How to line straps for dungarees – tutorial.

How to line straps for dungarees.

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to line straps for dungarees. I am using the Mary pattern to show the technique.

This technique might be useful to line dungaree straps if you are using a bulky fabric such as heavy weight denim, corduroy or any fabrics that are difficult to turn through if the full strap is made of this fabric only. This method reduces the thickness of the strap so you are still able to turn the strap through.

This technique isn’t limited to only dungaree straps it could also be used for other straps for bags or belts. As well as the practical element it makes a decorative finish too. The Mary dress pattern has a lined bib to finish the upper edge. For this dress I used a turquoise stretch denim and lined the bib with Michael Miller quilters weight cotton. I used the same fabric to line the straps.

Prepare the pattern:

1. Trace the strap pattern in your chosen size. Marking the centre fold line. This pattern has a seam at one side which is stitched and then turned through.  If your pattern has a seam at both sides draw the pattern piece out twice.

2. If you are using a pattern like the Mary pattern with a fold line, cut the traced pattern out cutting the down the fold line. You will have two halves with no seam allowance on the fold line. If you already have two pieces for your strap you will have the seam allowance included.

Trace around one of the pieces adding between 2 and 5mm to each long side of the strap. I have used 5mm for this demonstration so it is easier to see in the photos. However I generally work with 2.5mm so that the strap edge is defined by only a small border of the upper fabric. Much more than 5mm and unless your strap is very wide the lining part will become unmanageable and to small.

On the second strap piece reduce the width by 5mm each side. Essentially you are adding onto one strap what you are taking off the other. Keeping it evenly distributed by adding it at each side. This way the angle at the lower edge will remain balanced.

3. If you already have the seam allowance added your pattern is ready. If not redraw the pattern again adding the seam allowance where the fold line was to each piece. I always use the same seam allowance as the rest of the pattern so its easier to remember when you begin sewing your garment together.

Making the straps.

4. Cut out a pair of the wider straps in the outer fabric and a pair of the narrower straps in the lining fabric.

5. With right sides together stitch the strap edges together. On this pattern the end that attaches to the dress is angled so ensure the right edges are stitched together if you have a shaped strap end.

6. Stitch the other side together, this may feel a little strange as you the lining is narrower so you will need to pull it across to meet the edge before stitching.

7. Press the strap flat so that the lining is centrally placed, you will notice the outer fabric edges roll in by the distance that you adjusted the pattern by. Stitch across the end that attaches to the dungaree clasp or is where the buttonhole is made.

8. Trim away a little fabric from the corners before turning through. I like to use a loop turner for pulling even wider straps through but you can use any method you like to turn your strap.

9. Press the straps flat and continue making your garment or bag with your lined straps.

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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