I need a pair of suspenders for a Halloween costume but never got around to it. Then I saw the Betabrand belt reuse contest and I thought, "Maybe I should make some suspenders for the contest." Plus it never hurts to be fancy.
Step 1: What You Need.
- 3 belts (should be all the same color, and if you want to be symmetric, then 2 will need to have the same buckle)
- A way to sew leather (I used some wire but if you have an awl, then you can use that)
- Scissors or a way to cut the belts
Step 2: Get Your Pieces
To start, you'll need 2 belts (the ones with the same buckles) and measure from your belt-line to your nipple area and add an inch (mine were 17"). Take that measurement and start at the end of the buckle and cut at whatever length you had. Keep both sides. These will be the pieces that attach to the front of your pants.
Now take your third belt and just cut off the buckle and keep the long end.
Step 3: Making Some Loops
Remember how you added an inch to the measurement? Well what that was for was to create a loop to attach your suspenders to your pants. What you want to do is fold over the ends 1 in - 1.5in. (picture 1) and poke some holes though it for sewing (picture 2). Now to sew. First is to fold over the end to make a unclosed loop. Then, what you want to do is, starting from the back, feed your sewing medium (in my case, wire) though both holes leaving a little left to tie off at the end (picture 3). Then, continue to tread the medium though the holes that you made until you run out of holes (picture 4). This is where it is different deppending on what your sewing with.
For Wire: If you have run out of holes, then you can wrap the excess around the whole belt (picture 5) and the twist the ends together on the back side (picture 6) and then your done.
For thread: You can just keep going though the holes or wrap the end in thread for strangth and tie it to the end.
Step 4: Making the Shoulder Straps and Back Strap
Take the two shot pieces and arrange them in a V pattern. Then slide the long piece between the two and punch the holes and sew those together.
Step 5: Sizing the Back Strap
To size the back strap, buckle the front pieces to the shoulder pieces and set them in about the middle. then line up the looks in the front to your belt-line (picture 1). Then, using your fingers, place them where the back strap meets your belt-line (picture 2) and add an inch and trim it so it is sized.
Step 6: Sew Back Loop
It is same as step 3 but your only doing it once.
Step 7: Attaching Them to Your Pants
There are plenty of ways to do this, but I wanted the way that utilizes the rest of the back belt that you cut off. First, you separate the layers (picture 1). then you cut that in halve then into 3 separate strips and slice a hole in them wide enough to fit the other end of the strip into it (picture 2).
To actually attach them, follow these steps.
-thread the leather strip though the loop on the suspenders.
-loop one end though there belt-loop.
-thread the other end though the slit you made.
And do this for the rest of the ends.
Step 8: Wearing Your Suspenders
If you need more holes, then add more just as you would a belt. And were as you would normal suspenders.
Post pictures of what belts you use if you make these.