Instructables

How to turn a skinny piece of fabric right side out

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Picture of how to turn a skinny piece of fabric right side out
Once you've sewn long enough, you'll start running into the issue of skinny straps and pieces you need to turn right side out. For me this occurs most often when making plushies or straps for bags.

But I've got a super easy way to do it, and it only requires a safety pin!

I've included a video below (with epic FF battle music, because turning a piece of fabric right side out gives me a sense of accomplishment), but I've also included step-by-step instructions. :D


 
 
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Step 1: What you'll need:

Picture of what you'll need:
This trick works with alllll kinds of straps. The particular strap I'm using right now is three inches wide, folded in half and sewn using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

For smaller straps, use smaller safety pins!

Step 2: Insert the safety pin

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Pierce the fabric about 1/2 inch away from the edge - if you're using a smaller safety pin, 1/4 inch is okay. 

Don't insert it right next to your stitch line either - the extra force right there can cause problems. 

Turn the pin around so the head of it is inside the fabric.

Step 3: Gather the fabric over the pin

Picture of gather the fabric over the pin
Start pushing the safety pin through the tube of the fabric to the other side. You'll want to hold onto the safety pin with one hand and scrunch with the other. 

Step 4: Pull on the folded over end to keep it moving

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Once you've gathered enough of the fabric, you'll notice that the gathers at the very end have started to fold in on themselves.

Pull of the very ends of these folds to get that fabric to turn right side out and allow you to gather more fabric on the safety pin.

Step 5: Pull the strap through

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Once you've gathered and gathered and turned at least half of the fabric right side out, it's easy to pull the rest through.

Don't be too rough or you can bust your stitches! Once that's done you're ready to stuff it or press it or whatever else. 

Congrats! You turned a piece of fabric right side out without buying a specialized tool. :D
staida9 months ago
I'm so sorry for the double post. What is that delicious font in the first photo?
staida9 months ago
My guess is that a seamstress traditionally would have had a knitting needle in reach to use for this purpose and I have to imagine that it would be just about the perfect thing.

I have used them, and chopsticks among other long cylinders, to great effect on spaghetti straps, etc. Your method (while it works just the same) seems more difficult, less smooth and would require some ironing almost immediately afterward. It's also a bit violent and I wonder if a sewer with less talent might not rip a stitch out doing that.

(I swear I'm being constructive and benign. My wife says I sound like a jerk all the time but I'm not sure I know how to undo that)
Great tip and awesome video! I've never seen a more action-y sewing video :)