I usually do a strap that is made out of wool. However, I have had students who have repurposed belts as straps attaching them to the body of the purse with D rings. I will cover the process of using a long 2.5 inch wide strip of wool. I wash the wool and then tear it rather than cutting – that way I have nice straight edges that are on straight of grain and won’t ravel. I like to hang my purse across the front of my body with the purse hanging at my hip for easy access so my strap starts off about 57 inches long but I adjust when I am sewing it into the purse body so that it sits in the right spot.
Then fold the other side in so that it overlaps and you have a strap that is approximately 3/4 inch wide. The sizing is important as it makes sure that the purse all fits together. I press as I fold over – I don’t pin except for one pin at the beginning…
Once the strap is all pressed I head to the sewing machine and with a contrasting thread I top stitch down the middle of the strap with the raw edges facing up so that as I stitch I can make sure that the raw edge still covers and does not move. Again, I don’t pin but if you feel more comfortable you can pin – just remember DONT SEW OVER THE PINS! That one line of stitching down the middle holds everything nicely in place.
I then stitch a second curvy line all the way down, flip and do another curvy line in the opposite direction. This holds the strap nice and flat.
Next we are going to sew one end of the strap into the body of the purse.