Without a strong strap, any purse or bag that is made using sewing machines would be useless. Straps are an essential part of some projects, although they can be a bit tricky to master. Nylon webbing, canvas, and leather all make great choices for strong strapping material; however, if they are not securely attached, they will come loose very quickly. This is where the x-box design is used; it is the best way to attach accessories such as straps to any project created on sewing machines such as a Janome 2206. The good news is that it is an easy technique to master and guarantees sturdy straps when done correctly.
The Problem With Adding Straps
Many projects need straps; however they must be secure enough to not fall off, which is a problem with many home-sewn items. Some sewers address this issue by adding more stitching than is really necessary to secure the strap. A simple x-box sewn with a Janome 2206 or most other sewing machines is more than sufficient, provided it has been properly sewn. This last part of the process is one that many people miss, which will either make or break the strap attachment.
Sewing An X-Box Strap Attachment
An x-box design is the most secure way to attach any type of fabric strap to the main fabric using sewing machines. An x-box can be made in any size and is sewn at the ends of the straps in order to keep them in place. It is recommended that the x-box size be kept under three inches, as the box loses integrity when it goes over this size.
First, properly position the strap and pin it into place to keep it from moving during sewing. Next, leave a few inches of thread tails and stitch between â to ¼ of an inch from the edge of the strapping material to create a square or rectangular box. Once the first sewn corner has been reached, lift the presser foot and reposition the project to stitch diagonally across the box from one corner to another. When that is done, follow the prior stitching around to the next corner and position the project to diagonally stitch the second half of the "x." The results should look like a box with an “x” neatly sewn in the middle. Don't stop there, because the most important part that holds everything together must still be done.
Securing the Threads to Prevent Unraveling
Regardless of the number of times a strap has been sewn, unless the beginning and ending threads are prevented from unraveling, the strap will never be secure. There are two different ways to secure stitching to prevent it from coming undone:
- Lock Stitch - Most machines have a reverse function. This can always be used at the beginning and the end of stitching to secure the ends. This is done at the beginning by stitching forward a few stitches, using the reverse to stitch back of those stitches, then returning to a forward motion back to where the stitching began. At the end of a line of stitching, the same thing is done by stopping just beyond the end of the stitching, reversing back a few stitches, If the sewing machine has a lock stitch function, use it at the very beginning of the box, at the end of the box, and at the beginning and end of both diagonal lines. Once complete, all tails can be cut and the strap is now secure.
- Hand-Tied Tails - When hand-tying thread tails, complete the x-box as discussed in the step above and cut the thread from the sewing machine, leaving a few inches of a thread tail. Turn the project over to the back side of the x-box. Pull the thread on that side until a loop of the thread from the other side is visible. Pull the loop through to the back side and securely knot the top and bottom threads together, then trim away the excess tail. The tails are then securely knotted and will not unravel.
By using these techniques, anyone sewing with a Janome 2206 or any other sewing machine should have little trouble making strong straps that will not come undone. Straps are an essential sewing machine project that can be properly secured with the x-box technique!