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Nerdy sewing tips: How to make rouleau straps

A nice and easy tutorial today showing our favourite quick method for making rouleau straps (or spaghetti straps). We've applied this to our Flora Dress pattern for a super subtle yet sweetly effective alternative to the shoulder straps. 

You will need:

  • a length of fabric, cut on the grainline, about 5cm wide and however long you need
  • a length of twine or piping cord
  • a regular zipper foot

Step 1

Take your length of fabric and fold it in half lengthways, right sides together and sandwiching the cord in the fold. Pin to secure and stitch the end totally shut, thereby trapping the cord permanently.

Step 2

Attach your regular zipper foot to your sewing machine and stitch your length of fabric getting right up close to the cord. The cord not only serves to provide a stitching guide, ensuring a straight and even rouleau, but will also make turning the strap to the right side an absolute doddle. Make sure that you leave an inch or so of the cord poking out at the end (the open end that is, not the end that you first stitched shut!).

Step 3

Trim away the excess seam allowance.

Step 4

Keeping ahold of the cord poking out of the open end, gently start to slide the fabric down and over the shut end, thereby revealing the right side of the rouleau strap...

Step 5

Snip off the excess cord and you're all done! We made four little rouleau straps, each one the same length as the shoulder strap piece for Variation 2 of the Flora Dress...

Comments on this post (17)

  • Sep 02, 2015

    Its not working! I just cant get the tube to turn in on itself… :(

    — Anna

  • Apr 26, 2015

    Wonderful, simple tutorial! Thank you

    — Danni

  • Jul 05, 2014

    Wow. It’s very easy , thanks a lot !

    — Nhando

  • May 03, 2014

    Wonderful idea and so easy.

    — Nancy

  • Mar 24, 2014

    Love this! I am definitely going to have to try this method. Every time I attempt to use my fabric tube turner, I want to commit a felony. I still have a failed strap tube from last week, stuck in the turner mocking me next to my ironing board. I’d love to try this for a button loop closure soon!

    — Tasha

  • Mar 23, 2014

    GOLD! I wish I had’ve known this a couple of weekends ago when I was dicking around with one of those stoopid loop turners!! This is genius & would’ve made my life soooo much easier! Now I know for next time :D

    — Jenny

  • Mar 20, 2014

    What a cute idea! I really love this. :)

    — Laura

  • Mar 20, 2014

    Hi WastedWeekends! Generally speaking you could definitely replace a bias strap for a rouleau, except if that binding strap is continued to finish a neckline/armhole if you see what I mean. But otherwise, rouleau away! x

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Mar 20, 2014

    This is a great way to do this. I was having trouble turning straps for a top and put it in the UFO pile. Now I can use this technique to finish! Maybe even with two straps!

    — Annette

  • Mar 19, 2014

    Whoops, typed in the wrong box with that previous comment! Just wanted to say that this is such an awesome idea! I can’t even tell you how irritated I’ve gotten trying to turn out tiny little tubes, so I can’t wait to try this out! Thanks for sharing!!!

    — Ginger

  • Mar 19, 2014

    — Ginger

  • Mar 19, 2014

    Oooh, this looks great. Can’t wait to get my hands on the Flora pattern xx

    — Aneira

  • Mar 19, 2014

    Oh lord that is genius. In instances where bias tape is used as a strap, do you reckon the rouleau straps can be a replacement? Any reason this is a bad idea? These are so much prettier and look so much simpler.

    — Wastedweekends

  • Mar 19, 2014

    that’s bloody genius! Thanks :-D

    — Charlotte

  • Mar 19, 2014

    Oooh thanks for this – I’ll probably use this technique to make the rouleau loops for my wedding gown! (It’s still in pieces on the floor at the moment, not quite up to adding fastenings on!)

    — Katy

  • Mar 19, 2014

    Hi Marilla – oooooooohhhh yay please please please share pics with us of your Eloise fabric all made up! And let us know what you think of it – all feedback most welcome! Thaaaaaaanks xxxxx

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Mar 19, 2014

    Absolutely love the double rouleau strap idea! I am currently sewing myself a lovely skirt from your yummy Eloise fabric. Hopefully I’ll get it finished this afternoon! X

    — Marilla

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