The question we most often get regarding our Kate Bias Top and the Christy Slip Dress patterns, is how to create those barely-there spaghetti straps. We have good news! They are easy to make and we will be showing you how in this post.
There are many tutorials online on how to make straps, but most of them result in a wider and flatter strap and do not achieve the distinctive look of the spaghetti strap. A spaghetti strap can also called a rouleau strap (“rouleau” is the French word for roller or roll). It is made from a very thin and narrow tube of fabric which can also be used for ties, embellishments and button loops. The most delicate strap will be as thin as possible and will keep its rounded shape.
SECRET #1 - CUT IT ON THE BIAS
Start by cutting a strip of fabric slightly longer than your finished strap and 1 ¼ inch (3,2cm) wide on the bias. Whenever you cut a garment on the bias, using the "lost" corners of the layout to cut some extra bias strips is a great idea to make use of your fabric. A width of 1 ¼ inch (3,2cm) is super versatile. You can use the strips later to bind edges or seams, or make spaghetti straps like we are showing you today!
To cut delicate fabric like silk and chiffon, sandwich it between two layers of paper.
After ironing your fabric lay it in a single layer over a first layer of paper, using the edge of the paper to align the selvedge perfectly. Unroll the second layer of paper over the fabric, again carefully aligning the paper edge to the fabric and the first layer of paper.
Dotted pattern paper is great to align the grain and draw bias strips.
Lay your pattern pieces over the second layer of paper. Whenever you have significant “lost” areas, draw 1 ¼ inch (3,2cm) directly on the 2nd layer of paper.
Cut through your pattern pieces and strips through all layers (we promise that your scissors will be fine 😉). Store your additional strips by pinning them together and hanging them close to your sewing machine. They will come in handy more often than you think!
SECRET #2 - DO NOT TRIM SEAM ALLOWANCES
To create the strap, fold a bias strip lengthwise and stitch at no more than 1/8" (3mm) along the folded edge.
Now, this is the most important part of the this tutorial: do not trim the seam allowances. Once you turn, the strap right side out, the seam allowance will fill the tube, preventing stretching and giving it that nice rounded look.
SECRET #3 - USE THE RIGHT TOOL
A loop turner is a thin metal rod with a finger loop on one side and a hook on the other. It’s an inexpensive tool that will make your life a lot easier! Alternatively you could use thread on a tapestry needle but it will be more difficult.
I have spent hours turning fabric tubes with safety pins and needles, and I can tell you that a loop turner is indispensable to make the thinnest straps without blood, sweat or tear!
To turn your strap, Insert the loop turner all the way through the fabric tube and make a small notch about ¼" (6mm) from the end. Insert the hook through the notch.
Pull the loop turner gently, moving and easing the fabric as you go until it is completely turned out.
That was easy right? You can find more tutorials and sewing tips in the resource pages of our sewing patterns. Let us know how it goes if you try this tutorial!