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Tutorial: Lotus bag strap variation and purse feet

lotus handbag pattern sewing sewing tutorial shoulder strap tutorial

While in the testing phase for my Lotus shoulder bag pattern, one of my testers - Sheri of Lil' Munkee Designs - created a different style of straps that I really loved. I am in the middle of gift sewing and wanted to make a Lotus with her style of strap AND I wanted to provide a short tutorial for anyone else who may be interested in altering the pattern a bit.

To start, all you need is the Lotus pattern. Prepare your pattern pieces, cut out your fabrics as instructed with ONE exception. Cut your (4) O-ring straps to be 10" x 2" instead of 5" x 2". I've also added purse feet to my modified Lotus. If you'd like to do the same, you will need 4 purse feet. You will also need some double-sided tape that is 1/2" wide.

In the STRAP ASSEMBLY section, you will create your O-ring straps a little differently:

1. Start by drawing a horizontal line through the centre of each strap.

2. Place a strip of double sided tape centered on top of the lines from step 1.

3. Peel the tape backing away and fold in both halves towards the centre line WST for all 4 straps.

4.Take one of your Exterior A panels (with fleece interfacing fused to the WS), place RS up on your work surface. Find the centre of your panel by folding in half vertically WST and marking the top and bottom centre with a fabric pen. Place one O-ring strap 2.5" from the centre and clip to the bottom edge.

5. Cut a piece of double-sided tape 2 inches long and tape it to the top end of your O-ring strap on the WS. TIP: Make sure your double-sided tape is exactly in the centre of the strap so you do not sew through the tape or your needle will get sticky!

6. Slip your strap end through one O-ring (I am using a rectangle ring), peel the backing of your tape and fold in 2.25" of your strap end towards the WS and stick in place.

7. Cut another piece of double-sided tape about 4 inches long and tape to WS of strap about 1" from the top where your O-ring is located towards the bottom.  Make sure it is nicely centered in the middle of the strap.

8. Peel the tape's backing away and stick the strap to the Exterior panel making sure it is 2.5 inches away from the centre of the panel all the way up.

9. Repeat steps 4-8 to place a 2nd O-ring strap to the other side, 2.5" from the centre of the Exterior panel. Repeat for 2nd Exterior panel and the 2 remaining O-ring straps.

10. Stitch the O-ring straps in place by starting at the bottom edge with a 1/8" seam allowance. Stitch all the way and stop before the O-ring, giving your foot room to sew under the ring. Stitch across the strap, under the ring and then rotate and stitch all the way down the other to the bottom of your panel. Repeat for remaining 3 straps.

11. OPTIONAL: I wanted to add a bit more hardware to my bag so I decided to add rivets to my O-ring straps about 1" from the top edge.


As an extra special touch, I wanted to add purse feet to my Lotus. I got these lovely purse feet (as well as all of the other hardware on this bag) from Emmaline bags. To add purse feet, once you've added the stitching to your Bottom C to attach the Peltex on the WS, simply place your Bottom C on your work surface WS up. With a ruler, draw 2 horizontal lines on your Peltex bottom approximately 3/4" from the top and bottom edges. Draw 2 vertical lines 2" from the left and right shorter edges. Where the lines intersect will be the location of your 4 purse feet.

Using an awl or a hole punch, make 4 holes where the lines intersect. Push your purse feet prongs through the holes from the RS of your Bottom C. Push your washer over the prongs and spread out your prongs as shown in the photo above.

Follow the pattern instructions to complete the rest of the bag and you are done!

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