Ogden Art Group Meeting – Neat Tube Turning Technique

I’m back from spending a week of luxury in my daughter’s and SIL’s  home dogsitting.  She has a ranch home and it’s much easier for me and my knees living in a home with all the rooms on one floor.  Plus, she lives close to all sorts of stores, so instead of it taking me 30 minutes to get someplace, I arrive in 5.  What a time saver.  There is no place like home though, and I’m very happy to be sleeping in my own bed. 

I forgot to take photos of a neat technique I learned at last month’s art group meeting, so tried it out again this morning and took photos this time.  It’s an easy way of turning any size fabric tubes you’d like to make – courtesy of Norma’s demo.

Fold your fabric right sides together, and sew a 1/4″ seam – or smaller if you’d like – along the cut edge.  Then go down about a 1/4 of an inch from the top of your sewn tube, and clip a little V shape into the folded edge:


Insert a bobby pin – remember those?  Would you believe I still have a full bag of old school hair rollers with bobby pins in them in my house?  But back to the instructions.  The little bit of fabric at the top is caught in the bobby pin and the bobby pin is slipped inside the tube:

Now you start pushing the bobby pin through the tube, gathering the fabric and slipping it over the bobby pin:

That part was difficult for me when Norma first showed it to me.  I could not get the darn thing started.  At home, I realized I needed to gently start it by making sure the fabric was turned and starting to go inside the tube.  

Voila!!! A nicely turned fabric tube:


I hope you like this technique.  You can make any size fabric tube you’d like, and it saves you the money of having to buy a tube turning gadget. 



22 Responses to “Ogden Art Group Meeting – Neat Tube Turning Technique”

  1. Pommeliane Says:

    Super la méthode, thanks

  2. Barb Says:

    Great technique! I’ve done the same with a safety pin before.

  3. Novaje Says:

    Thank you, thank you! I was making a dress that called for spaghetti straps. I tried using the tool that helps you flip the tubes but the sharp edges kept getting caught in the fabric. ( almost tore a hole in it many times) I saw your post on Pinterest and it helped a lot. I simply had to use a open hair pin instead of closed.

    • Jenny Nitschke Says:

      When using the loop turner tool, once you have the fabric hooked, and you are sitting in front of the sewing machine, hook the ring of the loop turner on the needle bar. Lean back and gentley roll the fabric over itself. Too easy

      • dianemiller Says:

        I didn’t want to spend the money on the loop turner tool, but thank-you for passing on the tip for those people who do use it. Happy sewing.

  4. Robin Says:

    Oh my goodness! I’ve been trying to turn doll shoe straps, and going crazy. Thank you!

  5. Gail Says:

    Thank you for posting & with pictures too! I always enjoy learning new techniques. Found you via Pinterest 🙂

  6. Alaine Says:

    And I had a terrible time with a larger tube to cover the stick of a hobby horse. It had fusible fleece in it and I JUST couldn’t get it turned. I have another one to do before Christmas so will try this for sure!

  7. stitchinggrandma Says:

    Thanks for the great tip. I usually avoid those silly to because I am not able to get them turned easily.

  8. samy aponte Says:

    Gracias. Muy buen tip un abrazo desde Bogota Colombia.Samy

  9. Betty Says:

    Thanks for posting the ‘turning tip’, I had completely forgotten that technique, I used it decades ago when I was learning to sew. A real time saver.

  10. yarngoddess Says:

    Great idea to snip but I can see a safety pin being more effective with its rounded end than the open end of the bobby pin. I’m also thinking few people have bobby pins around the house these days! I’m from the generation that used them to curl our hair every night.

    • dianemiller Says:

      A bobby pin is nice and thin, and long. It’s much easier to find inside the tube, but if you want to use a safety pin, go for it. Everybody finds what works best for them, and you might prefer using a safety pin. That’s the beauty about sewing. We have so many options. Thank-you for taking the time to make this suggestion, and happy sewing.

      • spinningperson Says:

        I had only known the method with the safety pin but I find it hard to find in the tube and also they tend to catch the fabric in that turned part or slip open during turning a tube…
        I’ll definitely try out the bobby pin method.

  11. Carol Says:

    Great Idea…thanks for sharing!

  12. Theresa Says:

    Brilliant! Wish I had known this years ago when making a complicated applique quilt with a ton of little vines!

  13. Cherie Says:

    Thanks for sharing this!

  14. piachi Says:

    AWESOME!! I needed this so badly, Thank you soooo much.

  15. Skandar 1 Says:

    Muy Buena idea,gracias por compartirla

  16. Fernando Alexander Says:

    Thanks, that seems easy enough.

  17. Dee Says:

    If you put a piece of string on the inner fold of the tube before you sew it and sew across the end of the tube to capture it you can just pull out the string and the tube rolls out the correct way. Easiest method of all.

  18. Granny Suzy Says:

    Brilliant! Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.

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