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Interchangeable Suspenders (ruffled, plain, and bows)


Okay, first of all……..I love all of the votes that came in for the ‘Next Project Idea’ poll.  The project winner is definitely the Fabric Storage Cubes.  And I will come up with something and will share how I made them here in a week or so. 

However, so many of you wanted the other projects too.  Like, you were willing to saw an arm off to see one of them made.  Haha…..not really.  But I will choose a few more to share and will throw those in, here and there.  Many of them are ones I would like to make for gifts or for my home anyway.  So, that’s perfect. 

Stay tuned for those!

. . . . .




Who says suspenders are just for boys?


And who says you only need one pair?




How about some Interchangeable Suspenders………which can be switched out with each outfit. 


Only one set of suspender hardware is needed.  (Yay for saving a few dollars!)




Suspenders sure add a little color/flair to an outfit. 

(Even if they aren’t needed to hold up those pants.)




They have 2 sets of snaps on the front, for growth.  And some stretchy elastic in the back, to help keep them snug.




Make a set for a little girl…………or even for yourself.




But don’t forget that you can make a set of interchangeable suspenders for the little fellas too! 

They are nice and easy to switch out, without buying a bunch of metal suspender pieces.



And really, you could fancy them up however you want to.  No limits.



Would you like to make your own set??



First of all, you can find my original suspender tutorial here.  Have you been reading long enough to remember when my little boy was this little?  Wow.  Such an itty bitty little guy.



These suspenders are the same basic idea as my old tutorial…..just with a little twist at the end.


And again, I didn’t buy actual suspender hardware.  I bought 2 Fashion Fit Clips at Joann Fabric and then made them work.  (Explained more in the old suspender post, here.)


. . .



Anyway, to get started, create your suspenders just like the suspender tutorial linked above but add a few extra inches, so that you can make these suspenders adjustable.


(My little girl wears about a 5T…….I cut my strips 2.5 x 25 inches.  It ended up being a little longer than I needed but was nice to have a little extra just in case.  Maybe that will help some of you.)



These finished suspenders strips are 1 inch wide, just like the original ones. 


Zig-zag along one end of each of the two strips you are using for your suspenders.  Then attach 2 snaps to each end, right above the zig-zag.  Then attach 2 snaps to the end of each elastic strip, spaced the same as they are on the fabric part of the suspenders. (Remember, snaps are easy.  Learn more here.)

Now, attach the metal clamps to the back waistband of your subjects pants and then determine a good place to create the ‘X’ in the back of the suspenders.  Pin the two strips in place, where they cross.   Now remove from the pants and sew the suspenders in place, to keep the ‘X’ at the right angle.



Now, thread the other end of each of the two suspender pieces through the metal parts that didn’t have the elastic……and fold under at the length that fits your subject.  (Trying them on again is helpful at this point.)  Then pin in place.



Now, flip them to the back side and cut off about 2 inches above the metal part.



Zig-zag this end now, and then add a snap to the end.  (Remember, snaps are easy.  Learn more here.) 



Then, right where you had the end folded up about 2 inches, add the other end of the snap.  Then place another one right below it, about an inch down, so that there is room for growth.  Remember to face the snaps the correct way, so that they will fit into each other.



See?  Once it’s folded up, it snaps in place.  And then can snap into the one below it, when your little one grows taller.



Repeat the same thing to the other side of the suspenders.  See below?  There’s the front of one of the pieces and the back to the other piece.  These ends will both be attached to the front of the pants.



That’s the basic idea to the interchangeable suspenders. 

Now you can make more colors and styles.  Make them girly, make the boyish……..have fun with it!

. . . . .


To make the ruffly pair…….create your suspenders with the snaps all attached.  Then cut 2 long strips of fabric that are twice the length of each suspender and are 1 1/4 inch wide.  Then serge (or zig-zag) each long end.  (If you don’t want the raw edges, even if they are serged……create a tube that is 1 1/4 wide and then go onto the next step.  Just know that gathering the tube will be a little more difficult.)


Then, sew a basting stitch right down the center of each long strip.  Don’t back stitch at each end.  (Need help gathering?  Click here.)



Gather each strip in and pin them to the front side of the suspenders………starting above the snaps in the front and going all the way back until the strips criss-cross in the back.



Sew the ruffles in place, right along the same basting stitch.  Pull out the basting stitch if you can, or pick it out.  Or you can leave it there.





If you want to make little bows to go on the front…….create little tubes of fabric.  (Learn to make a tube here.)  Size doesn’t matter.  Whatever size looks best to you.


Then fold each end of the strip towards each other and sew in place.



Now, grab a more narrow strip of fabric (I just folded extra of the tube I used for the bow and folded it in half lengthwise) and hand-stitched one end to the back of the bow.



Then, I pinched the center of the bow in the center, wrapped the strip around the center…….



Then folded the end under and stitched this end in place.



Done.  There’s my two bows.  You can now hand stitch the bows right to the suspenders or hot glue them.   I stitched mine.



Now, stop here or make more.


And now you have a great little collection of interchangeable suspenders. 


What a fun little accessory!




Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Jones Murphy says:

    They all are so cute! thanks for sharing.have a nice day!

  2. Sophia says:

    CUTE!! I’ve wanted suspenders soo long I wold buy boy’s and dye them.

  3. Brianne says:

    Love it!!! Thank you so much! I would have never thought to use snaps, but I do think it looks so much better than having all that metal! Thanks!


  4. tawna says:

    Oh My Goodness!!!!! These are too cute! I have a 5 yr old daughter who is extremely long-waisted and I am FOREVER telling her to pull her pants up! And all of our friends make a suspender joke each time! lol! But, the jokes on them because these are darling! Her first day of kindergarten was yesterday and I definately see some suspenders in her future! Thanks for the awesome idea!

  5. Hi says:

    Speaking of interchangeable…I made some cute fabric flowers to go in hair and attached Velcro to the back of each flower I made and attached a piece of Velcro to one headband. So now when I want a flower to go with a different outfit, I just simply remove one flower and add another. It is so much easier than having a hundred headbands lying around. Instead I have a hundred flowers laying around!!!

    p..s. I like these suspenders. They are really cute on your little miss.

  6. G!ne says:

    They are really cute! I have a little 9-month-old daughter – perhaps she has to wear suspenders soon!!! :-D
    And since 2 days i have a little nephew – he absolutely needs such little, cute suspenders!!!

  7. Monica says:

    Squeal! I really love this look, thank you for sharing!!!

  8. Steph @ Crafting in the Rain says:

    How cute are these! And they look way better on all your models than on the purple pair I tried to pull off on the first day of school in 7th grade (back in the early 90’s :)

  9. whatever DeeDee Wants says:

    These are WAY cute! I especially love the ruffles ones.

  10. mary young says:

    how darling are these?!?!?! great idea and thanks for the clear directions!

  11. Dorothee-Maria says:

    I just LOVE you for this.
    Thank you so so so very much!!!

  12. George | Pocket Folders says:

    Those are very cute and colorful suspenders. I am thinking if it can be my gift on Christmas for my nephews. By the way, those two cute little kids wearing the suspenders are really charming.

  13. Amy says:

    aahh! I’d saw an arm off for the ruffle dress!!! (i’m only partly kidding) ;) love the suspender idea!!

  14. Rachel says:

    I think I will try this for a nursing cover. Just one of them, with clips at both ends. Then I can just attach it to whatever blanket I have with me, instead of lugging around a separate cover. Do you think that would work? Are the clips strong enough?

    1. Emily says:

      Now Thats an awesome idea!! If the clips hold up the pants of running jumping kids I’d expect them them withstand all but the most determined of babies.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Def works! Also, alligator clips lined with ribbon and a long piece of ribbon. They work for bib clips as well. Make any napkin a bib!

  15. Emma Ashby says:

    Do you think I could pull these off?? I thought of making them for my cute nephews but when I saw how cute they look on your little girl I decided I want some for myself! They are adorable!!

  16. Emily says:

    I had just found the old suspenders tutorial :) these are even better! (if I can work up the courage to tackle snaps) darn string bean children

  17. BluBabesCreate says:

    How darling! And your kids are too!

  18. Karan says:

    Too cute. I have lots of nieces and nephews that have little ones and these would be adorable Christmas gifts for them. I never know what to make of get them.


  19. Sharon Thomas says:

    You come up with the very best ideas! These are all too cute.

  20. Liz says:

    Being British, I thought of a completely different garment when I read suspenders!

  21. Crystal says:

    OH MY GOODNESS! My youngest daughter would look soo good in these… I think I need to make her some in every color!

  22. Michele says:

    I will make these and love them!! They are so awesome – love the colors – and wow, do they add cuteness to an outfit!

    xoxo michele

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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