Monday, June 9, 2014

Candy Wrapper Inspired Fabric Handle Chain Tutorial

from Facebook....

A few years ago I bought a jelly roll from one of April Cornell's lines and made this handle. It is 20" long and 1-1/2" wide. The colors are ecru, coral and aqua. The fabric is no longer available and I do not have any more. So basically I end up with only one handle which I do love. My problem is I have never been able to come up with an idea or inspiration for a purse to attach to the handle. 

I used a jellyroll. They are 2-1/2" wide and I cut the pieces 7" long. Because I could not fold the fabric I had to iron the fabric instead.

Here we go...

Only cut out the first few pieces as you might have to adjust the length of the fabric. While pressing the fabric can stretch. Better to be safe than sorry. Two links will be approximately 1" of handle. There fore a 20" handle could be 40 links.

Step by Step: Make Bias Tape
Your fabric should be 2-1/2" x 7". I suggest spray starch for every step. First fold in 1/2 the long way and iron

Open the strip and fold just shy of the center press line and spray and press.

Repeat for the other side

Fold at the center and give it a good press

Now fold in half again to make a new center, and yes spray before ironing

Open it up, bring the end shy of the center again and press

Spin it around and repeat, spray it before ironing. It probably feels like card board but you need the starch for strength and for it to hold up afterwards.

Fold it up, and a final press, one link done, with this size if fabric, 
two links equals approx 1" of handle

You have one link finished. I do not suggest ironing more than three at this point. You want to put a couple together first as fabric stretches and your links will probably need adjusting. Mine stretched and I had to take off a 1/2 inch of the length and re-press them.

Creating the links

The light in link 1, the dark link 2. Always make sure the center fold is facing you not the side with all the folds. Slide link one and two together. Look at the pic, I am not sure how to describe. Notice how I went between the folds. This creates the link in the chain.

Pull the fabric thru

Turn it over, link one is now the point of entry
Now slide link three. Notice the single fold is down and all the layers are up

Because the fabric stretched when I pressed it . I would stop at this point and adjust my length. As you know all fabric reacts differently. So I only make 3 links before continuing. I would start by shortening my link by 1/2" and repress

Adding the ring at the beginning and end...

Adding the rings to the begging and end is almost the same. I suggest round rings and not square. I think the handle will lay nicer and look better. I have to show you with square because that is all I have right now. First cut one of the links a little more than 1/2, just above the center seam

Press into a mini version

Slide the ring on to the center seam

Fold and Hold

Now slide a link thru. Keep a firm hold it will want to fall apart

Stitch the 1/2 link closed. I prefer to use button or upholstery thread as it is much stronger than regular thread.

This is how the finished link will look.

Please share your pictures with me if you should decide to make one or more.
I would love to see your completed projects and I need an idea for the body of my bag.

Yes, you have my permission to make and sell hundreds of handles if you want.

Enjoy and may the Sewing Gods be with you!