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2 ways to create an adjustable shoulder strap

In this tutorial, we will look at two methods to make adjustable straps for your hand sewn shoulder bags. The two techniques we will discuss are :
– the use of an adjustment buckle
– the use of a set of snaps

As I’m personally not a big fan of adjusting buckles, I prefer to use snaps to create an adjustable strap on the Suricate bag or fanny pack (as seen in the photo). If you are interested in this pattern, find the pattern 👉 here).

Shopping list

With adjustment buckle

    • A commercial strap or one made from the fabric of your choice
    • A ring (rectangular or half-moon)
    • An adjustment buckle
    • A lighter or fray check glue

With snaps

    • A commercial strap or one made from the fabric of your choice
    • A ring (rectangular or half-moon)
    • Several male and female snaps
    • A pair of pliers to apply the snaps
    • A pointed tool to pierce the strap
    • A lighter or fray check glue

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Preparation

On an adjustable shoulder strap there are two ends: one is fixed and the other is adjustable.
To make the fixed part, follow the instructions of the pattern.
You also need a loop that is directly connected to the bag and on which a ring is attached. Follow the instructions in the pattern to make these loops. 

On the Suricate bag there is a loop on each side.

On the Suricate fanny pack, there is only one loop.

If you use a commercial strap, burn (polyester) the ends of the strap or apply fray check glue (cotton) depending on its material.

If you prefer videos 👇

I show you in this short video how to:
1 – sew the ring to the buckle
2 – sew the fixed part of the strap to the ring.

All this for the Suricate bag.

If you prefer videos 👇

I show you in this short video how to:
1 – sew the ring to the buckle
2 – sew the fixed part of the strap to the ring.

All this for the Suricate bag.

Realisation

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Adjustment buckle

1. Fold the strap on itself for 1″. Stitch.

2. Pass the end of the strap that you have just sewn into the adjustment buckle.

3. Pass the other end of the strap through the ring (located on the loop attached to the bag) from the inside to the outside.

4. Go back through the adjustment loop (in reverse order to step 1).

5. Go through the adjustment loop one last time.

sangle3 (1)

6. Stitch the end of the strap sewn in step 1 against the part of the strap first passed through the buckle (see photo).

Here is the final result.
Assemble the fixed part of the strap to the bag according to the pattern instructions.

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Snaps

1. Pass the strap through the ring.

2. Determine the different lengths you want to be able to adjust (2 or 3).
Place a pin at the ring for each of the desired lengths. You will have some slack, this is normal.

3. Position the strap so that it is the longest length. The marker pin should be at the level of the ring.

4. Measure 4″ of slack between the ring (the pin) and the end of the strap. Cut off the excess. Burn the end.

5. Fold the strap over itself. Stitch. Fold again (so that there is no raw edge). Stitch.

6. Place a female snap 0.6″ under the last seam. Female part towards the inside of the strap.

7. Place the pin of marker 1 at the ring, position a male pressure opposite the female pressure.
Repeat for the other markers (one female snap for several male snaps, one for each desired length). 

And there you have it, an adjustable strap with snaps!

Do you prefer the adjustable buckle method or using snaps to create an adjustable shoulder strap instead? Tell us in the comments! 

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