From Beth: Lisa’s back, with this variation on her first tutorial for a basic strap style. Enjoy!


For a variation on the basic strap style, cut the fabric at least 5″ (no less, but you can do it wider if you want). Because the strap will eventually be sewn up folded length-wise, to reduce bulk, I always cut the interfacing a bit narrower. The formula I use is this: For a 5 inch wide fabric strip, I divide it by 4, which comes to 1.25″ and subtract that from the total width. So for a 5 inch strip, you want a 3.75″ strip of interfacing. For a 6″ wide strip, you want a 4.5″ wide strip of interfacing, and so on. Fuse.


Sew strap as you normally would for the basic style. Then I generally mark off 2″ from either end, but you could do more if you want a wider tab.


Fold in half lengthwise and stitch down the edge, following the previous stitching line.


At the ends for extra reinforcement, I backstitch crosswise between the 2 side stitching lines.


Your completed straps.

Here’s another bag making tip I use: I like to quilt my fabric before sewing into bags, because sometimes I find after the bag is completed no matter how well you fuse the interfacing, the fabric tends to pull away underneath, or wrinkle. Quilting the fabric generally avoids this, and also lends a more substantial feel to it instead of feeling “crispy”. What I usually do is fuse the interfacing first then, using a Hera Marker (a plastic tool used by quilt makers to crease and indent the fabric), I indicate a grid pattern on the fabric. Then I pin batting underneath that, and quilt it. You don’t need a walking foot on your sewing machine for this because the interfacing stabilizes the fabric and the layers won’t shift. Plus the interfacing first really makes for a smooth looking finished product.