In the Colette Patterns Handbook, you’ll find the lovely Licorice dress pattern. It comes with a long tie belt. For this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a fabric covered belt with a buckle to replace the tie belt. Casey wrote an excellent post on making fabric covered belts. This tutorial is showing you how to make them a little bit differently. Take a look at both to find the one that works for you. If you have any belt making tips, please tell us in the comments!
belting or very stiff interfacing
buckle kit or buckle
Belting material is ideal for making your own belt because it is very stiff like a store bought belt. If you can’t find any, use a thick, stiff interfacing instead. Fashion Fabrics Club sells belting by the box, but there’s quite a bit of it, so maybe you and a friend could share it!
1. With your coordinating garment on, measure the width of your waist or the place where you will wear your belt. Add a few more inches so that it will pass through the buckle. If you add eyelets, you’ll want it to be longer than a short belt. Play with the tape around your waist to find the ideal length for you. This will probably be at least 6″ longer than your waist measurement.
2. Once you’ve found the measurement you want, cut out a piece of belting or interfacing that length. Note: measure the inside of the buckle to find the correct width. You may need to cut the belting width down.
3. On a piece of paper, draw the length of the belt plus 1″. Double the width of the belting and add 1 1/2″ (5/8″ seam allowance). For this belt, we multiplied 3/4″ x 2 = 1 1/2″ then added 1 1/2″ seam allowance = 3 1/2″. Draw a 3″ width on the paper. If you want a smaller seam allowance, go ahead and add it here instead of 1 1/2″. Finish drawing the belt pattern piece.
4. Cut out the fabric with the piece you just made.
5. Fold the fabric in half and sew down the length of it. Note: if you don’t have belting and are using interfacing, cut the interfacing as you would belting. Before folding the fabric in half and sewing, iron the interfacing to the middle of the wrong side of the fabric. Your belt will be very pliable because interfacing is not as hard as belting.
6. Trim and press the seam allowance flat. Make sure the seam is in the middle of the belt.
7. Sew a straight line, or curved or triangular depending upon your fashion idea, along one edge. Trim the seam allowance.
8. Pull to the right side.
9. Press flat. Insert the belting. Make sure the seam is center on the back of the belt. It will take some time to push the belting through.
10. Iron the belting, making sure the seam is in the middle.
12. Once the belting is in place, it’s time to add the buckle. If you’re using a fabric covered buckle kit, follow the instructions. To add the buckle, fold the extra bit of fabric at the end of the belt through the buckle. Pin the fabric in place.
13. With the edge folded under, stitch in place.
- cut striped fabric on the bias for a fun look
- use a contrasting colors for the belting and buckle
- if your dress is polka dot, use a reverse colored polka dot fabric for the belt
- sew ribbon or lace to the belting fabric before you assemble the belt
Some related posts you may be interested in: