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The Simone Set | attaching the straps

The one place that needs a little attention when making the Simone Camisole is the straps – a little attention to detail here can help to make your garment look really professional.

We’ve done this photo tutorial to give you an extra helping hand. So, are you ready to get a lovely finish to those Simone Camisole straps? 

Jolly good! Read on…

  • So at this point in camisole construction process you will have followed the instructions and completed step 5 in your Maker Instruction booklet, so your bodice and facing will be made up but still separate.
  • You will have made and turned through your straps. Rouleaux straps – completed steps 6 & 7 in your Maker Instruction booklet. Wide strap option – completed steps 11 & 12 in your Maker Instruction booklet.
  • Do make sure you give everything a gentle press before continuing!

ABBREVIATIONS | CB: centre back | CF: centre front | WS: wrong side  | RST: right side together | RS: right side | SA: seam allowance

| FITTING THE STRAPS |

The strap pattern is a little bit longer than you really need. This in part because when the straps get turned through the ends can sometimes be untidy and look a bit ‘chewed’ up, but mostly because we are all unique so you may actually need your straps a little longer. Before cutting off any of the extra length, do a quick fitting so you can find your ideal strap length. 

  • Use the finished strap measurement charts in the instructions booklet (you will find one for each strap option) as a guide to give you a starting point.
  • The charts show the suggested FINISHED strap length WITHOUT seam allowances (SA).
  • NOTE | The double rouleaux strap option – the inner strap (STRAP A) will be placed closest to the centre front and is longer than outer strap (STRAP B).
  • Mark the finished length on your strap, don’t worry about the seam allowance for a moment, with chalk or a fabric marking pen.
  • Don’t cut the straps, keep the extra length so we can adjust if needed.
  • Pin or tack them into place. The straps can just be placed in position on top of the camisole, as in the photo above, making it easy to adjust the length.
  • Make sure the finished strap length marks you made are placed on the stitchline of the camisole, where they will eventually be permanently stitched.
  • See further along in the tutorial if you need help knowing where to position the straps. 
  • Try on your camisole and adjust the length of the straps to suit you.
  • To adjust the strap length pin the excess into a ‘tuck’, or shorten or lengthen by re-pinning at the front.
  • In this example I have pinned a ‘tuck’ that is 2cm deep in total when I measured it, so I will reduce my overall final strap length by 2cm.

In the picture above I have pinned the strap and the seam is showing, so that will be the WRONG SIDE of the strap. It really doesn’t matter at this stage for a fitting, but it is something to be aware of when you are attaching your straps later and you can make sure the seam is out of sight on the underside of the strap.

STRAP FITTING CHECKLIST

  • Check you are happy with how high/low your camisole is sitting.
  • Are the straps sitting comfortably on your shoulder without falling off?
  • Is it hanging straight at the side seams?
  • Does the hem look level?
  • You may find, for you, that each strap needs to be a slightly different length. That’s OK, we are all a little asymmetrical.
  • You can move the position of the straps at the back to suit you or to help hide a bra strap.
  • TIP |  Make a note of your ideal strap length and position. Amend your pattern so you are good to go for any future makes.

| CUT THE STRAPS |

Hurrah, you now have a finished strap length!  The photos show both the strap options but you’ll obviously be making one or the other.

  • Add the seam allowances. Add 1cm to the front strap and 2cm at the other end for the back of the strap.

  • Cut off the excess strap

TIP | “Why do the straps have a 2cm SA at the back?” I hear you ask. 2 reasons – It’s for extra strength & stability, so the straps don’t pop out after a few months of constant washing and wearing. Trust me when I tell you that is a very annoying repair to do. And I like a back up plan. It’ll give you an extra bit of length in reserve should you decide “Oh, I wish I’d made these straps a little bit longer”. You can always trim the SA a bit more if you want to…but you cannot add it back on!

| ATTACH THE STRAPS |

The camisole has a 6mm SA on the neckline and armhole and back edge and 1cm on the camisole ‘peak’ to attach the front strap. A 6mm SA is standard in industry for any enclosed seam as it turns better and negates the need to clip and trim the seam allowance. I’ve drawn in the SA/stitchlines with black pen for illustrative purposes.

BACK NOTCHES | The actual construction method is the same for both strap options, it’s just the back strap placement that changes. The strap placement is marked clearly on your pattern for each strap option so you can just clip the relevant notch. Should you happen to notch them all by mistake, as I have for this tutorial, don’t worry you can just ignore the ‘wrong’ ones for your strap option. I’ve marked the back notches for the wide strap in orange pen and the rouleaux strap notches in green pen so you can see which ones I’ve used and ignored.

| WIDE STRAPS |

WIDE STRAPS – attach at front |

  • Place the strap to front camisole with RST (right sides together).  
  • Align the top of the strap with the top edge of the camisole. 
  • Staystitch in SA to hold strap in place.
  • Repeat for the other strap.

WIDE STRAPS – attach at back |

  • With RST place the other end of the strap between the 2 notches on the back camisole. 
  • Align finished strap length on the stitchline of the back camisole. The 2cm SA extends beyond the camisole body.
  • Make sure the strap is not twisted before staystitching in the SA of camisole to hold straps in place.
  • Repeat for the other strap.
  • TRY ON! Now is a good time to try on your camisole just to check you are happy with the strap length and position.

| DOUBLE ROULEAUX STRAPS |

DOUBLE ROULEAUX STRAPS – attach at the front |

  • Place the straps to front camisole with RST (right sides together). Make sure the longer of the 2 straps (STRAP A – the red print) is closest to the centre front and the shorter (STRAP B the mustard print) is towards the side seam.
  • Butt the straps right next to each other so there isn’t a gap. (Unless you want a gap of course!)
  • There may be some variance in the thickness of rouleaux straps as different fabrics may give slightly different results, but just centralise your straps and align the top of the straps with the top edge of the camisole. 
  • Staystitch in SA to hold strap in place.
  • Repeat for the other side.         

 DOUBLE ROULEAUX STRAPS – attach at the back |

STRAP A – (the red print)

  • With RST, place the other end of strap A to the back camisole body.
  • Place strap centrally over the notch (notch closest to the CB) and with the finished strap length on the camisole stitchline.
  • The SA extends beyond the camisole body.

STRAP B (the mustard print)

  • With RST, place the other end of strap B to the back camisole body, but place centrally over the notch closest to the side seam
  • Make sure the straps are not twisted before staystitching in the SA of camisole to hold straps in place.
  • Repeat for the other set of straps.
  • TRY ON! Now is a good time to try on your camisole just to check you are happy with the strap length and position.

| ATTACH THE FACING – FOR ALL VERSIONS (but illustrated on the wide strap version) |

  • Turn camisole body so RIGHT SIDE is facing out and turn the facing so WRONG SIDE is facing out.
  • With RST slide the camisole inside the facing. 

  • Align the neckline, armhole and back edges, matching notches and side seams and pin.
  • Make sure that straps are hanging straight down and not caught in the facing edge. The straps will be sitting between the body and the facing.
  • Anchor straps firmly in place by stitching straight across at the ‘peak’ at the notches and through all layers.

On this stitchline, mark the outside edges of the straps with chalk or fabric marker pen, it should be something that won’t leave a permanent mark.

  • Attach the facing to the body at the neckline, armhole and back with a 6mm SA. It’s important that you stitch through the intersect point you marked earlier (at the edge of the strap) to avoid a step on your finished camisole.
  • If necessary, adjust your line of stitching by taking more or less SA. I’ve drawn the original SA in black pen but I’ve adjusted my stitchline to make sure I stitch through the intersect point.
  • Press the stitchline to set the stitches and trim SA to reduce bulk.
  • Turn through to RS and check you are happy with the straps!

So why am I being so pedantic about stitching to those intersect points?

Because I want to show you how to make a garment that you can wear and be proud of.  The straps are one area where a little bit of knowledge and extra care will make all the difference to the finished result. Does this mean that it has to be perfect. No. This isn’t couture. The aim is just for you to be happy with it. So let me show you what we are trying to avoid…

  • Stitching too wide and missing the intersect point = “steps” either side of the strap

  • Stitching to the inside of the intersect points = the strap doesn’t turn through to the right side properly and will reduce in the length slightly because it’s caught at the point where you have stitched over it.

| UNDERSTITCH |

To make the facing seam roll to the inside of the camisole the next step is to understitch.

  • Turn camisole to RS and pull the facing out so it is extended away from body.
  • RSU understitch through the facing and SA layers. (You may find it easier to press the SA towards the facing before understitching, but it can be done without).
  • Stitch as far as you can up to the front strap peak area, you will only be able to go so far because of your sewing machine foot.
  • Turn facing to the inside of the camisole.
  • Carefully press along the edge with the seam rolled very slightly to the inside of the camisole so it is not visible on the RS .
  • You can find our UNDERSTITCHING TUTORIAL HERE
  • And finally STITCH IN THE DITCH of the side seam to attach the facing and body together (see step 19 in your Maker Instruction booklet).

How delightful and well done! You have made a wonderful job of those straps!