Question: How To Sew A Shoulder Strap For A Handbag?

Easy DIY Tote Bag Sewing Project

Join me as I navigate my sewing machine to make my own bag, which includes tips on how to attach straps to a tote and how to choose the right fabric for the project.

Easy DIY tote bag project & how to attach straps to a tote bag

Since 2015 is right around the corner, I figured I’d get a head start on my resolution by completing a simple project. My grandmother was a seamstress, and she still sews, so I had exposure to sewing in school. Since 2015 is right around the corner, I figured I’d get a head start on my resolution by completing a simple project.

If you want to make one yourself, here’s what you need:

I bought one yard of fabric, figuring I wouldn’t need it but figuring I’d mess something up if I didn’t get it right the first time, and ended up using more than I anticipated.

Step 1: Measure and cut the fabric

You’ll need two large rectangles for the bag’s body and two long, thin strips for the handles; I used measurements of 20 x 15 inches for the two body pieces and 38 x 2.5 inches for the strap pieces.

Step 2: Pin and sew the tote bag body

After you’ve sewn the three sides shut, trim the excess fabric from the seams and turn the bag inside out, it should look like the second photo below.

Step 3: Poke and press the tote bag corners

Poke a sharp pencil, a knitting needle, or the end of a round pen into the inside of each corner, then iron to flatten the seams on your newly created strapless bags.

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Step 4: Sew a French seam

The next step is to make a french seam, which will give your bag a clean look around the edges; this is optional, but I think it adds a nice touch. When you’re done, it should look like the next two photos in this step-by-step guide.

Step 5: Hem the opening of the tote bag

Simply fold down the top part of the bag about an inch all the way around, pin or sew the fold in place, then sew one straight line around the entire opening, trimming the excess fabric from your seam.

How to attach straps to a tote bag

The most important part of a DIY tote bag is the body; the second part is making and attaching the straps, which isn’t difficult but requires a little more attention than the body. Here’s how to make tote bags with fabric straps instead of plastic.

Step 6: Create the tote bag straps

Fold each of the long sides of one strap on your ironing board/pad, then fold it in half and sew it shut using a straight seam down the entire length of the strap. Repeat with the second strap.

Step 7: How to attach the straps to the bag

To attach the straps to the tote bag, place your tape measure along the top (opening) of the bag and make small markings on the inside of the bag to indicate where to sew in your straps. Sew the end of each strap onto the bag with a straight stitch.

How long should a shoulder bag strap be?

Shoulder straps are typically 30 inches long and are used to carry bags under your arm and close to your body; this is a popular length because the strap can also be used as a top-handle for other bag styles, such as totes.

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What can I use for purse straps?

I always use medium weight woven interfacing (Pellon SF101), and I sometimes add a thin strip of fusible fleece or ByAnnie’s flexible foam interfacing to the inside of my straps to give them a little more padding.

How do you attach leather straps to wood?

Hold the straps in place while drilling a small pilot hole through the leather into the wood. Attach the leather handles to the trays with bronze screws to match the aged look I was going for. I attached the screws to the end of one of the trays and the top of another to give them some variety.

Can you wear a crossbody bag on one shoulder?

A crossbody bag is designed to travel across the body in a comfortable but straight line from one shoulder to the opposite hip, with the strap usually resting between the breasts for women.

What is the strap drop on a handbag?

The “drop,” or distance between the middle of the strap (where the purse lands on your shoulder) and the end of the strap, which is usually located at the top of the bag’s body, is determined by the overall length of the strap.

How do I keep my bag from falling off my shoulder?

The Purse Gummy concealed strips adhere to the underside of virtually any shoulder strap, preventing the bag from slipping off the wearer’s shoulder as they go about their day!

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