Sewing Blog

Learn to Sew Adjustable Straps for Any Lingerie Project

Adjustable straps are a key feature of any bra, but can also be found on a number of different lingerie projects. Creating fully adjustable straps is easy once you learn the basic assembly methods.

Lacy bra with black straps

Photos via Ohhh Lulu

Gathering supplies for sewing adjustable straps

To create adjustable bra straps you’ll need a few specific supplies.

Strapping

Firstly, you will need some sort of strapping. My preference is for strap elastic, though you can also find non-stretch strapping as well.

As the name implies, elastic strapping offers some elasticity, making them more giving and comfortable. It comes in a wide variety of colors and widths, with the standard being ½”.  Strap elastics also comes in different styles, but most often you will find it to have one satiny side and one plush side. 

Rings and sliders

You will also need to purchase a set of rings and sliders. Like the strapping, these come in a variety of sizes. Purchase rings and sliders in the same width as your elastic. So, ½” elastic requires ½” rings and sliders. These notions come in plastic and metal; I prefer metal as they are more durable.

Assembling an adjustable bra strap

Putting together an adjustable strap is easy, but it is common to accidentally assemble them inside-out, so don’t get frustrated if you make a mistake the first few times!

Step 1:

Begin by cutting two lengths of elastic for your strap. Refer to your pattern instructions for the length needed.

Step 2:

thread elastic strap through slider

Take one length of elastic and slide the end around the center post of the slider, with the back of the slider and the plush side of the strap facing up.

Step 3:

Fold elastic over slider

Fold the elastic down about ½” so that the plush sides are facing each other. Use a tight zigzag stitch to secure the elastic in place.

Step 4:

Slide ring on elastic strap

Feed the loose end of the elastic through a ring.

Step 5:

Finish sewing adjustable strap

Draw the loose end of the elastic strap up through the slider, ensuring the elastic is not twisted or turned. You’ve just created an adjustable strap that can now be attached to your garment!

Adjustable straps can be used on more than just bras!

Now that you know how to make an adjustable strap, experiment with creative ways to use them on your lingerie or garment projects! Strap details on lingerie are on-trend and can add a playful edge to a bra or panty pattern.

red heart lingerie

Adjustable straps are also used in making garter belts. Garter straps are assembled in the exact same way as an adjustable bra strap, except in place of the O ring, use a garter clip!

tan and gray garters

I also love to use adjustable straps on tank tops and camisoles. I’m petite and find that getting the perfect strap length can be a challenge — especially if you are sewing for someone else. Adjustable strap eliminates that problem!  You can even make them using turned tubes of self or accent fabric.

bra straps made of fashion fabric

Making adjustable straps is an easy process to learn, but integral to almost any lingerie-sewing project. Once you’ve mastered the basics of sewing an adjustable strap, you’ll find the skill invaluable even outside the realm of lingerie making!

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