Anti-Wardrobe Fail / How To Sew Straps


dress strap poem

Have you ever had piece of clothing you loved, except it had one fatal flaw? That’s how it was with this dress. It’s soft, flowy and comfortable, but I knew if I continued to wear it, I was doomed to experience one of those wardrobe malfunctions.

Adding straps is a quick and easy little project. I think it took me longer to figure out where I wanted them than to sew it all together.  Depending on how much of a perfectionist you are, it will take 1-2 hours from start to finish.

Pick out some fabric and decide how wide and long you want the straps. Cut 4 equal pieces. I wanted skinny little ones, so I measured the width and then added an extra ½ inch for sewing. Cut them longer than you need so there’s room to adjust later.

trace cutting line onto fabric

cut fabric

strap pieces

Take two pieces, right sides facing in together, wrong sides out. Sew each of the long edges together, leaving the ends open.

sew back to front

Trim the edges close to the stitches, being careful not to cut into them.

trim edges

This little tool is called a bodkin, but it’s such an obscure name, most people call it a loop turner.  Back it into the end of one strap tube, and clamp the ends of the fabric into the teeth. Move the little circle up to clamp it in place. Then begin to scrunch and pull the bodkin through the fabric tube, as it pulls the strap right side out.

bodkin how-to

When you have both straps ready, pin them to the dress.  It’s easiest to try on the dress so you can tell exactly where you want them to be.

pin straps to dress

Sew them in place. I used a triple straight stitch and sewed in a square/rectangular shape for durability.

sew straps to dress

strap attached to dress

Tie off and trim any loose threads, and then add a couple sparkles. Super glue is the fast and easy approach. (I ran out of fabric-tac.)

glue sparkles

Voila! No more worries about ‘surprising’ everyone at the next backyard barbecue.

before after


finished straps on dress

wearing dress with straps





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