Updated on by Sarina
If you have a lot of trouble sewing fabric tubes and you have to do it a lot, a loop turner can be your friend. It is used to turn thin fabric casings right side out. When you have to make thin fabric tubes for making spaghetti straps, drawstring cords, etc this can be useful.
A solution to problems you encounter when you use pins, needle etc to turn the fabric straps – safety pin coming open in the middle of the casing, or thread breaking in the middle when you use thread and needle.
The loop turner is a thin metal rod with a circle on one end and a hook on the other. It is about 12 inches long. The hook is to be latched onto the fabric and the circle is to hold on to and to prevent the thin metal thing from riding up the fabric tube.
Here is how to use a loop turner.
Cut out your fabric pieces for making the tubes. You can cut the fabric pieces as a bias strip for getting slightly stretchy tubes. If you do not want stretchy tubes, cut the fabric on the straight grainline.
Decide on the width of the fabric casing you want to make. Multiply this by 2. Add 1/2 inch to this as seam allowance. For a 1/4 inch tube, you need to cut 1-inch wide fabric. Decide on the length you want and cut it out in this dimension.
Keep the fabric strip folded by the center, right sides to the inside.
Sew the fabric strip by the middle (for the 1/4 inch wide tube); for any other size keep the seam allowance 1/4 inches.
Trim the seam allowance to 1/8 inch. If you want bulk inside the tube, you can skip the trimming but it is easier to turn the tube if you trim.
Insert the loop turner inside your tube with the hook side being inserted.
When the hook reaches the end, attach it to the end of the fabric. The hook of the loop tuner is very easy to attach to the end of the fabric ; it is a hook afterall with a sharp tip – it can even be attached to the inside of the fabric if you have a closed-end. You have to make sure that the hook is fastened properly and closed tightly on the fabric – otherwise, it will come off when you take it out to pull the tube right side out – this is so annoying and a major sore point with this tool.
Holding on to the circular ring, Pull it out gently through the casing – you may have to use your fingers to coax and move the fabric over the hook first but after this initial hiccup, the whole tube will turn inside out easily.