But when you're making a long strap, the process of pinning the fabric in place can be frustrating. So, over the past year, as I made straps for the shoulder bags I sell on Etsy, I've perfected a method for covering the webbing tightly and with as little pinning as possible. In fact, it only requires three or four pins.
You Will Need:
Cotton or synthetic webbing cut to the length needed for your project.
Fabric in the color of your choice.
Iron and ironing board
Sewing machine and thread
3 or 4 pins
Step 1: Cut your fabric
For the width, double the width of your webbing and add about an 1-1/16". For this tutorial, I'm using 1-1/4" webbing and a fabric piece that's 3-9/16" wide. It needs to be about 2 inches longer than your webbing.
For best results, make a pattern and cut it out. Your pattern is basically a long rectangle. I've attached a pattern for 1/2", 1", and 1-1/4" webbing in PDF that you can print out and cut it to the length you need. You can also easily draft your own with a pencil and paper.
If the strap is especially long, you can make your pattern half the length of your final strap, and then either fold the fabric and use the pattern to cut both layers, or cut two pieces and sew them together on one short end.
Step 2: Sew the Fold Line
(In this photo, the stitch has already been made. Note the position of the needle and the edge of the fabric.)
Step 3: Fold the Hem
If your fabric has a printed and a blank side, do this step with the printed side down on the ironing board. If you stitched two pieces of fabric together to cover your strap with, make sure the rough side - the side of the fabric with the seam allowances - is also facing up.
Press the fold flat.
Step 4: Finish the Hem
You now have a finished seam on one edge of your fabric
Step 5: Attach the Webbing
If your fabric is printed, place it on top of the webbing print side down.
Using another straight stitch in the left positon, stitch the fabric to the webbing. Use your hand to line the edges of the fabric up as you work.
(You can also do this stitch with the needle set to the middle position, if you feel like you need more wiggle room in your stitching.)
Step 6: Finish the Ends
Fold the ends of the fabric down over the edge of the webbing. Line up the fold so that it makes a 90 degree end to the fabric, pin, and stitch. Do this for both ends.
Step 7: Start Wrapping
Step 8: Finish the Wrap
Step 9: Sew the Wrap Closed
Before you finish the stitch, check to see if any webbing will stick out from the end, and trim it down if so.
Step 10: Make it Pretty
Attach the strap to hardware - such as buckles and rings, or stitch it to your bag. You can use it wherever you would use webbing!