Saturday, 26 September 2009

How to: attach a bag strap slider

Wow, I can't believe I've been on maternity leave for 1 week already! As you can probably tell from the length between posts, I've not quite got the hang of the lady of leisure thing and have been crazily busy! However, I've finally finished the last minute preparations and will hopefully have more time to put my feet up and relax a bit next week...

...oh who am I kidding? I'll be spending the week sewing like a demon, trying to get as many bags as possible made before The Bean arrives!

Anyway, one of the things on my to-do list this week was to finish off the nappy/changing bag I've been making for myself from the Butterick B4560 pattern (btw there's a really useful review on the SewChic blog). It's a pretty big messenger-style bag with loads of pockets of assorted shapes and sizes.

The pattern is great, but I wanted to make the strap length adjustable - a few of my new-mum friends have said that having a long strap is essential for hanging over pram handles, but then you need to be able to shorten it for carrying over your shoulder. So, I bought 2 1/2" bag rings and sliders from one of my favourite suppliers on Etsy - 3D Pattern Paper - and merrily whipped through the pattern instructions, adding the strap loops and rings to the sides of the bag instead of a fixed length handle.

All pretty straightforward - but then I got to the bit where I needed to attach the extra long strap I'd made to the slider and then to the strap loops and ended up in a MASSIVE pickle! It took me ages to work out which bit of strap to thread through which big of metalware and in which order! Once I finally had it worked out I realised how easy it is! Maybe I was suffering a bad attack of baby brain and it would be immediately obvious to people with normal levels of spacial awareness, but I thought I'd write a short tutorial to save anyone else an hour of frustration and naughty words!
So, here goes:

Step 1: isn't really a "step" but more of a starting point. I'm assuming that your bag body is all made-up and you have strap loops with bag rings attached to the side of your bag as per the picture below. You also have a long bag strap made-up and ready to attach.

Step 2: Take one end of your bag strap and thread it through the slider as shown. Note - in this instance the top side of the strap is patterned and the underside is plain.
Then, once you have pulled the strap through the slider, fold the end over and stitch it down with the back sides together. I stitched the end down in a box shape for extra strength.
Step 3: Now pull the end of your strap without the slider attached through one of the bag loops on your bag.
Step 4: Keep hold of the end of your strap and thread it through your slider again, like so....
Steps 5 and 6: Next, still keeping hold of the unattached end of your strap, thread it through the second bag loop...
... and finally fold the unattached end of the strap over (back sides together) and stitch in place close to the bag loop, as per the picture:
All done! Your strap should now be securely attached and perfectly asjustable! If it sounds really straightforward, well that's because it is!!!


  1. Awesome tutorial and simple directions! I love that bag!

  2. not really a comment just a question i am making this diaper bag lol i laminated my fabric and i have it all cut out now im stuck i am very new to this sewing thing lol okay after u cut all your patterns out do you start by sewing all the seam allowances first then do your sewing or do u just do seams as you go i have no clue what im doing but i love doing it please help



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