Straps / handles

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    Hi Richard

    I am doing an oval bottom drawstring bag for this assignment.

    The approximate size is :  bottom 6″ by 10″  and 11 ” in height.  Looking at the design I am thinking that narrower straps would look better than the wider straps I usually use.

    I was thinking of no more than 1/2″, ideally less.

    The plan is to make it in vinyl, but I am not sure the way I have been shown so far works very well with the vinyl and when I played around with the narrower straps they seemed too bulky.  My machine goes through the bulk just fine its just the aesthetics I am not so sure about, they seem too ‘heavy for the bag’.

    I think Ive got 3 options:

    Put up with the bulk,   use fabric  or  find another way of to do the strap, which is my preferred option

    I was also planning to make the drawstring as a smaller version of the strap, though I can work on using something else for that if need be.

    I’m sure you’ll have some suggestions!






    Hi Wendy.

    We would be able to help you more if you could post the sketch of your bag.

    If the bag has a single long strap, it will be hard to turn and get a clean edge. A shorter strap will not need a stay.

    I suggest that the width of your straps should at least be the same as the width of your foot. It will keep the foot at an even level as you top stitch.

    Keep in mind on how you can reduce bulk especially in the areas where it loops around d-rings or buckles or even if the ends of the strap are inserted into the seams.

    This is how I dealt with the bulk of the wristlet strap that I made out of pig suede. I clipped the corners.

    Clipping to reduce bulk

    It is only 14″ long by 1 1/8″ wide. The finished width is 5/8″ wide. The short ends have a 3/8″ seam allowance. So once everything has been turned and folded, the ends are not as thick:


    I hope that it will help you move forward.


    One thing you can do depending on what type of vinyl is to skive away the backing.This will also allow you to make a thinner strap.


    Thank Adona, thats really useful,  off to have another play.


    Thanks as well Richard,  again I will give it a go


    Another question re straps

    The Bontex Iam using isn’t long enough for the strap length so I am going to have to join it.  do I do this by butting the 2 lengths up or is there something else I should do?



    I find if I need to join bontex  I do it with a butt join but the ends are angled // rather than square on .


    Thats great thank you Bonnie


    I am not a fan of joining strap pieces because I need them to be strong to carry the bag.

    Instead, you might want to consider some other design options like adding hardware to join the pieces.

    – buckles

    – ring-chain-ring-leather strip-ring-chain-ring patterns




    Thanks for your suggestions they are really helpful.

    Fortunately the exterior fabric is long enough to make the whole strap in one, but I will store these ideas for future reference.

    One question though, does butting the Bontex make the strap weaker?

    Thank you again



    I completely missed that you were asking about Bontex. Sorry!

    I don’t think so. However, since Bontex is being used to make the strap behave accordingly, that butted portion may affect the way the strap will bend. I suggest you test it out first.



    thought you might have missed it!

    I will definitely be playing around with it for a while, fingers crossed it will work.  I am hoping  cutting on the diagonal like Bonnie suggested will help the strap to behave hw i want it to.

    Thank you


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