As I mentioned in yesterday’s working with Kraft Tex post, I washed my large piece of paper fabric twice on the heavy-duty setting and dried it flat. This left me with a nicely textured leather-like fabric that was pliable, but still quite stiff, making it ideal for purse and wristlet straps.
To make a 12″ long and 1/2″ wide wristlet strap, cut a piece of Kraft Tex at 15″ x 2″. To make working with the fabric easier, particularly with the folding, soak the piece in very hot water for about 10 minutes. The great thing about kraft Tex is that there is no shrinkage to think about, so cut pieces can be soaked without worry.
While the paper fabric is still wet, fold the strap piece in half lengthwise, then fold both long edges towards the center (think bias tape) and then fold together. I found it easier to fold from the middle outwards, adjusting as I go to keep the piece straight.
Once you’re happy with the folds, press with the iron on the wool setting (no steam) until it is just about fully dry. It takes less than 5 minutes and it should look dry but still be pliable – like fruit leather. The edges will peak up a little bit but it should maintain its folded form.
Sew all the way around the strap at 1/4″ from the edge. Go slowly. And by slowly I mean that if you have a speed dial on your machine, set it to the slowest. Set the stitch width quite high (I used 4) and rethink the tension (I used between 7 and 8). Test the stitch length and tension on a small piece of scrap Kraft Tex, four layers deep. Check the back and front and adjust until you like the look of it on both sides.
I sew with a Brother CS6000i using an Organ brand needle size 90/14 and it handled this fabric like a champ. You might want to use a leather needle but I found that to be unnecessary. Keep in mind that Kraft Tex is a paper, and like paper and leather, stitches are there for keeps, so test test test before you stitch into your project.
I use a single double cap rivet to hold the strap to the twist clasp, and I use a dab of Krazyglue on the end of the spike of the double capped rivet before capping it for added security. However, you could sew it … I didn’t want to put my machine through that test just now (it would be 12 layers!).
Thread your strap through the swivel snap clasp hook eye and pull it up about 1-1/2″ overlapping the other end about by about 3/4″. Use a Wonder Clip or two to hold it in place. What you should have now is an elongated O with the ‘joint’ close to the clasp. Close off the O just above the clasp, bringing the back strap to the joint area, with the wonder clip in place.
Find the center of the joint area, making sure it sufficiently covers all three strap pieces (the back and both ends), use an awl or leather punch to make a hole large enough to fit a double-capped rivet. Set your rivet and voila! You’re done!
I use a dab of superglue on the spike end of the rivet for added security since I use my wristlet strap a lot and I am pretty rough with it.
This is my first ever tutorial, so I apologize is something was unclear. Please don’t hesitate to ask if there is something you need clarification with.
*Please note there are links to Amazon.ca throughout this tutorial. Use them to support my work or just as a reference to the products you might want to consider working with.