Friday, October 1, 2010

Belt It Up

I mentioned back in my pants to skirt tutorial that Charlotte is a skinny girl, and nothing's changed. I just recently washed her new fall clothes and aside from her jeggings and a couple pairs of knit pants, all the waistbands on her pants are too big. We can't go down a size though, because then they'll just be too short. Problem? No. Just an excuse to make her some cute belts. Here's the lowdown on how you can make one for your little munchkin (or yourself for that matter):

1. Begin by gathering together some basic supplies. One or more pieces of fabric, some D rings (I used 1 inch rings, but would have preferred 3/4 inch rings had I been able to find them) and some matching thread.

2. Measure the waist of the belt-wearer and if it's a toddler, add about 7 inches. For an adult you'd probably want to add about 11 or 12, and a child would be somewhere in between. Cut a strip of fabric 2 1/2 inches high (higher for an adult's belt) and as long as the measurement you just calculated.

You can opt to use all the same fabric on your belt, or mix some fabrics together like I did. If you're mixing, just cut your main strip of fabric to the actual waist measurement and then cut a few 2 1/2 inch squares of your other fabric(s). You'll need enough extra squares to make up for those extra 7 inches, plus some to account for seams. Make sense? Hope so. In any case, 4 or 5 squares should be enough.

3. If you're mixing fabrics you'll want to go ahead and piece them all together now. Just sew all your seams at 1/4 inch. You can do the different fabrics in varying lengths, or if your anal retentive side can't be controlled (ahem... that would be me) you can measure each piece to get the exact arrangement you're looking for.

4. Now press open all your seams. Sidenote, did you know there's actually a difference between pressing and ironing? I didn't (but I'm probably the only one as I'm severely lacking in domestic skills). Pressing is when you use the weight and heat of the iron to create a crease. There's no movement of the iron involved. Ironing is when you actually push the iron back and forth against the fabric. You want to press your seams open.

5. Now fold your fabric in half lengthwise, right sides out, and press that crease.

6. Then unfold the crease you just created, fold in on each side until you get your desired belt height and press again. I was looking for a 3/4 inch belt and so folded in about 1/2 inches on each side. It helps to actually get out a ruler to measure from your center crease to each new crease you're creating, just to make sure your belt doesn't end up all wonky.

7. Now, with both sides folded in, you'll want to fold together along that center crease again (you may need to get the iron back out to get everything nice and smooth) and pin every inch or so.

8. Head on over to your machine and stitch your belt closed, about 1/8 inch from the edge. Then go back and stitch 1/8 inch from the edge on the creased side as well.

9. Grab your D rings and one end of your belt. Loop the D rings through, then fold over the fabric twice and stitch in place. (You can see from how out of line the D rings were that I'd have been better off with 3/4 inch D rings for my 3/4 inch belt.)

10. Then fold over the fabric on the other end of your belt twice and stitch in place. Fun little X shape optional. :)

And you're done.

Normally, I'd make my little model show off her stylish new duds for you, but she's fighting the beginnings of a cold, so sleep was more important than a photo shoot.

P.S. If you're looking for more great belt ideas, check out these posts (each word is a link) over at Lil Blue Boo.

P.P.S. This is your last reminder to enter my giveaway! The winner will be drawn on Monday, so get your name in before Sunday at midnight.


marie said...

I'm very impressed! If I had a waist I'd ask you to make a belt for me! Sorry to hear that Charlotte is getting a cold. Maybe Grandpa will make her soem chicken soup.

Jo said...

Poor Charlotte, hope she feels better soon. BTW, the belt looks great!

Judy said...

Super cute, super easy and I love the colors you used and how easy it is to make toddler belts!

Hope your little one is feeling better soon!

Desi said...

Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I will be trying a couple for my grandson.

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