I’ve long expressed interest in playing music again and my boyfriend wants someone to play with him. So this Christmas he got me my very first bass guitar. Now, I’m not a music newbie. I’ve played brass instruments all my life, I can mess around competently with a piano and I had a brief relationship with the double bass. It only makes sense that to play music with a guitar, mandolin, ukulele playing boyfriend that I get a complementary instrument that I am interested in. However the bass came with no strap! Crafting to the rescue!
This is the strap I mean to emulate. It’s one of my boyfriends.
1. Quilting squares.
2. A strap with adjustable end piece.
3. Iron-on fabric pads. (I’ll talk more about these later)
4. Normal quilting supplies.
1. First I cut the fabric into 3-1/2 inch wide straps. Since I was using fabric squares, a single length would not be long enough, sew two lengths together then cut to the right length. For me it was about 34 inches long. In hindsight my strap is a bit long, make sure to measure it on yourself or do a mock-up before sewing.
2. The pocket. This is meant to hold any small things you need. I cut a 3-1/2 by 4-1/2 rectangle.
3. Iron the fabric so that 1/4 of each edge is down.
4. Sew along the top in a straight line.
5. Sew the pocket onto the strap where you want it around the other three sides of the rectangle. Right now a safety pin is holding the pocket shut, but once I get to the store I’ll buy some snaps and sew them on.
6. Put the two side of the straps facing each other (pin if you really want to) and lay batting over the straps.
7. Cut batting to size and pin all three layers together. (I actually used 2 layers of batting, use as many as you want! I wouldn’t go above 3 though without increasing the width of the strap.)
8. Sew down each side of the strap and turn the fabric right-side-out, iron. To sew, I placed the batting side up so that it would not get caught in the sewing machine, but if you do make sure the batting also doesn’t get caught in the foot. Mine got caught from time to time. Sew slow if needed.
An aside: For the ends of the strap that connects to the guitar I used the iron on elbow pads I had lying around. My boyfriend informs me that this part of the guitar strap will always fail first. So in the future, when I need to make a heavy-duty strap, I will go with something stronger. However for my needs of playing around the house and with friends, the integrity of my straps should be sufficient.
9. Turn the top edge of your strap (the side that will connect to the neck of the guitar) inwards approx. 1/4 inch. Place two of the iron-on pads “sticky” side together over your end and iron according to directions (approx. 30 seconds each side moving the iron around)
10. For the bottom end of the strap turn the ends in approx. 1/4 inch. Place a loop of black strap material between the strap fabric with the plastic adjustable piece attached as shown below. Pin.
11. Sew around the outside of the strap approx. 1/4 inch in from the edge. I did two passes over each end for strength.
12. Not shown. For the lower side of the guitar strap, the black strap that fits into your adjustable plastic piece. Use step 9 to attach two elbow pads to the end of your [black] adjustable strap. Sew over the portion where the black strap meets the elbow pads for extra strength. I did a square with two diagonal cross sections so that it looked nice and would help with strength. You can see this piece on the bottom in the last photo below.
13. Cut a slit in each of the elbow pad sections. Sew around the slit if you wish, I didn’t and mine has held up fine so far! I’ll update otherwise.
Shown below is the finished product with the acoustic bass guitar.