Tag Archives: ribbon belts

Summer work casual | Grey tunic with pops of red

A quick note that the poll is still open to vote for your favorite outfit of mine from last month — thanks in advance!

I played with proportions and pops of color for today’s summer casual work outfit. I layered my grey tunic over red ankle pants, and I added more pops of red with the red floral ribbon belt I made this past year, a red patterned tote bag, and a red charm on my silver charm necklace.

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work outfit, grey + red + floral ribbon belt

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work outfit, grey + red + floral ribbon belt

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work outfit, grey + red + floral ribbon belt

Below is a closeup of the double-sided fabric belt I made this past year. One side is a red floral ribbon; the other side is a red and green plaid. For a more casual feel, I just looped the ends over to hang down.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of red floral ribbon belt

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work outfit, grey + red + floral ribbon belt

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work outfit, grey + red + floral ribbon belt

Below is another closeup of the red ribbon side of the fabric belt, along with my silver charm necklace. I could have worn any number of earrings in my jewelry collection with this outfit, but in the end, I went with my silver + peridot small hoops, to bring out the green in the floral ribbon print.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of red floral belt + peridot earrings + silver jewelry

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work outfit, grey + red + floral ribbon belt

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work outfit, grey + red + floral ribbon belt

Weather:  Summer day of sunshine and breezes

Where:  Casual work day

What:

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Sewing adventures: How I made a belt and a headband out of a ribbon

My recent mini-break in-between summer and fall terms translated into time for house projects, as well as time to get caught up on sewing projects. When Sam bought me this embroidered ribbon earlier this spring, as seen in this monthly budget post from April 2017, I mentioned that “I plan to use the ribbon to make a regular belt plus a headband… projects for the summer!” And that plan came to fruition! 😀

This ribbon is so pretty, isn’t it? The embroidered design feels both delicate and bold at the same time.

Librarian for Life + Style | Red floral ribbon closeup

I have made a simple belt and a headband before, out of fabric leftover from hemming a dress, back in 2013. You can read those posts here and here.

Figuring out fabric for a double-sided belt

Because I had done it before, it was easier to make a start, as the ribbon served as one complete side to both the belt and headband, and served as the guide for the width of the other side.

The first step was to decide on the fabric for the other side of both the belt and headband. I could have gone with two different fabrics, but in the end, I really liked how this leftover plaid fabric paired with the red embroidered ribbon. Plus, plaid has its own straight lines, which makes it so much easier to line up the fabric, as well as cut and sew along the fabric.

Librarian for Life + Style| Making a belt out of ribbon

Making a simple belt with D-rings

The ribbon my husband brought me measured 72 inches long. Based on the belt I made previously, I knew I needed 48 inches for the belt, and I needed 22 inches for the headband. That left me with an extra 2 inches of the ribbon — perfect!

The plaid fabric I chose for the other side of the belt was not 48 inches long, so my first step was to cut and piece together two different pieces of the same plaid fabric and sew them together. I matched up the pattern, making sure the backs of the fabric pieces were on the outside and sewed a straight line down the two pieces. Then I stretched out the fabric, exposing the seam, and then I ironed it flat.

Librarian for Life + Style| Making a belt out of ribbon

Librarian for Life + Style| Making a belt out of ribbon

While ironing the plaid bits of fabric I had sewn together, I then was able to use the lines in the plaid fabric to fold over and iron flat each long side. Again, the lines in the plaid made it so much easier to keep everything lined up!

Librarian for Life + Style| Making a belt out of ribbon

Then I pinned the ribbon on top of the plaid fabric that I had folded and ironed. It really made it so much easier having a ribbon serve as one side of the belt, as it was already hemmed in a sense! I just had to fold over and iron down the short ends of the ribbon.

Librarian for Life + Style| Making a belt out of ribbon

Next I used red thread to sew along the entire length of fabric, from one end all the way around. I made sure not to sew over the embroidered bits in the middle of the ribbon, so I sewed along the edges of the ribbon side, not the plaid side.

Librarian for Life + Style| Making a belt out of ribbon

And then, of course, ironing everything flat again! Really, so much of sewing involves the iron!

Librarian for Life + Style| Making a belt out of ribbon

With my long bit of fabric all sewed up, all I needed to finish out this simple belt was to attach the D-rings to one end.

Librarian for Life + Style| Making a belt out of ribbon

And here is where my perfectionism kicks in! If I had simply folded over one side of the fabric over and through the D-rings, then one side of the fabric would be visible on the other side. So to work around that, I first folded over one side of the fabric and sewed straight across, as seen below.

Librarian for Life + Style| Making a belt out of ribbon

I then folded that bit back over to the other side, so the fabric patterns matched up again. Then I slipped in the D-rings to secure them in the fold. This bit is better explained visually, seen in the pic below.

The ribbon was exactly the width of the D-rings!

Librarian for Life + Style| Making a belt out of ribbon

I then sewed a straight line across the folded-up bit of fabric as close to the D-rings as I could get. This double thickness by the D-rings made for a very secure hold for the rings. And then for a final finishing touch, and for extra hold, I sewed an X across the folded-over section. This finishing touch really does make a difference and makes everything look a little bit more professional.

Librarian for Life + Style| Making a belt out of ribbon

And here’s the final result, a double-sided ribbon belt! The D-ring closures make for a simple belt design, as you just fold the ends of the fabric in and around the double rings.

Librarian for Life + Style| Making a belt out of ribbon

And here’s a collage of both sides of the belt — and two different ways to arrange the tie belt, whether or not you want to expose the contrasting fabric. (Sorry for the poor lighting and quality of the collage below — I took the pics in our walk-in closet.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Tie belt collage

Making a simple headband with a hair elastic

For the leftover 22 inches of the ribbon, I followed the same steps above that I outlined for the belt — only I had much less fabric to cut, iron, pin, and sew along the edges. 😀 I also left open each end of the long rectangle of double-sided fabric, in order to leave room for the hair elastic.

The hardest bit was in securing the hair elastic along each end. Basically, I slipped the hair elastic in-between each open edge, and then I sewed lines on either side of the hair elastic to close everything up, for a more secure hold. And I was so tired by the end of making the headband that I forgot to take photos of those steps!

But here’s the final result of the double-sided headband:

Librarian for Life + Style| Making a headband out of ribbon

Do you like my new ribbon belt and headband? Gotta say, I’m pretty psyched how these projects worked out! And if I make another belt, I am definitely choosing a ribbon for one side again! It really made everything so much easier to manage! 🙂


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SIA interpretation: Monmon Cats

Two quick reminders:

SIA inspiration:

Now it’s time for my interpretation for this week’s Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge, and this round curated by SIA co-founder Salazar @ 14 Shades of Grey.

Salazar picked the “weird and wonderful” Monmon Cats (Tattooed Cats) by California-based Japanese artist Kazuaki Horitomo. As a cat lady, she couldn’t pass this up! 😀 As a fellow cat lady, I approve. 😉

Below is a detail from the print. Click the image below to view the full print, or see this print and more from the artist on the Bored Panda site here or on the artist’s site here.

Detail of 'Monmon Cats' by Kazuaki Horitomo

Detail of ‘Monmon Cats’ by Kazuaki Horitomo

My interpretation:

I went for a combination of greys and blacks with pops of red and a bit of blue, to match the tones of the inspiration artwork. My grey dress and grey-and-black houndstooth tights came first. And then my new black gingham shirt came in the mail just in time, and the final piece clicked into place in my mind… 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt inspiration outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt inspiration outfit

The belt is actually a piece of embroidered ribbon my husband recently thrifted for me, thinking I could make something out of it. I haven’t had time to make it into a belt — and I think I have enough left over for a headband! — but I thought it was perfect for this week’s SIA challenge, because it brought in the bits of red flowers and blue colors from the inspiration artwork into my outfit. So I just wrapped the ribbon around me and pinned it on the side for a makeshift belt!
I revealed this wardrobe secret to a student worker at my library — the same student worker who was agog at my recent mint-and-navy cardigan and scarf outfit combo — and her reaction was so sweet. (She said she loved how creative I was with what I wore and that she always looked forward to what I would be wearing!) It’s so rare in real life that I have the chance to reveal just how detailed (and nerdy and thought-out) my style choices are. That’s what’s so great about having a style blogging outlet! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral ribbon belt closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt inspiration outfit

I *did* manage to get a cat in my pics, just in a different way with the “Meow” tote bag my mom gifted me this past Christmas. 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt inspiration outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Meow tote bag collage

Librarian for Life + Style | Meow tote bag and houndstooth tights closeup

And now time for your daily recommended allowance of twirling…

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt inspiration outfit

Weather:  Sunny but still cold enough for tights

Where:  Typical work day

What:

  • Gingham button-front:  Lands’ End, new
  • Dress:  eShakti, old
  • Ribbon (worn as belt):  Recently thrifted
  • Houndstooth tights:  Kohl’s, old
  • Flats:  Payless, old
  • Lapis lazuli stud earrings:  Gift from my mom?, old
  • Tote bag:  ModCloth, recent Christmas gift

Shop my outfit

exact black gingham top from same brand  //  exact tote bag from same brand  //  similar grey dress  //  very similar houndstooth tights  //  similar red floral belt  //  very similar black flats

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt inspiration outfit collage

Still time to participate in SIA!

Everyone — bloggers, non-bloggers, all genders, all ages, even pets! — is welcome to participate. Just send a pic of an outfit — selfies and flat lays are also just fine — inspired by this week’s SIA artwork to this week’s curator, Salazar, at 14shadesofgreyblog@gmail.com by tonight, Monday, April 10th. Salazar will post the SIA round-up on her blog, 14 Shades of Grey, tomorrow.

Can’t wait to see the round-up!

And I’ll be back next Monday to curate the next SIA challenge… stay tuned 🙂


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SIA interpretation: Vogue peacock

It’s time for my Style Imitating Art (SIA) interpretation! It was my turn to curate the SIA challenge, and I chose a vintage Vogue cover, from November 1909, featuring a peacock scene in shades of grey, black, white, and orange.

There’s still time to participate in this week’s SIA challenge! Both bloggers and non-bloggers are invited to participate. Just send a photo — selfies or flat lays also just fine — of an outfit inspired by this week’s inspiration artwork. Send a photo to me at librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com by tonight, Monday, Oct. 31, 10 p.m. PST. I will post the round-up on my blog tomorrow morning,  All Hallow’s Day.

Librarian for Life + Style | Style Imitating Art challenge, Vogue peacock cover

It did not take me long to figure out what I wanted to wear for this week’s challenge. I started out in monochromatic grey, from my grey cotton knit dress (which has black seaming) to my tights to my ballet flats, with a pop of orange at the waist. I pulled in a bit of extra black with a grey-and-black ombre scarf, and I chose pearl jewelry:  white pearl drop earrings + a black pearl necklace.

Librarian for Life + Style | Grey with a pop of orange

Librarian for Life + Style | Grey with a pop of orange

Librarian for Life + Style | Grey with a pop of orange

I knew I wanted a pop of orange, and I had first thought of tying my orange sash, seen here, around the waist. And then I remembered my orange polka-dot ribbon belt, which meant I could get in the orange color PLUS the dotted pattern of the peacock’s feather. Score!

A closeup below of the belt plus the black seaming of the dress:

Librarian for Life + Style | Grey with a pop of orange

Librarian for Life + Style | Grey with a pop of orange

Librarian for Life + Style | Grey with a pop of orange

Librarian for Life + Style | Grey with a pop of orange

Weather:  Sunny fall day, low 60s

Where:  Work

What:

  • Dress:  eShakti, old
  • Ballet flats:  DKNY via Macy’s, old
  • Tights:  WalMart?, old
  • Ribbon belt:  Thrifted in Portland, old
  • Scarf:  Fashion-swapped last fall
  • Pearl earrings:  Local store in Oregon, gift from my husband
  • Pearl necklace:  UAE, gift from my husband

similar grey fit-and-flare dress  //  similar orange belt  //  similar ombre scarf  //  similar heather grey tights  //  similar black pearl necklace  //  similar ballet flats

Librarian for Life + Style | grey with a pop of orange collage

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Happy maxidressing

Last Friday, I used flex hours to take the day off (chiropractic visit, errands, etc.). Like I’ve been saying, the weather has been beyond gorgeous — sunny and breezy, the perfect combination — and I felt it was time to go maxidressing again.

This time around, I paired this berry-colored maxidress with my darker denim jacket and gold-bar strappy sandals. At the last minute, I added an orange, polka-dotted ribbon belt and — pattern-mixing alert! — a striped tote bag. This outfit felt very happy and cheerful to me! (And yes, I am now replaying Pharrell’s song “Happy” in my head — I LOVE that song, y’all!)

Librarian for Life + Style | Happy maxidressing

Librarian for Life + Style | Happy maxidressing

We took photos outside these brightly flowered bushes down the street. So colorful!

Librarian for Life + Style | Happy maxidressing

Details:  Maxidress:  Old Navy, gift-carded last summer  /  Denim jacket:  Old Navy, gift-carded fall 2012  /  Polka-dotted ribbon belt:  Thrifted, spring 2012  /  Striped tote bag:  Gift from my mom, last summer  /  Gold-bar t-strap sandals:  Target, two summers ago

Librarian for Life + Style | Happy maxidressing

Librarian for Life + Style | Happy maxidressing

And this final photo cracks me UP, y’all. Sam caught me about to jump, so the scroll-down looks very funny to me. The momentum has made its way through my hair and my belt — which looks like it’s making a “J” shape, hah! — but hasn’t reached my feet yet.

Librarian for Life + Style | Happy maxidressing outtake

Happy Friday! And here is a Portland version of Pharrell’s “Happy” song. 😉

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