I've been wanting to make a belt for quite a while now. I don't know what took me so long. I really enjoyed how this came together. It was one of those projects I had a general idea of what I wanted it to look like, but hadn't figured out the minutia to the end.
Now I think I might have to make a dozen of these or so. They would go well with the Billy Cardi*. Fancy or caszh. Front or back. I'm already dreaming of other color combos and fabrics.
What you'll need for the Girdy Belt:
1/4 yard faux leather
1/4 yard of lightweight contrasting fabric
1 yard of 3" ribbon or lace
I used a dupioni silk for my contrasting fabric. I made my baby dills some dresses years and years ago and had this small piece that I knew would come in handy one of these days. I love it when I'm right. The lace came from my ebay score. It is stretchy, which may or may not be desirable. Still debating on that one. But as I was deciding how to make a closure on the belt, Ryan suggested doing something turquoise. [I love it when Ryan gets involved in my projects.] I pulled this out and it happened to be 3" wide.
click for a closer view
Cut each piece as directed in step o1
o2 First up is folding under the edges and stitching the belt itself. I would suggest not pinning the edge, as it will leave permanent holes. In fact, I didn't use any pins on this at all, for fear of visible holes in the finished piece. I tried to tape it and sew it. That I would also NOT suggest. It was just easiest to sew it with the folded edge facing up, folding it as I went. So, make sure your bobbin thread is really the color you want to show.
I stitched each edge twice: once about 3/8" in and again just barely inside the edge [aka edge stitching].
o3 One note on the gathered fabric: I did not press it after folding it lengthwise before ruffling/basting it. It gives it softer, not so straight edges. If you want a crisper look, go ahead and press before gathering.
o4 Stitch the ruffle on each side of the top piece, not the actual belt, 1/2" seam.
o5 After you've gathered or ruffled the contrasting fabric and added it to the top piece, you are going to stitch it to the belt. Even though you are stitching just one edge at a time, fold under both edges to you can more accurately place it in the center, as it's hard to tell when one side is folded under.
If you absolutely feel the need to pin it, you could pin it along the line where you will be stitching to cover up the holes.
o6 Attach the lace/ribbon on each end, trim and zig-zag stitch all layers together. I originally tried to fold the edge under and stitch it, but that many layers of the faux leather would not fit under my presser foot. Ryan asked if I needed an industrial sewing machine. I said yes. But I also need my fingers, so I was content with the finish as is.
To the side, to the side
I wish my photographer would have told me to take the lens cap out of my pocket, and that my shirt needed pressing....
Now to the front, to the front
And don't forget the back!
Special thanks to Pearl's photography.
*I am so impressed with the Billy Cardis popping up! Post your photos to the Big Dill Flickr group and I'll post a Billy Muster!