How to Add Edge Strap Connectors (PATTERN HACK!)

This blog post was inspired by our October Priceless Kit of the Month! For October's kit, we choose to feature our Edge Strap Connector Hardware on the Holly Bag Pattern

The pattern was originally designed so you make your own strap connectors out of your exterior fabric; however, we thought it would be fun to make the entire bag out of faux leather! Since faux leather is a thicker material, it would be difficult to make and attach the strap connectors as instructed in the pattern. That's where edge strap connectors come in handy! 

I've created this blog post to share some tips and alternate instructions for making the Holly Bag with edge strap connectors. You can sew the pattern as is, but these "pattern hack" instructions will help reduce some of the bulk, making it easier to sew! The hardware instructions can be applied to almost any bag pattern! 

First, I want to share my Top 10 Tips for Sewing with Faux Leather!

  1. There are a variety of weights and textures of faux leather depending on the manufacturing process and the backing fabric. You may notice that some faux leather has more stretch than others. You’ll have to keep that in mind and consider the end results of your fabric.
  2. If you feel the need to iron out any wrinkles, set your iron to a LOW or SYNTHETIC heat setting. Make sure to always iron from WRONG SIDE of the fabric, and use a press cloth. Do not use any steam – it will detach the bond.
  3. Cut one layer at a time. This will help prevent your scissors or rotary cutter from becoming dull. It's also much easier to cut one layer at a time.
  4. If you’re finding that your fabric is sticking to your foot, you have a few options. First, you can change your presser foot to either a Teflon foot or a roller foot. If you don't have a Teflon or roller foot, add a small piece of matte tape to the bottom of your presser foot. Otherwise, you can add a layer of tissue paper between your foot and your fabric while you sew to prevent sticking. The tissue paper can be torn away after sewing.
  5. Use a Denim Needle, size 90/14 or 80/12 to sew through faux leather!
  6. Use Sewing Clips instead of pins! Faux leather does not self heal, so pins will leave permanent holes.
  7. Polyester thread works best with faux leather because it's very strong compared to cotton thread. Some great brands are Sulky Poly Deco and Superior Sew Fine. 
  8. Use a longer stitch length, such as 3mm or 3.5mm. The shorter the stitch length, means here will be more holes in your fabric and it can weaken the seam. 
  9. Best practice is to leave a long thread tail and hand tie the end of each seam, instead of back stitching. You can back stitch faux leather, but hand tying looks much more professional. 
  10. You can leave faux leather raw edge! Faux leather doesn't fray so it's a great option for bag straps, applique, and unique accents on projects. If you don't like the "raw" edge look, use a marker or a leather edge paint to coat the raw edge for a more finished look. 

Now, let's move onto the updated Holly instructions for adding Edge Strap Connectors!

  • Do not cut the Strap Connectors from your Exterior Fabric as instructed in the pattern. Instead, use two Edge Strap Connectors found here.
  • Page 4 MAKE & ATTACH STRAP CONNECTORS: Skip this section and move onto ASSEMBLE THE BAG. 
  • After the bag is assembled, follow the directions below.
    • 1. Unscrew the back plate from each connector. 
    • 2. Center one back plate on each side of the Gusset, aligning the top edges. Make sure one hole is towards the top and two holes are towards the bottom. Mark the three screw holes from the back plate. 

    • 3. Cut or punch a hole, approximately 1/4” in diameter, at each mark. If you're cutting the holes with a scissors, you can use a seam ripper to help get them started if needed. A Rotary Punch is the easiest way to cut the holes.

    • 4. Position the front side of each connector over the holes on the bag. Make sure the front side of the connector is against the outside of the bag.

    • 5. Position each back plate over the holes against the lining side, and screw each connector in place. These connectors are very strong and add a high-end finish to your bag!

  • Continue with the rest of the pattern as instructed. 

Want to make this bag? We've put together a kit that has EVERYTHING you need to make the Holly Bag. That's right, all of the faux leather, fabric, stabilizer, hardware kit, and zipper are included! Kits are limited edition, and while supplies last!

Shop the Kit Here!

Be sure to share pictures of your completed Holly Bag featuring faux leather with #sallietomato and #pricelessbagkit. We'd love to see your bag!


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