How to Sew Narrow Swimsuit Straps

There’s something ever so satisfying about a crisp little spaghetti strap. Did you know that narrow swimsuit straps are actually really easy to sew? It’s true! Both 1/4″ and 3/8″ spaghetti straps for swimsuits are deceptively easy because we can sew them around the right size elastic for crisp perfection!

Start by cutting a strip of your swimsuit fabric that is 1.5″ wide (works for either 1/4″ or 3/8″ elastic. You can use the same technique for wider elastic to make wider straps though you will need wider fabric strips to start). You can sew a single strap that is twice the length of your finished strap and cut it in half when you are done.

Align your elastic to one long edge of your strap on the wrong side of the fabric. You can pin it in place before sewing if you prefer or just feed it carefully as you sew. Do make sure that you are using swimsuit elastic so that your elastic doesn’t degrade in chlorine.

Sew your elastic along the edge using a wide zig-zag. This line of stitching won’t be visible in your finished strap. You’ll still end up with a perfect looking strap even if your elastic wobbles 1/16″ off from the perfect edge either direction. Make sure you keep a bit of tension on your elastic as you sew. In the top example I let the fabric and elastic feed themselves and you can see that it causes a wobble as the fabric tends to stretch more with feeding than the elastic. This won’t be visible when the finished strap is on a suit and on a body, but it will look flatter and prettier when done if you don’t have this mismatch in tensions like the bottom example.

Fold the elastic over.

Fold the elastic over again so that the original stitching is now totally hidden. You can pin the strap folded like this or you can carefully feed it through your machine holdingĀ the folds in place.

Run a line of stitching down the strap. The stitching can be any stretch stitch and can be oriented to the middle of the strap or the edge of the strap as long as the edge of the stitching doesn’t go all the way to the edge of the fabric. In this example I used a mid-sized zig-zag down the center of the strap.

Trim off the excess fabric. And that’s it! You’re done!

You can see from the wrong side that the edge of the fabric is just inside the edge of strap. This is why we don’t do the final line of stitching to the edge of the strap. When the strap is worn no raw edges will be visible.

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