sewing tubes

6 February 2010 by

Tonight I will share an easy way to make tubing, which can then be used for button-loops, straps, or ties. I’d be interested in what else you could use this for. I’ve used this method on stretch and non-stretch fabrics, to make thin strips or round ropey tubes, from a few inches long to several feet. The way I used to do this was so difficult that I’ve avoided straps altogether, or top stitched bulky straps.

strip of fabric

First, cut your fabric into a strip. The example is of a blue jersey, cut to about 1.5 inches.

Fold your fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together. Your seam should be at least 1/4 inch away from the fold. If you want to make your strap wider, obviously increase the distance from the fold. If you want your strap to lay flat there should be a small seam allowance, but if you want round ropey straps be sure to have enough seam allowance to plump up the tube when you’re finished.

Attach a safety pin onto the end of the tubing, on the fold, going from the outside in.

Turn the safety pin so that the head is going into the tube of fabric.

Push the safety pin down the tube. The fabric at the beginning will bunch up as you push the safety pin deeper into the tube, so ease that with your fingers. You’re trying to turn that tube right-side out!

Keep pulling the pin down the tube, easing the bunching. Eventually the head of the pin will come out the far end of your fabric… Keep pulling it out until the entire piece is right-side out! Now you’ve got a nice tube, ready for anything.

In a couple days I’ll post the dress I made using this method. Until then, happy sewing!

0 Responses to sewing tubes

  1. Pingback: jersey dress + tutorial « made by Julianne

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  3. Jess

    While I’ve used the method you’ve chronicled here for many a tube-turnin’, since then I’ve found a couple of awesome tools that make turning tubes super easy and pretty much totally painless:

    1. Dritz Bodkin Threader and tweezer – looks like a tweezer, and has the ability to lock its jaws (which have teeth) so you can grab a bit of fabric at the end to pull the tube right side out, and have something more substantial than a safety pin to hold on to while pulling it through the fabric. However, this only works on tubes that are so small.

    2. I also use my Turn-It-All set (I’ve seen them called different names…). It requires you to sew one end shut, but that’s not a biggie. This tool comes with 2 parts: a plastic tube and a rod. To turn the tube, you insert the plastic tube into the fabric tube and push it to the end (where it’s sewn closed). Then, you take the rod and push the fabric through the plastic tube…eventually you can just pull on the end and it will all become right side out! 🙂

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