Do you love the look of rolled handles on designer handbags? Here is a tutorial to make your own and give your bags a more professional look. These handles take very little time to make and don’t require any special materials or supplies. To make these handles, you will need a non-fraying material such as cork or vinyl. Please make sure the backing fabric does not fray at the cut edges. Felt backing is usually a good choice. A woven backing fabric usually tends to unravel and should be avoided.
There are 2 components to these handles:
1) The strap connector portion which is used to attach the rolled handle to your bag. Each strap connector is wrapped around a 1” rectangle ring.
2) The rolled handle which attaches to a strap connector at each end.
WS = wrong side
RS = right side
WST = wrong sides together
RST = right sides together
Let’s get started!
NOTIONS AND SUPPLIES:
(4) 1″ rectangle rings
(2) 16″ pieces of 3/8″ diameter cotton cording or flexible plastic tubing
Double-sided tape (optional)
Coordinating heavy weight thread
Coordinating fabric marker/paint or Edge Sealer
***Rivets or Chicago Screws
***Please note that you will need to be comfortable setting rivets or using Chicago screws for this tutorial. Here is a link to assist with this. (courtesy of ChrisWDesigns).
TEMPLATE AND PATTERN PIECE:
Download the following file: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IME0BYUCOIjJCYZaqNcCqBJQREJwnR0z
Print out in Adobe Reader at “Actual size”. Cut out both pieces.
From a non-fraying material such as cork or vinyl, cut the following pieces:
Handle end pieces:
(4) 2.5″ W x 3″ H
(8) 2.25″ W x 4.5″ H
Using pattern piece provided, cut (2) on the fold
PREPARING THE STRAP CONNECTORS:
- Take your 8 pieces of vinyl/cork for your STRAP CONNECTORS and separate them into sets of 2. Spread a thin layer of glue on the WS of one piece for each set. Make sure to apply the glue evenly, but not too thick. Then glue the sets, WST. Set them aside to dry. It helps to place a heavy flat object on them while they are drying.
2. For each set, use your STRAP CONNECTOR cutting template and draw the shape of your connector using a fabric pen. Use a pair of very sharp scissors to cut out your STRAP CONNECTOR.
3. If you have edge sealer or a fabric marker/paint, you can apply it to all raw edges. If you wish to use rivets on your connectors later on, transfer the two marks on to one side of your STRAP CONNECTORS.
4. Slip the strap portion of your STRAP CONNECTORS through a rectangle ring, apply some fabric glue to the strap portion then fold over onto itself. Use a clip to hold in place until the glue is dry.
ATTACHING YOUR STRAP CONNECTORS:
- Switch to your Janome Ultra Glide Foot if using a stickier material or your Janome Straight Stitch foot .
- You will want to attach the strap connectors to the exterior panels of your bag BEFORE you sew them together.
3. Take two STRAP CONNECTORS and apply some fabric glue or double-sided tape to the WS.
4. Find the center of your bag’s exterior by folding it in half and making a mark at the top center edge. Then place your STRAP CONNECTORS so their centers are 3.5” from that center mark. You should measure exactly 7” between the centers of each STRAP CONNECTOR. You’ll also want to leave at least 1” of space between the top edge of the bag and the STRAP CONNECTOR.
5. I am using an upholstery weight thread so I’ve threaded my machine following the heavy weight threading guide on my HD9 Professional.
6. I’ve also set my needle to remain in the down position. This helps when rotating at corners.
7. Sew your CONNECTORS in place starting with a straight line beneath the rectangle ring, then rotate and sew along the rounded edge of the CONNECTOR, going slowly, with a 1/8” seam allowance.
8. Backstitch at the end or pull your top threads towards the WS and tie off on the WS of your bag’s exterior. Place a piece of tape over the knot to make sure it doesn’t come undone.
9. Add rivets to your STRAP CONNECTORS if desired using the marks provided on the cutting template.
SEWING YOUR ROLLED HANDLES:
- Take one ROLLED HANDLE piece and apply a THIN layer of fabric glue to the WS of the end ONLY as shown in the photo. Make sure you get the glue right to the very edges.
2. Glue a ROLLED HANDLE END PIECE at each end, WST, with the inside shorter straight edge placed about 3/4” where the straight edge begins. Place something heavy on top until the glue has dried.
3. Use a very sharp pair of scissors and cut away the excess END PIECE using the shape of the ROLLED HANDLE as your guide. Apply edge sealer or fabric paint to your raw edges if desired.
4. Before continuing, punch out the hole for rivet placement on the ROLLED HANDLE pattern piece and mark the location of the rivet on the RS of both ROLLED HANDLES.
5. Turn your ROLLED HANDLE so it is WS facing up. Draw a horizontal line through the centre. Place a strip of fabric glue about 1” wide along this centre line, making sure to spread it everywhere in a thin layer. The glue should not be too thick or you may damage your cork/vinyl.
6. Place a 16” long piece of cording along the centre line, gluing it in place.
7. Fold your ROLLED HANDLE in half, lengthwise and clip the raw edges together. Let glue dry. Use your Janome Adjustable Zipper Foot attachment and sew from one edge to the other as close to the cording as you possibly can, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end. TIP: If you are making your rolled handles out of sticky vinyl, you can try putting scotch tape under your zipper foot to help it glide better. Sew slowly to get nice even stitches.
8. Trim your seam allowance close to the stitching, about 1/8” seam allowance. Apply edge sealer or fabric paint to your raw edges.
9. Slip one end of your ROLLED HANDLE (the 1” strap portion) through one rectangle ring. You want the WS of the ROLLED HANDLE to be facing up. Fold over the strap portion and punch out the rivet hole through all the strap layers and set your rivet. Repeat this step to attach the 3 remaining strap portions of your ROLLED HANDLES, making sure your handles are not twisted.
PS Some of you have asked: what bag pattern was used? It is a modified Water Lily Tote by Blue Calla Patterns (see this link) but you can make rolled handles for any of your favourite bag patterns. Ed.
Wasn’t this wonderful tutorial? Our thanks to Celine of Blue Calla Patterns for sharing her expertise with us. Hint: make sure you bookmark this post although it does get saved in our janomelife archive where you can find it later when you make rolled handles for your bags…..my fingers are literally “itching” to make another bag now! Ed.