Today I'm going to share with you how I sew my cross in a box stitch.
I'll be demonstrating on my Nappy Bag sew along panels as they're perfect for this. You want the handle to be strong enough to take a fair old weight!
To begin with, you want your square to be...well, square. So go ahead and measure the distance between the two rows of stitching. I found mine to be spot on 1", so I marked two lines across the strap 1" away from each other with my tracing wheel.
Then turning the panel around I stitched up the long edge of the strap from the bottom on the right hand side (right hand side as it is upside down).
I stitched all the way to the top of the line I marked with my tracing wheel and along it. Then I started stitching down the other side of the strap until I reached my second tracing wheel line.
Stop here with your needle down. Now we're going to pivot. (There's a lot of pivoting in this post, can everyone say it with me...in a Ross voice...PIVOT!).
Pivot so that you are facing the opposite corner to the one you are currently at. This should be the right hand corner as shown.
Stitch to that corner and then with your needle down and presser foot up pivot so that you are facing along the top tracing wheel marked line where you have stitched previously. You will end up with two rows of stitching along the top.
Stitch along the top until you reach the corner then with needle down and presser foot up...that's right...pivot! You will now be heading across the diagonal which hasn't already been sewn.
Stitch the the bottom corner where the tracing wheel line meets the side stitching, then you're going to....stop and pivot!
The final line to be stitched is the bottom of the box, sew along until you reach the opposite corner of the box and then stop with your needle down for our last pivot.
Now the box is sewn, the cross is sewn, all that's left is to stitch down the final side of the strap to the bottom for a fully secure handle.
It's handy to always start from the same side of a strap so that you don't get your pivots mixed up!
You will need to roll excess into your machine throat anyway, so you might as well stick to stitching the same side first to save confusion.
Here's a photo of the back showing the stitching. On the Nappy bag it is shown, so it can be helpful to use a bobbin thread to match the pocket lining. It's done this way so that there's the extra lifting power of the lining and the interfacing as opposed to just the outer and one layer of interfacing.
I've prepared a handy reference guide for you to use, just remember to pivot at each corner!
Arrows 1, 2, 3 & 7 form the outer box, 4 & 6 form the cross and 5 is simply a hallway line.
If you're still uncertain, try drawing it out on a piece of paper without lifting your pen up.
And for you pinterest lovers, here's a little graphic you can pin now and refer back to time and time again!