I don't know what it is about the sewing industry, but it seems there is a tool for everything. I get we want to make our lives easier but sometimes these tools can be rather cumbersome (in my opinion). Why cant we just use what is around us for certain techniques instead of purchasing the next cool sewing toy. Call me a hippy. but I rather not add to the consumer waste in our earth. OK...rant complete! This tutorial will show you a simple way to flip a narrow tube inside out. This technique works well for skinny straps and fabric button loops.
In this example, I am using Silk Charmeuse fabric to create a 1/4" width strap. This particular technique of turning the tube inside out is best with fabric that has some "slide" to it if ya know what I mean. If you don't know what I mean, the fabric should be a tad slippery.
I also suggest cutting an extra wide strip of fabric as its easier to sew. A wider strip allows the fabric to stay stable under the machine presser foot.
Right sides facing sew at your desired strap width. I am sewing at 1/4" away from the folded edge. My end strap will be 1/4" wide.
Trim away the excess seam allowance down to 1/16". This will allow a narrow strap to flip inside out with ease.
Instead of using a metal loop turner, I prefer simply using thread and a medium sized hand sewing needle. Any hand sewing needle with a bit of weight will assist in sliding through the tube.
Thread up the hand sewing needle, double threaded with an anchor knot at the end. Your thread length should be longer than the length of your strap. I make my thread approximately 2-3 inches longer. To begin, anchor your knot at one end of the tube along the sew line about 1/8" from top.
Drop the needle into the tube. Allow the weight of the needle to drop out the bottom of the tube.
Your needle should have slid right down the tube and out like below.
Now it is time to turn the strap inside out. Pulling gently at the needle with one hand, hold the top with your other hand allowing the raw edges at the top to curl into the tube. Depending on how slippery your fabric is, you may need to help slightly turn in the raw edges to get the tube turning.
Once fully turned, trim away threads and press strap. I like to center the seam right down the underside of the strap.
Voilà! Strap complete. This is not a new technique by any means, but I think it is nice to know we have alternatives in constructing straps and fabric button loops.
Written and created by Sheila Wong