Two of my recent sewing projects have called for self covered fabric belts, but after searching the local sewing stores and online in Australia I could not find a belt making kit anywhere. Thankfully in the resources section in the back of my copy of Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing she listed a place in the USA who sold belt kits. So through the joys of the internet I jumped online to purchase some belt kits and some horsehair braid (for another retro project from Gertie’s book!).
I purchased from a great USA online store A Fashionable Stitch 2 belt kits, one rectangular and one circular buckle. The kits are great and include adhesive material to attach to fabric to buckle, belting, belt prong, eyelets, washers and a great set of instructions with diagrams.
I followed the kits instructions for all the belt making except the way in which the fabric is attached to the belt so here’s how I did it.
Step 1. Press your fabric and if it is a flimsy fabric apply interfacing to the wrong side to make it more stable. Peel off one side of the adhesive pattern and stick it to the wrong side of the material. Cut around the outside of the pattern piece.
Step 2. Carefully cut out the marked portion of the adhesive piece being careful not to cut past the corner lines, I used a small rotary cutter and embroidery scissors for this.
Step 3. Peel the adhesive layer away from the pattern piece and carefully centre the pattern piece over the front portion of the buckle.
Step 4. Carefully stick the fabric to the buckle press down firmly to secure. Once done slip the back of the buckle into the front and crimp centre prong and corners of buckle to secure.
Step 5. If using buckle prong with eyelets attach prong to buckle and close with pliers.
Step 6. Cut the belting adding approximately an extra 6 inches to your waist measurement – shape the end to a point or curve as desired.
Step 7. Measure the width of your belting and cut a piece of fabric on the grain approx 3 inches longer than the length of your belting. My belting was 1 1/2 inches wide so from the folded edge I measured 1 1/2 inches plus 5/8 inch seam allowance. I then sewed along the long edge and trimmed the seam allowance.
Step 8. I then pressed the fabric and seam open so the seam was in the middle of the belt. Then at one end I sewed a point the same dimension as those as the belting material and trimmed the seam allowance so it would sit nicely when turned out to the right side.
Step 9. I turned the fabric so it was facing the right way out and inserted the belting material, pressed it and topstitched the edges of the belt. To ensure the belting didn’t move within the fabric casing I inserted at pin at the other end of the belt where the fabric excess was.
Step 10. Thread excess fabric end through buckle and cut a small wedge of fabric out where prong will pass through (omit this if not using prong and eyelets).
Step 11. Fold over excess and hand stitch closed to secure fabric to belt buckle.
Step 12. Mark holes for eyelets on belt – measure approx 3 1/2 inches from belt tip and mark 4-5 spots for eyelet placement (an inch apart)and then punch holes with either a hole punch (pictured below) or with an eyelet tool.
Step 13. Place eyelets on right side of belt, then turn over belt, place washers over eyelets and punch closed using an eyelet tool and hammer.
And voilá there you have it!
So this is my fabric covered dress on my project – well worth the effort I think!
I hope this help anyone that is aiming to make a fabric covered belt. This tutorial is a bit of a fusion of the fantastic tutorials by A Fashionable Stitch – hand covering a buckle and Coletterie – how to fabric cover a belt which are both fabulous resources so be sure to check them out.