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Part 4 – Get a handle on sewing with Clover Create-a-Strap

Part 4 – Get a handle on sewing with Clover Create-a-Strap

by Michael Smith

We’re getting close to the end of the list of 10 time-saving products and notions which will help make bag-making quicker and easier.

Yesterday, I highlighted how useful Clover Fork Pins are when pinning is necessary. I also shared how very useful the markers on the Clover Wonder Clips are SEW useful for a variety of reasons!

Today, Clover takes the spotlight yet again with another super-cool, super-useful, time-saving product – I’ll keep you in suspense just a moment longer, lol!

If you’ve been following along with me all week, you know that my favorite tote bag pattern is The Everyday Tote by Elaine Theriault for Northcott, which is one of the many FREE downloads from the Northcott website. By the way, I must share that Elaine’s instructions for making handles are fantastic! Super simple; no problems at all.

However, not all patterns are as well written as Elaine’s, so see if the following handle/strap-making technique sounds familiar.

Stitch fabric right sides together to create a tube, then turn right sides out. Sounds simple, right? Until you actually try to do it! In the past, I struggled to turn it right sides out; try turning it over my ruler or the blades of my scissors. I’d flick the fabric tube all around hoping centrifugal force would flip it right sides out. Finally, after an eternity, it would be ready to press, but then I’d struggle to get the edges turned out evenly so the strap would be a consistent width.

Well, those days are gone when you follow the instructions in the packaging of the Clover Create-a-Strap. This is another of my favorite products to use when constructing bags as it’s such a time-saver and the results are consistent and professional every time.

Get a handle on it!

Available in two sizes, the instructions are super easy – just 3 steps to a perfect strap! Cut the fabric to the specified size, press the Clover Create-a-Strap onto the fabric, then press along the perforated lines. Voilà! Perfectly even, consistent width whatever the length of your strap.

Making straps and handles for bags are a BREEZE when using the Clover Create-a-Strap, which is available in two widths 1″ and 1¼”.

Press along the perforated lines of the Clover Create-a-Strap for perfectly even straps done in a flash!

Clover Create-a-Strap creates consistently even straps quickly and easily.

Now for the fun bits. You can either make two straps and stitch them wrong sides together so that no raw edges are visible or, you can do as the instructions suggest and cover the raw edges along the center of the strap with decorative trim or braid. In the photo below, I used grosgrain ribbon in a contrasting color, which adds a splash of color and an interesting, original design feature.

Contrasting grosgrain ribbon stitched to the backside of the strap adds a splash of color and a unique designer touch

Another alternative to finishing your strap is to use one of the many decorative stitches on your sewing machine. I hear it all the time, “my machine has so many decorative stitches, when do I use them?”

In the photo below I used one of the many heirloom stitches on my machine to add a decorative element to the strap, but it also secures and covers the raw edges which have been pressed to the center of the strap, so it’s functional, as well.

Use one of your sewing machine’s many decorative stitches to embellish and finish off your Clover Create-A-Strap

Alternatively, you could simply press the strap in half and stitch down the long edge so there’s no visible raw edges and you’d get a different effect with a narrower strap, as pictured below.

The strap on the left is the standard 1″ strap created by using the Clover Create-A-Strap. The strap on the right has simply been folded in half to create different size and look

This would be a great strap width for a casual shoulder bag, or smartphone case. Sew many possibilities, which is why the Clover Create-A-Strap is on my list of 10 super-useful, time-saving products and notions for quick and easy bag-making.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to read about my last two products! The final countdown is on!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Part 3 – In quilting notions, Clover is my lucky charm

Go to part 5: Part 5 – Why Chaco Liner and UNIQUE Sewing Jumper are indispensable notions

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