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Sunday, 18 November 2007

'Faux piped' handles

I suggested in this post that I would do a tutorial for 'my favourite handles'. Well, here it is. Please ask questions if I am less than succinct in my instructions!Choose two fabrics for your handles. The contrast fabric will be the one that appears to 'pipe' the edge of the handle. Cut one 1.5" wide strip of main fabric, one 2" wide strip of contrast fabric and one 2" wide strip on iron-on pellon. The length of these strips should be your required handle length. For a small bag, I cut them about 16" long.
Fuse iron-on pellon to 2" wide strip of contrast fabric.
With right sides together, stitch the main fabric piece to the contrast fabric piece with a 1/4" seam, down one long side.
Stitch the other long side of the handle with 1/4" seam. This seam is a little more difficult as the handle doesn't sit flat. The wider contrast fabric tends to curl up a little to the left of the foot. You may need to pin the handle at intervals to assist in sewing this seam. Persevere at this point - all will be OK!
Turn handle (I have a really nifty way of doing this easily, which I will attempt to post about soon). Press handle carefully. You should have a nice narrow contrast strip on each edge of the upper side of the handle.
Top stitch either side of handle, just outside each seam, using a cotton matching the contrast fabric. I use a #10 edge stitch foot on my Bernina as it runs nicely along the seam & gives a neat 'in the ditch' line.
So hopefully, you now have before you a robust but sweet handle that looks for all money like it has narrow piping down either side. Let me know if it works for you! Best wishes, Bloom.


  1. What a clever idea! I do like your tips and techniques. I thought the one you did on appliqué placement was fab too.

    thanks for sharing.

  2. I love seeing and learning new tricks and techniques... and this one I've never seen before. Thank you for sharing! And your instructions are realy pro ;)

  3. Thanks for this great tutorial Bloom. I've saved this one for sure.
    I'm getting quite a collection of tutorials. Bloggers are so generous with their tips and hints.

  4. Neat! Thanks for sharing this - looks like much more work than it actually is - gotta love that!

  5. Thank you for the bag handle tutorial. It is very clearly explained and a nice way to do handles too.

  6. I just found your blog. Thank you for the great tips!


  7. I've just used this fantastic tutorial to make a faux piped handle for a water bottle carrier I am making. Such a clever and effective handle idea. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I made a blossie bag for my 3 year old granddaughter and she loved it. I took a bigger seam at the bottom corners to make a wider bag. I will try and download a pic later. I've made a lot of handbags and this is one of my favorites. Love the faux piping on the handle. I've already got material to make a larger bag for Christmas.

  9. I'm so glad that you have kept this tutorial in your side bar. It had been a while since I've made a faux piped bag handle and I needed to refresh my memory of the measurements for each strip. Thank you!!

  10. This looks like a great technique. I don't see though, how to stich the second long edge if one strip is wider than the other. Do you match the raw edges?

    1. That was my question also!!! I didn't see an answer anywhere?

    2. You can see it better here.

  11. This is the best idea I have seen in a long time. Thank you for sharing it!

  12. Also a great idea for shoulder straps on dresses! Love it..thank you

  13. Do you cut the excess fabric? Thanks for sharing.


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