How to Make an Adjustable Bag Strap – easy and free sewing tutorial
Making your own adjustable bag strap is easier than you think. And doesn’t cost very much either! Let me show you how to sew your own (or convert an already made) adjustable bag strap using one simple piece of hardware: a tri-glide slide.
UPDATE: This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The blog post below is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $2 is totally optional.
Since tri-glides are so inexpensive, it’s actually more cost effective to make an adjustable purse strap and then attach it directly to your bag’s d-rings than to use swivel snap clips.
But of course, if you like to switch bag straps regularly, then it makes sense to use both a tri-glide slide and swivel snap clips to make the ultimate bag or purse strap that you can move from one bag to another!
I don’t plan to switch out the strap on this little bag (my Triple Zip Bag from a free pattern) so I sewed short tabs with d-rings attached into the sides of the bag. Then I attached my 1/2’’ adjustable strap directly to the d-rings.
This cute 1’’ strap has both a tri-glide slide and a swivel snap clip. That means it can be attached to d-rings and removed as needed.
When buying hardware, make sure that all of the pieces match the size of your strap. Above you see a set of 1’’ hardware and 3/4’’ hardware, two of my favorite sizes.
I recently bought a big set of tri-glide slides (all different sizes). It was a great find – good quality and excellent value.
I also made a list on my Amazon Storefront for Bag Hardware that includes lots of pieces that I have either bought before or I would trust.
1. To make your adjustable bag strap, start by sewing the strap. You might want to see my free sewing tutorial for making any size strap (not adjustable).
Keep in mind that your adjustable bag strap will need to begin with a strip of fabric that is 25% to 50% longer than your desired finished strap length – to give it that ‘adjustability.’
Start by piecing together a strip of fabric 4 times as wide and 25% or 50% longer than your desired strap width and length.
Sewing the pieces together at an angle will make a strong, smooth strap.
2. Fuse interfacing to the back of the fabric strip (I like Pellon SF101 for this).
It’s okay to use scraps of interfacing if you place them close to eachother before fusing.
3. Fold the strip in half, press.
Open and fold the long edges to the inside, press.
Fold in half again, and press.
4. Topstitch along both long edges, 1/8’’ from the edge. A walking foot works marvelously for this step.
5. Thread the strap up and down through a triglide slide of the same size. The end of the strap should extend about 1 1/2’’ past the slide.
6. Fold the end of the strap back against the wrong side of the strap. Tuck the raw edge under and clip in place.
7. Sew a square to secure the end of the strap with the raw edges tucked inside.
8. With the top (right side) of the strap facing up, thread the strap down through the d-ring on the bag (or through the opening on the swivel snap clip).
Pull the strap through until you are about 12’’ away from the triglide slide.
9. Thread the end of the strap through the triglide over the end that is already sewn on.
… through both openings.
10. Finally, thread the free end of the strap up through the opposite d-ring on the bag (or another swivel snap clip). Tuck the raw edge under and sew the end of the strap to itself.
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