How to make {PERFECT} thin fabric tubes

A sewist sure knows the value of a good fabric tube; also called Rouleau loops they are very versatile. They have many many uses in sewing.

  • They are used to make button loops.
  • They are used as drawstrings in the back and front of tops and blouses.
  • These fabric tubes make great spaghetti to make thin straps

These fabric  tubes are very easy to make – you do not need any fancy tool like a loop turner to make these ones; though they are great to have. 

Which cloth is suitable for Fabric tubes?

It is better that you choose a synthetic light weight cloth  to make these tubes. Heavy Cotton or heavy synthetic materials are best avoided. 

What do you need to make these tubes ?

You need preferably the longest bias strip you can make, without joints width of which is 1.5 inches. If you do not have enough fabric to make very long strips, you will have to join several bias strips together. Join them diagonally. 


Checkout the tutorial to make the bias tape for more details and instructions

A thick hand sewing needle / tapestry needle

Double strand thread 

How to make very thin Fabric tubes ?

fabric tubes

 Cut out fabric strips cut on the bias.

Fold the 1 1/2″ bias strip by half lengthwise. Mark a stitching line 2/8″ from the fold .

fabric tubes

Stitch through that marked stitching line

(Another option is to take a fabric strip of 1 1/4 inch and stitch 1/2 inch from the fold)

Thread the tapestry needle with a double strand of thread. Knot the ends together so that you have a very long thread 4 layers of thread together. (This is so that you have a very strong thread which do not break when you pull the tube inside out)

fabric tubes

Anchor the thread at the end of the  fabric strip. Make the thread extra secure here.A buttonhole twist is good to secure it super thoroughly. 

roulleu strips

Thread the needle through the tube till it come out from the other side. Coax the tube inside out with the needle and thread. ( The first part of pushing the needle in and coaxing the end is the most difficult part. If you are having problems, cut off a bigger hole at the edge for ease in the first part) One easy way is to reverse the needle ie GO FORWARD THROUGH THE TUBE BY THE EYE SIDE OF THE NEEDLE WHICH IS BLUNT. ( I find it impossible to proceed with the sharp side and almost always use this side to pass through the tubes)

thin fabric tubes

The extra fabric outside the stitching line will form the bulk inside the tube and make it look well rounded and thick. 

make thin tubes

If you find that the cording seems to have unwanted bumps, just wet it and use your hands to arrange it smooth or better stretch it smooth. When it is dry it will be properly distributed

Checkout the tutorial to sew a Drawstring lounge pants to see how these tubes are used as waistband ties.

You can make drawstring stoppers to prevent the drawstrings from accidentally slipping out of the casing, following the tutorial given in the post about making gift bags .

fabric gift bag diy

gift bag in fabric

You can also use big buttons or beads as stoppers as well as check out the following photos for more ideas. 

fabric tubes

fabric tubes

How to make Flat Spaghetti straps ?

To make spaghetti straps it is better that you get fabric strips which are cut on the straight grain unless you want the straps to stretch.

Turn under the short ends of the strips 1/4 inches . Now fold the strip right sides together along the center line lengthwise. Stitch along the edge. If you are using knit cloth to make the straps use a small zig zag stitch to sew. 

You can turn this inside out by using a safety pin. Another easy option is to keep a ribbon or cord  inside the tube  as you sew. Cord / ribbon should be 1-2 inches more than the fabric strip.

Keep the cord or ribbon inside the fabric strip fold so that it is 1″ extended from the short edge. Make sure to attach the ribbon with a basting stitch to that  edge.After you have stitched the tube, You can now easily turn the tube inside out easily pulling on the ribbon/ cord. Remove the basting stitches and the cord afterwards.You have a perfectly turned spaghetti strap

Fabric tubes with cording inside

To make a fabric tube with cording filled inside, you have to sew the bias strips right sides together with the cording inside. Sew along the edge of the cording closely with a zipper foot. Make sure that you have stitched (securely) the cording to fabric edge (without sewing the opening closed). Now when you pull the cording ,the fabric tube will automatically turn right side out , with the tube inside.

Related posts :

transparent sheer fabric  fabric bow tutorials