MAKING SPAGHETTI STRAPS
Here’s a guide to making thin, professional looking spaghetti straps you can find on lingerie camisoles, or lingerie inspired dresses and tops. These can also be used for the “loop” part of the “buttons and loops” or lace up details.
I usually start all my silk projects by giving it a nice steam with steam iron. Silks can shrink a lot, so this step is absolutely necessary if you’re cutting silk, but not as important when cutting bias strips. We just want to make sure the fabric is ironed flat before cutting it using a “sandwiching” method discussed here. It’s all about achieving a uniform width of the strip, which will give us a nice, consistent spaghetti strap width.
Carefully lay out fabric on a piece of paper aligning the selvage edge (straight grain) against the straight edge of your paper. Make sure the weft (crossgrain) of the fabric is laying perpendicular to selvage: we are setting up to establish true bias which will be cut at 45 degree angle. Using another layer of paper, sandwich your fabric between 2 layers so it doesn’t move and distort lines when we cut it. This is probably the most laborious part of cutting silks, especially when working with bigger projects such as blouses or dresses, so when making bias strips, I always cut extra that I keep for later. Don’t forget that these can be also used for binding (or contrast binding) and flat straps.
Now that our silk is sandwiched in, we can start drawing guidelines for our strips at 45 degrees. The usual rule of thumb is 1 1/2″ width for silk chiffons and 1 1/4″ for silk crepe de chine and charmeuse. The thicker the fabric, the thinner you want to cut these strips, and these measurements are a good starting point.
Placing some weights on couple areas to make sure your paper/silk/paper stays put, start cutting your strips. Note on scissors: please use sharp scissors for this, it will not dull the blades for a very very long time. We are now ready to make our spaghetti straps.
Folding the bias strip in half, start stitching it about 1/8″ away from the folded edge. Make sure your stitches are set on a small setting (which is generally a good practice to work with delicate fabrics). Fold right sides inward if you’re working with fabric that has a defined face such a silk charmeuse, since we’ll be turning it out.
In order to turn this strip inside out, you will need a loop turner, and that pretty large seam allowance you see outside the stitch line will give our spaghetti strap some nice weight and roundness once it’s turned out.
Start inserting the hook through the length of the strip tunnel and hook it securely at the end.
You can now start turning it inside out. It helps to hook a loop turner ring over a steady object, so you can use both of your hands helping seam allowances though the tunnel.
Press it with a steam iron to straighten and “seal” strap’s shape, and you’ll end up with a nice thin spaghetti strap