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How to make straps shorter

In this super easy tutorial, learn how to make your straps shorter so you can make the most of your summer wardrobe.

As the sunshine starts to show its face and you start to switch to your spring and summer clothing, you’re more than likely to come into contact with some slipping straps!

According to Fashion Revolution, doubling the life of your clothes from one year to two reduces emissions by 24% which is why it’s key to make the most of the pieces you own – and that includes getting them to fit right.

Not only is the right fit helping the environment by increasing the wearability of your clothes, but it is also a huge self-confidence boost.

We always feel better and more confident when we are at home in our clothes!

For this tutorial, I altered a knitted top I got off eBay last summer, but this method can be used on any strappy clothing.

To watch the video which accompanies this guide, click here.


For this project you'll need:

Sewing supplies for mending a rip in your clothes

• Strappy garment

• Scissors

• Pins

• Measuring tape/ruler

• Sewing thread that colour matches your garment

• Sewing needle


1. First up, whilst wearing your garment, pin the strap at the top of your shoulder so it sits tight. You will only need to do this on one strap as you will use the same measurement on both.

If you find this a bit tricky, get someone to help you.

2. After taking the garment off, lay it flat and measure how much you have taken the strap in by. For this method you only need to measure from the pin to the top of the folded strap.

In my case the measurement was 2.5cm

3. Next, we’re going to transfer this excess to the back end of your strap. On the inside of your garment, fold the strap down below the edge so that there is the same measurement below the edge as the measurement you just took.

4. Fold the strap back up on itself and pin in place.

I’m showing you a really easy, no-cut & no-unpick method but you could unpick the strap and move it down here – if you do so, make sure to double your original measurement so it is shortened the full amount.


Once you’ve got your strap pinned in place, it’s time to get sewing. You’ll be sewing with the right side of the garment facing you so make sure you’ve flipped it before you begin.

I like to use a doubled-up thread as it gives more strength and longevity to the alteration.

5. Start sewing by putting the needle through both layers of strap and come out through the back panel of the garment. Sew along the edge of the garment in this way, along the full length of the strap.

As you sew along, make sure you’re catching all the layers of the garment for a sturdy mend.

6. To secure the strap, you will fix the bottom of the folded strap to the inside of your garment. To do this, push the needle through both layers of the strap and come out again, catching a tiny section of the back panel on the needle as you do.

7. Repeat this stitching all the way along the folded edge of your strap.

8. Repeat these steps on the other strap, using the same measurement so you get an even finished – there’s nothing worse than a wonky strap!

There you have it – you’ve successfully shortened a strap!

While you're on an upcycling roll, why not check out our other tutorials, How to Mend a Rip in Your Clothes, and How to Take Up Your Hem for a Better Fit.

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