Another boring step that delays the finishing of a bag is preparing the straps. Cutting strips of fabric, inserting batting/interfacing… I am not a fan of it!
But I found a way to simplify and speed up the process! And it has a name: webbing!
I will show you how quickly I finished my latest bags:
But to make the process really quick and easy, you need one more thing: double sided adhesive tape.
This glue tape has a paper backing and it comes in many widths. 1/4” is a very common size used for sewing bags but wider tapes are useful as well.
You can buy such tape in the craft stores. For some tapes, peeling the paper backing off is hard, but you can use the tip of a seam ripper or thread snippers to separate the paper from the glue tape.
The webbing also comes in different widths and thicknesses and it is made out of different materials. For these bags I used two layers of a cotton webbing, 1.25” wide.
You also need a strip of vinyl/faux leather or other fabric like quilting cotton. You have to fold this strip in half and this width must be a little smaller than the width of the webbing – if you want to give your straps a two-color appearance.
So for my 1.25” webbing I cut my vinyl strip 2”. Before starting to prepare your straps, make a test first with small pieces.
On the back of the vinyl strip mark the center of the strip (at 1” from the edge).
Apply adhesive tape on the center.
Peel the backing paper off.
Fold the long edges into the center and finger press.
If you use two layers of webbing, apply adhesive tape on the center of one of the strips, remove the paper backing then place the other webbing strip on top. Repeat the process and add on top the vinyl strip.
The adhesive tape keeps all the layers together so well, you will have no trouble (no shifting between layers) when topstitching close to the vinyl edges.
For the top strip of the straps below I used quilting cotton.
I hope this helps! To me this is a tremendous help that saves me time!
If you need bag pattern inspiration, check out my bag patterns here.