Side tabs

A side tab is just that little extra that makes your handmade item look neat and professional. It plays not only decorative role but also helps to grip better when opening a zipper or it can hold a carabiner or a key ring.

How to make a side tab

I use side tabs with the following tutorials – jeans makeup pouch, flat makeup bag or pencil case, key pouch, boxy pouch or as strap holder with this draw-string handbag. I have three options how to make a side tab with this free tutorial.

Three options how to make a side tab

Make it from a piece of denim

How to sew a side tab from denim

This is the least bulky option. To make it prepare a small rectangle, the size is up to you, you may wish it to be larger or smaller. Mine here has started with a rectangle of 4-5cm (1,5″-2″) x 7-8cm (2,5″-3″). Fold it along (iron if needed) and stitch along the edges.

Fold and stitch along

Then fold in half and tack in place, now it’s ready to be inserted into a pouch.

Tack in place

Using jeans’ belt loop

Jeans belt loops are cool looking small details which we often want to add to our denim sewing projects. However, they can be a nightmare to detach from jeans. Check out my special way to do this, easy and safe. Pay attention at where your fingers are placed, picker is a dangerous tool!

How to make a side tab from jeans loop? Very carefully unpick the loop from a pair of jeans, fold in half and stitch. It looks good, but major minus of it is that it adds the most of bulk. It is very thick and together with other layers of your sewing project sometimes impossible to sew through.

I can recommend two things here for you to get it done. 1) Only use thinner loops. You can easily feel by touch that some denims are thicker and stronger, some are softer. Choose softer loops to make these side tabs. 2) When it gets tough under the sewing machine foot, go really slow, rotate the machine wheel by hand.

Making a side tab from jeans belt loops

Twist the jeans loop

To avoid too much bulk of a jeans loop try not folding it in half but twisting it. You will need longer loops here.

Twisting a jeans loop to have less bulk

That’s about it for my mini tutorial on side tabs. Hope it helps!