Sewing

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Suspenders

May 20, 2019

Great looks for all the dapper occasions.

DIY fabric suspenders are one of the easiest ways to customize formal attire. A pop of cool fabric that suits your personality or vibe is a way to really stand out. You can opt for a fabric color/pattern that complements the suit or tux the suspenders will be paired with, or that coordinates with your date’s outfit (or better yet, both!). Throw in a bespoke matching bow tie if you’re feeling really fancy.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Matching Bow Tie & Suspenders

Dritz supplies:

Other supplies:

  • Fashion fabric or quilting cotton
  • Medium weight interfacing
  • Coordinating vinyl or leather and this pattern for the patch
  • Iron and pressing surface
  • Sewing machine and matching thread

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Matching Bow Tie & Suspenders

This is the look we’re going for – don’t you just love it? The fun floral fabric is just right for the season, and the lovely plum color is too.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Matching Bow Tie & Suspenders

This is what the suspenders look like. The front straps are constructed out of fabric, and attach at the waist with Dritz suspender clips hardware. The back strap is constructed out of elastic and attaches at the waist in the back with a third suspender clip. The three straps are joined with a patch that sits mid-way on your back.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Suspenders

To calculate the length of fabric you’ll need for the suspender straps, you’ll need to take some body measurements first. Measure from front belt loop, over shoulder to center of shoulder blades. Add 6″ to 8″ to that length to make straps that are adjustable. This is the strap length measurement.

Measure from center of shoulder blades to back belt loop. This is the elastic length measurement.

Cut materials as follows:

  • Fashion fabric: 2 pcs: strap length measurement x 3”
  • Interfacing:  2 pcs: strap length measurement x 2”
  • Elastic:  to elastic length measurement
  • Vinyl or leather:  2 pcs:  back patch pattern

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Suspenders

Trim ½” off one end of interfacing pieces. Center interfacing on wrong side of strap. Align one end with fabric edge and other end will be ½” from the end of the strap. Fuse interfacing to strap following manufacturer’s instructions.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Suspenders

Fold in half widthwise, right sides together, and stitch with ½” seam allowance. Do not turn strap right side out yet. On short end with no interfacing, fold tube so seam is opened and centered. Stitch end with ½” seam allowance.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Suspenders

Trim corners and then turn tube right side out using the quick turn tool. (See how easy it is to use.) Be sure to have seam allowance open while tube is being turned. This will keep all the layers of the suspender strap even. Push out corners and press strap flat with seam centered down back of strap. Repeat with second strap.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Suspenders

Now that the straps are ready, take a look at the hardware. These Dritz hardware pieces are essential for making top-notch suspenders. The clips attach the straps at the waist, and the slides allow you to adjust the straps so they fit comfortably.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Suspenders

Slide about ¾” of finished end of strap through bottom of suspender slide from back to front. Teeth will face forward. Be sure seam is facing forward, too. Stitch to secure.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Suspenders

Loop raw end of strap through suspender clips from back to front. Seam will be on inside of strap.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Suspenders

Slide raw end of strap through top of slide, over teeth. Pull strap through until doubled length is about 8”. Repeat with second strap.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Suspenders

Position straps and elastic on pattern piece as shown. Trim ends of straps. Put pieces of Wash Away Wonder tape on elastic and strap ends. Place 1 back patch piece, right side up, over pattern and push on taped pieces to secure straps and elastic to back patch. Turn back patch over and repeat tape and positioning with second back patch.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Suspenders

Edgestitch around vinyl to secure straps and elastic.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Suspenders

Loop elastic end through suspender clip and stitch to secure.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Matching Bow Tie & Suspenders

Add a bow tie in matching fabric to finish off the look.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Bow Tie

The Dritz bow tie set hardware is the essential ingredient here, making it easy to construct a bow tie that is adjustable and easy to take on and off.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Bow Tie

Follow these instructions to make a traditional bow tie, or take inspiration from these other bow tie projects.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Matching Bow Tie & Suspenders

The last thing on your list? How about a date. And it’s no coincidence that her dress pairs perfectly with those dapper accessories. That’s what we call planning!

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Happy sewing!