! I love DS Mamas!
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