I think it's pretty obvious by now I enjoy making all kinds of bags and totes. Today I'd like to share my most favorite way of making fabric handles.
A few notes before we start:
- I use a combination of quilting cotton fabric (or linen/ cotton blend) and SF101 interfacing (you can use other medium weight fusible interfacing if preferred) to make my handles.
- Use walking foot if you have one - it insures all fabric layers are fed through the machine evenly.
- Lengthen your stitch - adjust stitch on your sewing machine ( I usually use 2.5 stitch on my Juki, I set it to 3 when making fabric handles).
- Use thicker thread if you have one - your stitches will be more visible which will add to the appeal of your handles. I like to use 30 wt thread.
Let's start, shall we?
1. Decide how wide you want your finished handles to be (I like 1.25" wide handles for most of my totes), multiply this number by 4
(1.25 x 4= 5) so my fabric needs to be 5" wide.
2. Decide how long you want your handles to be (mine are 15" long).
3. Cut two 5" x 15" rectangles out of quilting cotton and two 5" x 15" rectangles out of medium weight fusible interfacing.
4. Follow manufacturer's directions to adhere fusible interfacing to the wrong side of both 5” x 15” fabric rectangles.
5. Fold handle in half lengthwise, press. Open the handle, use the middle seam as a guide and press long raw edges towards the middle.
6. Fold in half again – long raw edges are hidden inside, press and pin (or use Wonder clips) to prevent layers from shifting.
7. Bring your handle to sewing machine, hold both top and bobbin thread in your fingers (picture below) as you start topstitching - this will prevent any knots from forming on the underside of your handle.
8. Topstitch along the open long edge first using 1/8" seam allowance taking pins/ clips out as you go. Topstitch along the other long side as well. You can leave your handle with just one line of topstitching along each long edge, I personally prefer doing another set of topstitching 1/4" from the first line.
9. Make a second handle following the same directions. Trim the threads.
10. Congratulations!!! Your handles are now finished and ready to be used.
I hope you find this tutorial useful.
Have a lovely day. Svetlana