When my awesome pattern testers were sewing up their Presidio Purses, a few people made changes to their pattern (like making it smaller) and a few people requested changes to the pattern (like making the strap adjustable). The lovely Jana hacked her purse handle so she could carry the bag across her shoulder. Here, in the final post of Presidio Purse sewalong, this tutorial explains how to lengthen your presidio purse strap and how to make the strap adjustable.
Making the strap long enough to go over your shoulder is very simple. All you have to do is cut all the strap pieces (whichever view you’re using) in the center of the strap and separate them by a number of inches. I found that moving my pieces 10 inches apart was a great across-the-shoulder length for me, but you can experiment a bit with what works well for you. Cutting in the center and separating allows you to keep the shaping of the handle while you add length.
If you want to make an adjustable strap, You will need (in addition to the 2 2″ rectangular rings required for View A), a 2″ slide (essentially, a rectangle with a center divider). You will get rid of the shaping in the purse handle for this alteration, so cut 2 strips of fabric that are 3″ x 35″ (so that when you sew them with a 1/2″ seam allowance they become the 2″ that fit in the rectangular ring) as well as 2 strips of interfacing that you fuse the the wrong side of each strip of fabric. Sew the pieces right sides together and turn them right side out. NOTE: Pay attention to the width of the openings in the slide and the thickness of your fabric. The slide that I am demo-ing here was designed for webbing so it has a narrow opening and my fabric was actually too bulky for me to fit in the slide when sewn into a strap so I am showing the tutorial with only one thickness of fabric.
The body of your purse should be all sewn, including the handle anchors with the rectangular rings in them. Take the lengthened strap and put it through the slide going up from below through the right side of the slide, over the center of the slide, and down through the left of the slide. Fold the free end back to the right so that you have essentially made a loop of fabric that goes over the center of the slide. Fold the end over 1/4″ and sew it to the strap (I just have it pinned in the picture). The picture above shows the right side and wrong side.
Now take the other end of the strap and thread it through one of the rectangular rings on the handle anchors, from back to front.
Thread the free end of the strap through the slide going through the right side of the slide up from below, over the center of the slide, through the left side of the slide from above to below, and letting the free end stick out to the left.
Finally, take the raw end of the handle, and bring it through the second rectangular ring from front to back. Fold the end over 1/4″ and sew in place . The picture above shows the right side and wrong side of the strap.