As I mentioned in my DIY fabric headband post, I had enough fabric left over from rehemming my red, white & blue floral eShakti dress to make a fabric belt. I looked up several fabric/ribbon belt tutorials (see here and here, for starters), so this post won’t really be adding anything new to the process. But I did find out there are a few different ways to make fabric belts, as well as all kinds of different buckle fasteners, so it was an interesting process to narrow down my options before starting on this DIY fabric belt project.
First off, here’s the finished result (and scroll down to the bottom for a full-length shot of my first outfit featuring this belt):
And here’s how I put this belt together:
I knew I wanted to reuse the floral fabric, but I also wanted to have another fabric as a backing, to wind up with a double-sided belt. I found a stretchy, denim-like fabric on sale at a local Jo-Ann Fabrics store. I used one of the D-ring ribbon belts already in my closet as a guide for the width and to lay out the fabric. I sewed the two pieces together, with the right sides of the fabric facing each other.
The tricky part was that the floral fabric left over from my rehemming project had a noticeable curve, so I had to spend time seam-ripping the hemmed side. I also had to be careful and cut out the denim backing fabric wider than usual, and position the ribbon belt guide in a way that cut a straight line through the curved fabric. You can see the uneven, curved sides of the floral fabric in the shot below. With a fabric pencil, I then marked out the lines from the ribbon belt to follow when sewing the right sides of the fabric together.
I then trimmed the edges and turned the fabric inside out. This part took the longest, but it helped that the denim-like fabric was stretchy. Next, because the fabric tube was a bit puffy, I ironed it out flat. This was a VERY important step, and you can see the difference this made in the shot below. The right side of the belt is ironed flat, while the left side of the belt is still puffed up.
I then pinned under one side that was going to be the end of the belt, and sewed a border around three sides of the belt. I steadily sewed down one side, around the end (which I kept a square shape just to make the process easier), and then sewed back down the other side. By the way, I used a dark navy thread for the top side, and a dark grey thread in the bobbin.
The last step of the project was to attach the remaining end around the two D-ring buckles. One common method I’ve seen in DIY tutorials is to simply fold over and pin the fabric over the buckles and sew a line (straight or zig-zag) to finish it off. But I wanted my belt to be double-sided, so I didn’t want one fabric to lap over the other. Therefore, I sewed on an additional square of denim-like fabric to the floral side, and then folded that over to the back side. The line where I had attached the two pieces then served as an easy visual cue for where to place the D-ring buckles, which you can see more clearly below.
I then folded under the denim-like fabric to make a square and ironed that so the edges were nice and flat before sewing along the perimeter of the square, then sewing an X through the middle for extra hold.
And here again is the finished product!
I wore the belt the very next day, using it to break up (yet another) monochromatic look with my grey y’all t-shirt, also seen here. (And did I wear the same t-shirt two days in a row? Almost. Two days out of three. These t-shirts are THAT comfortable, y’all.) I decided to tuck the end of the belt under for a more streamlined look, instead of letting it hang down. And more pattern-mixing with my red & white striped canvas flats! 🙂
I definitely made a few errors making this belt — my first fabric belt project EVER! — but it was a fun learning process. I’m interested in some other methods of making more fabric belts in the future (like using blanket binding trim around the edges, as seen here).
What do y’all think? Do you like the finished result?