This tutorial is my tried-and-true way to make a flat adjustable spaghetti strap. I promise it will fill your heart with joy and your dresses with adorable tiny straps.
What you'll need:
- 44-48" fabric
- Thread to match your fabric
- A 12mm bias tape maker (or bigger, if you're doing a wider strap)
- A ruler
- Two 1/4" rings and two 1/4" sliders
- A hand stitch needle
- Your trusty sewing machine
A couple of tips before you start:
First: These instructions are for barely-there 1/4" straps. Slider rings usually come in 1/4", 1/2", 5/8" and 3/4", so you could do any of those widths instead. Your finished strap width will be 1/4 the width of your fabric strip, so just multiply your desired finished width by 4 to figure out how wide you should cut your fabric. For instance, if you want a 1/2" strap, you should cut a 2" wide strip of fabric, since 1/2 x 4 = 2".
Also: Yes, you could totally just make straps, measure them, and attach them to your dress without any rings or sliders. I did it that way for a long time. But cotton and most other fabrics stretch over time, so even if this dress is just for you, you'll want to be able to adjust your straps at some point.
How to do it:
First, cut a 1" strip across the width of your fabric. (If you're making wider straps, see the note above - you'll need a wider strip.) Make sure you're cutting across the grain and not on the bias - we want as little stretch as possible here.
You should have a nice long strip that's 44-48" long and 1" wide.
Use your bias tape maker and an iron to turn this strip into single fold bias tape. If you don't have a bias tape maker you can totally do this part manually. It'll just take a bit longer. And maybe burn your fingers a little. (Bias tape makers are like $6 from Joanns. Just sayin.)
Fold the bias tape in half and press. You should now have a teeny little 1/4" strip with all raw edges conveniently hidden on the inside.
Stitch down the center of the strip to close it. Oh, what is that? A bias tape maker? Seriously you guys, if you make a lot of straps and bias tape, these little guys are pretty indispensible. But I digress. ;)
Now, cut your long strap perfectly in half, so that you have two straps, and then cut a 2.5" piece off of each strap. Now you have two long straps and two little guys. This is so that you can put rings and sliders on your strap.
Locate your 1/4" rings and sliders. See those rings? Those are going on the short strap pieces.
Fold your shorties, press them, and put the rings on them.
Now, take one of your sliders and thread a strap through it.
Attach the little guy like this.
Now go back up through the slider in the same direction you went before, but, like, INSIDE the strap. This is a little fiddly, since there's already a strap there. Use a pin to pull the strap through if you need to.
The end you've been working with is in the middle. Now you just want to fold that end up and attach it to the part of the strap that's on the inside of the slider. Here's the fold. See how it's folded toward the piece it'll be attached to?
And here's the stitching. I usually hand-stitch here, since my machine gets angry when I try to sew something so small on it. If your machine is less finicky, go for it. Machine sewing FTW!
Whatever you do, though, just make sure you're sewing the correct two pieces together. You can test this by sliding the slider to adjust the strap. If the slider moves, you're doing it right!
And you're done! You'll attach the shorties to the back of your bodice and the long strap to the front.