Remember last week when I turned a Maxi Dress into a Maxi Skirt? And my sister was wearing this little aqua belt, cinched in at the waist?
Well, many of you asked where the belt came from. So I said I’d duplicate it…..and show you how simple of a belt it is.
So I looked at it and measured it and folded back petals, etc. Meh, not too tricky at all.
So, I made my sister another one……..in a cute little polka dot print.
In case you were wondering how that little belt works, there’s a D-ring closure hidden behind the flower.
And if you pull on one of the “leaves”, you can tighten/loosen the belt. Such a clever idea, right? (I’m not tooting my own horn….I just adopted the idea from the original aqua belt. Ha.)
Such a fun way to liven up an outfit. And really cinch in that waist. (Again, it’s nice having my sister around to use as my model, rather than my dress form! Thanks Robin!)
And in case you think you can’t make this one……..the flower portion is far from science. It’s just a lot of folding around in a circle, and really, it just works out. This is a great beginner project, so just give it a try. You’ll never know unless you push yourself just a tad. :)
And then, once you do, others will say……hey, where did you buy that darling belt?
And you’ll say, “oh this ol’ thing? I MADE IT!!“ Such a great feeling! :)
Ready to get started??
Okay, time to get the first two pieces of the belt cut out. (There’s one more piece later….but don’t worry about it yet.)
I used a quilting cotton type of fabric. You know how some regular cotton fabrics are kinda flimsy and thin. Stay away from those and find one that’s a little sturdier. But not an upholstery fabric. You’ll see what I’m talking about if you browse the fabric section, in the quilting cotton section, and start feeling fabrics. Some are a little sturdier than others. Pick a thicker type. Or else, add some very thin interfacing to the back of some flimsier stuff, if you’re dying to use a particular thinner fabric. :)
Now, measure your waist, or hips…..wherever you’ll be wearing your belt. And then add 7 inches to that number…….and that’s the length of your strip. The width of your strip will be 5 inches wide. Cut your second strip of your fabric 44 x 4 inches.
Fold the Belt strip of fabric in half lengthwise. Sew along the long edges, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. However, before you reach the other end of the fabric, curve your line of stitches over to the folded side of the fabric. (Marking this line with a pen/pencil and then following it with your sewing machine is very helpful.)
Trim off the excess fabric from the curve and then cut notches into the curved edge of the fabric. This will help the fabric lay flat after turning it right side out. (Why trim the edges and cut notches??)
Now, turn the tube right side out. Since one end is closed, the safety pin trick won’t work as well. Instead, I poke the closed end inside of itself and then push the eraser end of a pencil in there and then push it through the length of the tube. Once I reach the other end, I remove the pencil and turn the tube right side out.
Iron flat. And then set aside.
Do the same thing with the “slower” strip of fabric……except DON’T sew a curve into the end. Just sew a straight line and turn your tube right side out and iron. (Need helping turning a tube right side out with a safety pin?)
At one end, fold the two sides in just a bit…..making the end a little smaller.
Then, begin rolling this end over onto itself, creating the center of the flower. Continue folding and twisting the fabric a bit, as you wrap the fabric around itself (wrapping clockwise). If yours looks different from mine, that’s okay. You’re just creating the center of the flower and if it’s just twisted fabric, that’s okay. This flower is very forgiving and can be unique.
Once the center of your flower is about 3/4 -1 inch wide, that’s probably big enough. (You want to save the rest of your strip for your flower petals.) Use a needle and thread and poke it through the layers of fabric from the BACK of the flower. Stitch through those layers several times, holding them in place. Then, in case you didn’t catch any of the center fabric, stick your needle up from the bottom and out the center top of the flower. Then, go right back down, catching a little bit of the fabric in the center of the fabric and back down to the bottom. Stitch a few more times at the bottom, securing everything in place. Knot your thread and cut off excess thread. (Need help with hand stitching??)
Now, with your tail of fabric, lay it flat as you fold it again and again, making diagonal folds around in a circle. The goal is to frame these folds around the center portion of the flower. However, you won’t be twisting like you did with the center of the flower……you want the fabric to lay flat. Alternate where you fold the fabric, so that the petals are varied in location. Once you reach the end, you’ll just have a short tail of fabric left. Fold it towards the back.
Now, use a needle and thread to secure all of these folds in place, hiding each of your stitches behind petals. Try going through as many layers as you can towards the center of the flower and repeat several times, all the way around the center of the flower. Once everything is secure, knot your thread on the back and trim off the ends.
Then, cut one more piece of fabric, 5 x 5 inches in size.
Then, fold it in half and sew along the two long ends, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. However, at one end, make a curve, just like you did with your “belt” strip of fabric.
Trim the curve the same way, turn it right side out, and iron flat……just like the “belt” strip.
Then, make little folds in the open end and pin in place. (This doesn’t have to be perfect. But you just want to pull it in to give the leaf some shape.) Set aside.
Place the strip down in front of you with the curved end at your left side and the open end at the right side. At the left side, make sure the curved end is on the bottom edge of the strip. Then, at the right side of the strip, slide two 1 1/2 inch D-rings onto the end and fold the fabric over on top, 2 1/2 inches. Pin in place.
Then, grab your single leaf and slide it between the folded fabric, on the top edge (the curved edge facing toward the right). Pin it between the folded fabric, keeping your folds in place. Pin again. Then sew in place, securing the petal between the folds.
Then, fold the raw edge of this flap of fabric, under a 1/2 inch.
Sew this fold in place with 2 seams. Now, this is completely optional but to give the belt a more uniform look with where it cinches in a bit, bunch the fabric under your needle as you’re sewing the flap in place. This will sort of pleat the fabric and will help the belt look the same on both sides of the flower.
Now, turn your belt over, with the sewn flap face down. And center the back side of your flower onto this end of your belt.
Hand stitch your flower onto the belt, nice and secure, hiding all of your stitches beneath flaps of “petals”.
And in case you’ve never used D-rings before…….you slide your belt end through both rings.
Then fold the end back towards the rings but go over the ring on the right and under the ring on the left.
Pull the belt end and it will cinch in nice and snug.
And that’s it.
Hope it went well for you! :)
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