Swivel hooks are a fun piece of hardware to add to the strap of a purse or bag. They’re easy to install and add a lot of functionality, allowing the bag to exist with or without a strap. I decided to add a strap with swivel hooks to my duffelette purse – a little purse designed like a miniature duffel bag (The pattern for the purse is up on Sew Mama Sew today!) – and wrote a tutorial so you can do the same, for a duffelete purse or any other purse or bag you sew.
I will show you two different ways you can attach your handle to your bag – with a D ring or with strapping loops. Either way, you want to sew the swivel hook attachment on to the side of your bag before you assemble your bag.
To sew a purse strap with swivel hooks you need:
2 swivel hooks (make sure the width is the same as your strapping)
2 d-rings (make sure the width is the same as your strapping)
strapping/webbing (can be canvas or nylon or substitute a pretty ribbon)
I used 1″ wide strapping for my duffelette purse. If you are sewing a more delicate purse you may want to use narrower strapping and if you are sewing a large duffel bag, you will probably want to use wider strapping. Just make sure that you select swivel hooks and d-rings that are the same width (or very close) to your strapping. (My swivel hooks were actually 3/4″ wide, but the tiny bit of bunching to fit the strapping into them isn’t offensive, in my opinion).
For D-rings, cut a 3″ length of strapping and thread your d-ring through it. Fold one end over by 3/4 inch. Fold the other end up by 1/4″.
Sew your d-ring to the side of your bag by stitching around the rectangle of strapping. Leave a little bit of distance between your stitching and the d-ring for easiest sewing. You may also want to stitch an X across strapping for added strength. You will want to horizontally center your strapping and align it near the top of the side, but remember that there is a seam allowance on your side piece that will be going away.
If you don’t have d rings or don’t want to use them, cut a 6″ piece of strapping. Fold it in half long-ways and sew the center 2″ together along the edge.
Fold the bottom of each end of the strapping under 1/4″ and sew the strapping to the side of the purse by stitching a rectangle to hold each end down. You can stitch an additional X through the rectangle for added security. I spaced the two ends of my strapping about 3/4″ apart, but the exact spacing is at your discretion.
Cut a length of strapping to be the strap. Length is a matter of personal taste. For reference, cut mine 32″ long.
Thread the strapping through the swivel hook and fold it over by about 1″. Fold the end of the strapping under 1/4″. Stitch the strapping in place.