Hello bag makers, we have a fun tutorial for you! Do you ever make bags and find that the premade webbing feels a little rough on the shoulder? This tutorial is for you! Check out the steps below to make a custom strap shoulder pad to make your crossbody bags more comfortable!
What you need:
- 2 pieces of fabric for top/bottom – I’m making it for a 1inch strap so my pieces are 2″ x 6″ (5cm x 15cm)
- 2 pieces of fabric for “straps” – 4″ x 2″ (10cm x 5cm)
- 1 piece of foam – same size as top/bottom fabric 2″ x 6″ (5cm x 15cm)
- 2 pieces of lightweight interfacing – same size as top/bottom fabric 2″ x 6″ (5cm x 15cm)
- Bias tape (note that I switched from black to blue during the tutorial)
Before we begin, here are some tips. You can make this for any strap width you’d like. To make this for a wider strap add 1″ (2.5cm) to the width of your strap for your top and bottom pieces. A 1.5″ (4cm) strap would be 2.5″ (6.5cm) wide fabric. You can also make this any length you would like! Lastly, for the smaller sizes (1-1.5″ (2.5cm-4cm) straps) use a smaller bias tape width. If it is too wide, you will struggle with the small curve. My blue bias tape in this tutorial was cut at 1.25″ (3cm) wide and it was perfect.
For the straps that hold the shoulder pad to your strap, follow these steps:
Take each piece and fold it in half with the wrong sides together, matching short sides. Press. Open it out and fold each side into the middle. Press. Re-fold straps and press well. Topstitch using a 1/8” (0.3cm) seam allowance. Set aside for now.
Take your interfacing and fuse it to each long piece of fabric. Fuse the foam to the piece that will be the bottom side, for my shoulder pad, it’s the polka dots. The bottom side is the side that will sit against your body.
Take the two pieces and place them wrong side together.
Using something circular, draw a curve at each short end and cut out both at the same time. If it’s hard to do both together, cut one and then trace onto the other and then cut.
Clip the layers together and baste using a 1/8” (0.3cm) seam allowance.
With the top side facing UP (the side you will see when wearing) place your small straps on top. They should sit 1.25″ (3cm) in from each end. Bast them in place along your previous stitching.
Take your bias tape and clip one end in place. Stich your bias tape in place using a 1/4″ (0.6cm) seam allowance. You will start sewing 1″ (2.5cm) away from the raw end of the bias tape. Don’t clip all of the bias tape in place, hold it as you go and ease it in place as you sew.
Make sure as you sew that your bias tape isn’t bunching. Using a seam reaper helps keeps things smooth as you go around the curves. If you have trouble with the curves, check out this video by Berry_Birdy on Instagram for sewing bias tape on curves!
When you get close to the end, stop about 1.5″ (4cm) away from the beginning raw edge. Cut the long edge short. Fold the starting edge 1/4″ (0.6cm) down and place the top end on top, sew in place.
This is what your bias will look like once sewn down.
Take the bias and fold it around towards the back. Don’t worry if it seems a little wrinkled, the next step will smooth it out.
Fold under the raw edge of the bias tape and press it in place. Do this slowly around the curves so that everything lays flat.
At this point, you can hand stitch it in place or sew it by machine. If you are sewing by machine, clip it in place all the way around. This ensures that your bias tape is sitting on your basting stitching and keeps it hidden. Topstitch using a 1/8” (0.3cm) seam allowance ON TOP of your bias tape. Make sure that you open the Wonderclips completely as you sew when you remove them so they don’t move the bias tape out of place.
Go slowly around the curves as you stitch as it can be a wee tricky! Use a thread that matches your bias so that it blends in. I used black for the tutorial so you could see it.
Slid onto your bag strap and you are good to go!
This strap shoulder pad is so versatile and can be made in so many different colours and sizes! It’s perfect for the leftover scraps from making your bag or just to use up your scraps!
We hope you found this little tutorial fun! When you make your next bag with a strap shoulder pad, make sure to pop over to the Andrie Designs Patterns Facebook Group and share it with us there!
The Little Bird Designs