Summer tops use the least amount of material, yet they have some of the most daunting techniques. For years I have avoided making simple sundresses and camisoles because I could not create a spaghetti strap.
Named for the Italian delicacy the spaghetti strap is that little cord that holds up a camisole or sundress.
It is such a little thing. Yet its construction can cause as much cussing as a sailor denied shore leave after a trip around the world.
I have used a few contraptions and tried several techniques to no avail.
- Sometimes I could not turn the cord all the way.
- Other times the cord would come loose from the tool midturn.
- Or I would spend scads of time painfully forcing the fabric millimeter by millimeter down the cord length.
Unending patience not being one of my strong suits, for years I avoided making camisoles because I had been bested by six inches of strap.
This season I am committed to making at least a practice muslin of all of my summer tops and was thereby forced to reconsider the camisole since I had a pattern for one in my stash. Believing that some human somewhere had this down I did what any frustrated out-of-her-mind person would do – I googled it.
There are humans who know how to do this.
The secret lies in an object common to the Victorian maiden, but something we moderns don’t think of as an all-around handy-dandy, good-for-a-lot of things tool.
The Bobby Pin.
I am going to give the short instructions and a few photos and then provide the link to the site from which I learned the technique.
Make your cord.
Start and end a little farther out than you want your cord.
Seam cord and trim excess neatly.
The seam edge will fill in your cord nicely. Practice will tell you how much to trim and how much to keep.
Cut a small slant about 1 inch from the base going from the edge towards the stitching.
Slide the small cut portion onto the bobby pin placing the fabric in the middle of the pin. (Remember ladies who used to hold their hair back this way?)
Now here is where the magic happens.
Push entire bobby pin, with the small slant part still inserted in the middle, up into the cord. At first there is a little working it in, but then you just keep turning the tube.
Amazing! It works!
Here is the link to the spaghetti strap tutorial from the blog Handmade Things from which I first learned the technique. It is good to see more than one presentation and the photos are excellent. If you currently have problems creating spaghetti straps please do check out her site.
Thank you Jules for posting this tutorial! You have been the only person able to teach me how to do a creditable spaghetti strap!