Over the last few weeks, I have been working my way through the Sidekick Mini Suitcase pattern, sharing any extra tips that didn’t make it into the pattern directions, and answering questions. The printable pattern and complete directions for the suitcase are available for purchase here.
Today in the sew-along, we make the suitcase handle!
This method of strap-making is a mash-up of techniques a la Amy Butler and The June Bride. No frustrating tube turning, or ugly lumpy corners here. I used this method to make all the straps on my Mommy Poppins bag and the recent clutch wallet. They look sharp and stand up to daily-bag-use abuse.
The Mommy Poppins Bag
Shoulder Straps – Corduroy, backed with interfacing, stabilizer insert
Cross Body Strap – Home Dec fabric, fleece insert
The “Well Suited” Pleated Clutch Wallet
Cross Body Strap – suiting, backed with interfacing, no insert
Wristlet – quilting cotton, backed with interfacing, stabilizer insert
How to Make My Favorite Bag/Purse Strap
We start with the Handle piece (backed with interfacing).
This method of strap making is adaptable to any size. Use the following dimensions:
Length = [finished length] + (2 x [seam allowance])
Width = [finished width] x 4
Fold it up as you would to make double fold bias tape. (Fold in half length-wise. Press. Unfold and bring long edges to the center. Press. Then, fold in half length-wise again.) Press.
Now, unfold that last (center) fold and re-fold it inside out.
Sew both short ends.
See how this makes two pockets?
We take our Handle Stabilizer piece and tuck it inside one of those pockets.
The width and length of the insert is the same as the handles finished width and length. Use Peltex for a stiff handle, fleece for a soft one, or no insert at all for a lightweight handle.
Trim the seam allowances on the sewn short ends to reduce bulk.
Turn the handle right side out, with the stabilizer still inside its pocket.
Poke out the corners, press, and pin.
Top-stitch the edges (which also closes up the opening).
Isn’t it pretty?
(back to the sew-along)
To finish up our sew-along today, sew the handle to the canvas Side piece. (More details included in the pattern directions.)
I just sewed squares on each end, but you might prefer the traditional X-ed box.
Finally, switch to our canvas-matching thread, stay-stitch the bottom edge of the Side, and sew the short ends together.
That’s it for today! See you Wednesday.