Monthly Mini Sewing Tips: How to narrow wide webbing straps to fit narrow hardware.

The stars do not always align. The square peg does not fit the round hole. Sometimes the perfect webbing or strapping you’ve selected for a shoulder bag or similar project is simply too darn wide for the D-ring or Swivel Hook you really want/need to use. Try this quick Sew4Home trick to bring your wide webbing down to size.


By folding the too-wide strap into a pretty point then wrapping that fold with a thin ribbon or webbing, you get a double benefit: 1) your webbing has been reduced and will now work with the ring or hook you want/need to use, and 2) you’ve added a great accent to an otherwise plain strap.

This clever trick works only on straps that are cut to length. It won’t work for an adjustable strap. For more about making an adjustable strap, check out S4H’s full step- by-step tutorial.

NOTE: The steps below are shown using polyester webbing, on which cut ends can simply be lightly melted to finish. If you are using a cotton webbing, the steps would be the same; you’d simply need to finish the cut ends with a zig zag or similar machine finishing stitch. In addition, you might want to add a bit of seam sealant. And, if using a ribbon for your wraparound accent, you would need to create a tiny hem at each end prior to stitching in place. The photos above show you samples using both a poly-on- poly option as well as a ribbon-on-cotton option.

Cut and prepare the ends of the polyester webbing.

In addition to your main webbing, which should be cut to the finished length required for your project, you also need a short length of accent webbing in a width that will fit your hardware. In our sample, our main webbing is 11⁄2” wide (3.8cm) and our accent webbing is 1⁄2” (1.27cm) to fit a 1⁄2” (1.27cm) Swivel Hook.
The exact length of the accent webbing is really up to your “eye.” We used a
7” (17.7cm) length, which allowed a 31⁄2” (8.8cm) accent stripe on either side. In addition, we clipped the corners of each end prior to melting them to create a rounded finish. This is optional.

With a lighter or match, carefully pass each raw end of the main webbing and the accent webbing through the flame. You don’t need any pyrotechnics; just lightly melt the ends to keep them securely finished.

Create the narrow point
On the main webbing, fold down the corners of one end so they meet in the middle, creating a point. Pin or clip in place.

With the pin or clip still in place, thread a hand sewing needle with thread to best match the webbing. Whip stitch the two folded ends together down the center where they come together.

Once you’ve taken a couple stitches you can unpin/unclip and finish the securing hand stitches all the way up to the point of the fold.

Wrap the accent webbing around the end

Find the length of accent webbing. Start by placing it along one side. As you wrap the accent webbing around the end, you will be covering the spot where the folded corners meet in the middle. Pin in place.

Thread the free end of the accent webbing through your D-Ring or Swivel Hook.

Then wrap the webbing over the point and down the opposite side of the webbing. Make sure the webbing extends the same length on both sides and is sitting in the exact middle of the webbing on both sides. Adjust as needed so the hardware is as close to the point of the webbing as possible. You need just enough room to run a small horizontal line of stitching. Pin or clip in place.

Stitch in place
Thread your machine with thread to best match the accent webbing in the top and bobbin or use a transparent thread, which was our choice.
Make sure you have a new, sharp needle. An 80/12 denim needle is a good choice. Slightly lengthen the stitch.
Attach a Zipper foot to allow you to stitch right along the edge of the accent webbing.
You will stitch along both sides of the accent webbing through all the layers. Go slowly and carefully to insure you are catching both sides of the accent webbing in this one pass. First stitch up one side.
Then pivot in order to stitch across the top, running this seam as close as possible to the folded point of the webbing.

Pivot again and stitch down the opposite side. The excellent feeding systems on Janome machines make this precise stitching easy.

Pivot once more and stitch across the bottom.
Repeat on the opposite end of the strap.
The folded side of the main webbing is considered to be the “back” of the strap, but the narrowed webbing really looks great from both sides.

By: Liz Johnson, Senior Editor, Sew4Home – a Janome Exclusive Studio


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