how to: stretchy spaghetti straps

 

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In a Baby-Muppets moment, the boys took this picture of "me."  You know, where their caretaker has no face?  She's just a very available pair of striped tights with hands & arms for getting things.   It's okay, I'll take it.  

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My Mother-In-Love's best friend made her an apron I've been crazy for, in just the best colors.  I go on & on about it when I'm at her house, so-in-love-I-am with the very-Japanese (to me) 1940's print, the genius simplicity of the square pattern with the corner turned-down.  

 

So how ecstatic was I when I opened a ribbon-wrapped tissue parcel to find one of my own?  In my colors, same print, with the same genius matching square pocket?  Very much indeed.   Thank you Vicki!!  (She's also the one responsible for the red cowboy boots) I love, love this apron & have been wearing it everyday for the last 3 weeks.  A few times I've fallen asleep with it on while reading Charlie & the Chocolate Factory to the kids.  They always put me to sleep.

 

And since it's in the pictures, I thought I'd close up on my favorite shirt strap for nursing mama's, who need "easy access" to well-fitting shirts without ripping their shirt seams.  These strapsare also great for people who move a lot, like yogis, kids & teeny-boppers.

 

So sweet to see & so easy to do.  They take about 15 minutes with some practice.  Oh what the heck, here's the instructions:

 

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Stretchy Spaghetti Straps:

 

1. Cut 2 pieces of 1 1/4"-wide cotton.   The length should be the measurement of your mid-back to your bustline. 

2. Make a piece of "spaghetti" by folding one piece in half length-wise, right-sides together.  Stitch down the length, using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Use a loop turner to turn it inside out.  

3. Cut two 1/4"-piece of elastic to exactly the length you want your straps to be.  Set one aside.

4. Pin a tiny safety pin to one end of the elastic & feed it through the spaghetti strap until you have just enough to hold onto.  Stitch this end of the strap closed, with the bit of elastic poking out.  You'll attach this end to the back of your shirt.

5. Scrunch the rest of the strap down over the elastic, until you get to the end.   Pin the layers together, 2 inches from the end & then again, at the end.  The length between the pins should be flat & not scrunched up.  

6. Set your machine to do a tiny buttonhole,  through all 3 layers.  Remove top pin.  Fold under the ends & hand stitch closed.  

7. Sew a little button onto your shirt with a happy-colored bit of thread.  Or some other appropriate feeling.  But please do make it emotional.  It's a very feminine detail.

Another little girly detail I'm loving, something I knew nothing about: fold over elastic in colors.  Are these just for wee girls?  No at all.  I'm a long-time fan of Rozae Nichols, who makes fashion so easy with her elastic waist bands.  (I have to say that her collection looks really harsh right now, but in real life she's known for interesting colors, fairy-like layers & beautiful detailing on her fabrics.  Not right now, I guess)  Any who - elastic makes me happy & I'm about to start using it everywhere from book covers to shift dresses.  Just think of the possibilities!