Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Blank-Slate Belt

Ever have an outfit in need of a belt but you don't have any that match it?  Sometimes that happens to me and then I have to start from square one.  Then I thought, if I had a plain belt that I could add easily add coordinating embellishments to, it might be easier to pull an outfit together.  Thus, this project was born.

To get started, purchase a few yards of thick, black elastic banding.  Most craft or fabric stores carry a selection of this material.  Choose the width and color you want.  Before cutting your belt, you'll need to figure out how you want it to fit.  Keep in mind where you plan on wearing it (at the hips, at the waist, etc.) and that you want it tight but not too tight and not too loose.

To secure the end of the elastic, fold it twice and pin in place.

I chose to fold it so that the band was about half an inch.

First, sew along the edge using a straight stitch a few times to ensure that it is secured.

Next, you'll want to use a zigzag stitch for good measure.

On the other end, measure an extra inch from where you originally sized it.  (That way you'll be able to fold a half-inch band like before.)

After measuring everything, then make the cut. (Its always a smart idea to double-check your measurements before cutting because you can't undo what scissors do.)

Fold it twice to make the half-inch band, pin, and sew using the previous instructions.


Now that both ends of the elastic have been secured, its time to add the closure.  I find that hook-and-eye closures work well for belts.  Since elastic pulls, you'll want to use the larger ones that are more substantial.  Determine how many you'll need (it will depend on how thick the elastic is, but generally speaking 3-5 hook-and-eyes should do the job).

Line up the "hook" part of the closure so that it meets the edge of the belt.

Sew the hooks by hand to secure them to the elastic.


Half of your belt closure is now complete.


For the other side, line up the ends of the belt, and place the "eye" part of the closure directly across from the coordinating hook.

Repeat the hand sewing steps to secure the eyes to the elastic.  (Again, be sure to line up the eye right along the edge of the elastic.)

Now your "Blank-Slate" belt is complete!  Wear it as is or add flower pins, bows, brooches, etc to embellish it.  The nice thing about doing that is you can change the look of your belt in an instant!  It is such a multipurpose accessory. 

~Beaucoup de Bisous~

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