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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Belt Knockoff

Over the holidays we visited my sister in Maine. Staying with her were several young people, two of whom were just the sweetest, most talented young ladies. One is a junior at Berkely and the other is a graduate of Berkley and tours internationally as a vocalist and Celtic harpist. They regalled us nightly with the most awesome living room concerts. These two concert musicians, as well as serious fashionistas, were from Scotland. They told me they bought all their clothing in either NY or back in Europe. One of them wore the most awesome belt the whole time we were there and kindly took it off and let me inspect. It hung on the hips and was very soft leather. I have been wanting to knock it off ever since and this is my attempt.
I started by pulling a TNT pattern for a skirt with no waistband. I used the stay part of the pattern. I traced it onto blackout drapery lining I had, which makes a great heavier muslin by the way!. I decided I wanted the finished belt 4 1/2 inches wide and hung on the hips. I cut off the top 3/4 of an inch from my muslin. Then I measured down 5 1/2 inches to include the 1/2 inch seams. The darts and one side seam were then stitched up. The fiddling would come with the size of the opening and length of the straps.

In the end I decided I would add to the open side seam an inch and a half to bring the belt over my side hip and to the front. . Then the front section was cut back about 4 inches. This involved taking the belt off time and again and redoing the position of the straps with the hardware. Did you notice I used key holders? I went looking for buckles and decided I like the chunkiness of these instead and brought 4 home. Once the opening was established I added SAs and proceeded to cut the faux leather.

Several things made working with the faux leather easier. First was WonderTape for initial placement of the straps. Pins could only be used in the SAs. I also used 1/4 inch masking tape to hold down the straps and mark the lines for the topstitching. Next big helper was my Fasturn to turn the vinyl straps, which does sound like a sticky impossibility. But that brings me to another helper, Sewers Aid, a silicone product which I rubbed up and down the Fasturn tube before inserting it into the vinyl. Made all the difference in the world. Also used a lot was my edge stitching foot for most of the topstitching.

Once the straps were installed on the interfaced front I was ready to sew the two sides together. Sarah's belt was leather on the front and back, no lining, so that is how I did mine. I was aiming for the same feel that her belt had. Formflex was the interfacing used. I made sure that it was not in the corners.

To turn the belt, a fairly large opening at the lower back waist was left. The belt was graded, turned, and pressed. The open area was shut with paper clips. That worked beautifully to hold things tight for the topstitching. A size 18 topstitching needle, buttonhole twist , and an edge stitching foot were used for the topstitching. And voila! My new funky belt! I was too lazy to get out of my snowed in attire so just put the belt on the form for pics. Hope you like it. I really do. I am seeing this heavy leather thing, in browns, everywhere. Liana had a great post on a knit coat with heavy leather embellishment that you can see here if you do a scroll down.


Thank you so much to Liana, Cindy, and Sherrill for awarding me with the Kreativ Blogger award. I so respect the work all of you do and you inspire me all the time. Here is how this works:

1. Copy the award to your site.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers.
4. Link to those on your blog.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominate.

I am nominating the following bloggers, all of whose work I so admire:

  • Sharon B of Pintangle who has some very inspirational embroideries, lots of eye candy
  • Kristine of Just Keep Sewing, whose work I love to follow. Kristine's sewing talents go in all sorts of different directions and her love for the sport shows.
  • Martha, of Southern Matriarch. Her current "bikini" post will have you rolling off the chair! She does exquisite heirloom confections and has some great tutes on her blog.
  • Nela, of NelaPX. Nela gives me a chance to practice my Spanish without complaining and also does exquisite needlework. She is a real cheerleader, getting others to join round robbins, sew alongs, and more.
  • Noile Dot Net, I like to follow the varied sewing universe Noile lives in. You never quite know what you will see with her sewing adventures but it is always a fun read.
I didn't get my seven, but that is because so many of you have already received the award. Believe me, you are all stars!
Thank you to all of you who have left such lovely comments concerning Miss Lily's outfit. I really appreciate all of your imput. Lily is a very special little girl adopted by parents who will love her unconditionally and forever. She definitely deserves this outfit!.........Bunny


  1. Genius!! I posted a link to this project on the Craft Gossip sewing blog:

  2. I just discovered your blog due to the links concerning the aforementioned award, and am happy to have found you.

    Fabulous Belt!

  3. Very, very cool belt and smart way to make one without a specific belt pattern.

  4. I left you an award on my blog. Enjoy!

  5. Bunny.- congrat.... and... There is an award for you on my blog. Enjoy.

  6. The belt turned out fabulous!

    Congratulations on the well deserved award!!


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