When the seasons change, I tend to look in my closet and wonder how I can easily change up the looks of some of my garments. Belts are one of my favorite ways to update and accessorize my existing wardrobe. This soft faux suede belt is a great accessory. It’s custom sized and easy to make. Select fabric to match an existing outfit or choose a neutral color to coordinate with many different pieces in your closet. This beautiful belt instantly updates an outfit as you transition from summer into the cooler months ahead.
Materials and Supplies:
- Brother Sewing machine
- SA114 Non-Stick foot or SA190 Non-Stick Roller foot
- SA538 Seam Guide
- Basic sewing notions including good quality polyester thread to match fabric, tape measure, a press cloth for pressing suede on the right side, and a removable marker.
Tip: It’s a good idea to test your marker on scraps and remove markings before pressing.
- Size 12 micro-tex type needle.
- Eyelet Pliers and metal eyelets measuring 5/32-inch in diameter.
- Two strips of light to medium weight faux suede fabric.
Note: Size is determined by instructions in Step 1. If your fabric is lightweight you will need to add lightweight fusible interfacing to the strip designated for the top side of belt.
- Quilt ruler with 45-degree angle, cutting mat, and rotary cutter.
- Small piece of tear away stabilizer or non-fusible interfacing for stabilizing buttonhole.
- Turning tool or dowel rod for turning belt right side out.
- Fashion Belt buckle with prong and center bar.
Tip: Consider re-cycling a belt buckle from a belt you no longer wear. See Figure #1.[caption id="attachment_17526" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #1[/caption]
Tip: Joanne’s tips for sewing with faux suede: Be sure to select fabric that is soft and pliable for this project. Upholstery weight fabric is too thick and too stiff for this belt style. A sharp sewing machine needle and sharp pins such as glass head pins are best for piercing through the dense faux suede fabric. Lengthen the straight stitch to 3.0 for seams, except for the area near the pointed end. Switch to a stitch length of 2.0 to re-enforce the corner and form a smooth point. Top-stitch using a length of 3.0 to 3.5. When sewing seams with faux suede, you’ll want to use a method called taught sewing. In simple terms this means you use your hands to put a bit of tension on the fabric, both in front of and behind the needle. This helps to smooth out the fabric and avoid puckered seams. Make sure you put even tension in both front and back to avoid pulling on the machine needle. Always test your iron temperature before pressing synthetic fabrics like this. A press cloth is essential for pressing the right side of the fabric.
Steps to Create Belt
- Measuring and cutting instructions: Determine length and width of fabric for belt as follows:
LENGTH: Use tape measure to measure waist area over a garment you plan to wear with the belt. Add 8-inches for belt overlap and seam allowance.
Tip: As an alternative to measuring for length you can measure the actual length of a ready-made belt that fits well. You can also use your ready-made belt to decide on eyelet placement.
- WIDTH: Measure the bar on the buckle. See Figure #2.
- Add 2-inches for seam allowance and soft gathers on the belt. Cut two fabric strips using your personal length and width measurements.
- To create a point for eyelet end of the belt begin by folding strip in half. Next, align 45-degree angle with raw edge and top of fold. See Figure #3.
- Use rotary cutter to cut along edge of ruler. Repeat for second strip. See Figure #4.
- Select one strip to use for front side of belt and fuse interfacing to wrong side of fabric if necessary. Set up machine for sewing with the non-stick foot. Select the front belt piece and mark the center point and the ½-inch seamline at the pointed end to help with stitching a neat pointed end. See Figure #5.
- Pin long edges of strip with right sides together. Begin sewing a ½-inch seam, starting at the straight short end and leaving it open for turning. When you approach the point pause and decrease the stitch length to 2.0. To create a neat pointed end, stitch up to the point and then take two stitches across the point before pivoting to the next edge. Clip pointed ends and trim seam allowance to eliminate bulk. See Figure #6a, #6b, and #6c.
- Turn belt piece right side out.
Tip: You can use a dowel rod as a turning tool by slipping fabric tube over the end of the rod and pulling until the belt is turned right side out. See below:
- Press carefully using press cloth. Top-stitch approximately ¼-inch from the edge.
Tip: Line up the edge of the foot with the finished edge of the belt and then move the needle position to stitch a distance of ¼-inch.
- Overcast the open end.
Tip: I used the “G” foot along with a basic overcasting stitch. See Figure #7.[caption id="attachment_17529" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #7[/caption]
- To create a hole for the prong on the belt stitch a small buttonhole, centering it 1-inch from the short end, and adding a piece of stabilizer on the wrong side.
Tip: You can make a small buttonhole without a button by sliding the buttonhole gauge to the fourth notch on the buttonhole foot. See Figure #8a and #8b.[caption id="attachment_17530" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #8a[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17531" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #8b[/caption]
- Mark eyelet positions in the center of the belt, having the first one 3-inches from the pointed end and spacing the remaining eyelets 1 to 1½-inches apart. See Figure #9.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions and use pliers to punch holes and set each eyelet in place. See Figure #10.
- To finish, insert prong into opened buttonhole, wrap short end to the wrong side and use small hand stitches to secure to back side of belt. See Figure #11a and #11b.
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