Introduction: Making a Ladies Belt Bag

About: I design leather bags and other paraphernalia

Working by following this pattern will result in a hip bag with the dimensions of 140 x 107 x 35 mm ( 5.5 x 4.2 x 1.4 inches ) that is very minimalist and can hold a wallet and an Iphone. It's meant not to hinder at the wheel and it becomes very convenient while wearing tight pants or pocketless shorts.

Step 1: Print the Pattern

Print this pattern using the US Letter format on any type of paper sheets and make sure that you disable the page margins from the printing options before you start. After you print the pattern make sure to measure the small test square that should be 25.4 mm ( 1 inch ) in length.

Step 2: Things You'll Need

You will need 6-7 oz ( 2-3 mm ) thick leather for this project along with two screw in ball head studs and a D ring that’s at most 28mm in total length and 4 mm in thickness. I used a Craftool 3mm set for punching the stitching holes and you may find it by googling 'Tandy 88045-06’. The other tools I used are also displayed in the picture and should require no introduction, the only exception being the adhesive paper tape which I forgot to take a photo of and of which you will need to make use so be sure to have some at hand.

  • 6-7 oz leather
  • Pencil
  • Stitching chisels
  • 4 mm round hollow punch
  • Awl
  • 1 mm edge beveler
  • Straight cutter
  • Rotary cutter ( optional )
  • 28 mm D-ring
  • 2 screw in ball studs ( or snap fasteners )
  • Lighter
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Needles
  • Adhesive tape

Step 3: Prepare the Pattern for Work

The parts outlined with a simple line and filled with a gray shade need to be cut out while the outlined circles need to be punched out, the size of the holes being left out to your preference depending on what type of accessories or tools you have in use ( Example: rivets, needles, snap fasteners, stitching punches, etc ).

Step 4: Outline the Parts That Are to Be Cut

You may loosely outline these parts using the paper parts that you've already cut. Doing it like this also helps you avoid leather defects and manage your cuts more efficiently.

Step 5: Cut the Leather Parts

This is what you should be left with by now. I used leather that was already dyed but if you need to dye it yourself, then you may leave it for later on after you're done punching out the holes and beveling the edges ( if you may wish to do so ).

Step 6: Cut the Adhesive Paper in Small Pieces

I like to spread the adhesive paper on my table and then cut it like you'd cut cookie dough. The small pieces will be used to fasten the paper parts of the pattern on top of the loosely cut leather parts. Doing so will facilitate punching the holes and cutting the outlines of the final parts. If you're used to marking the outlines and the holes with an awl instead of using my method, then you may omit this step altogether.

Step 7: Punch Out the Holes and Cut the Final Parts

Not much say here except that there's quite a bit of work. If you've worked with leather before, and I hope you have, you will find this a trivial task.

Step 8: Sew the D-ring Between Parts 2 and 3

Part 3 is intentionally made to be a bit less wide so you must apply some pressure when sewing, ensuring the D-ring will be steadied.

Step 9: Sew Part 4 on Top of Part 2

You need to pass the D-ring through part 4 to be able to join parts 2 and 4. This step will really steady the D-ring and prevent it from tilting back and forth.

Step 10: Sew Part 6 on Top of Part 5

This assembly will represent the locking part of the bag. The corresponding holes marked on both parts 5 and 6 should offer sufficient guiding for you to manage this neatly.

Step 11: Join by Sewing, Part 1's Split Sides

Part 1 has two split edges that need to be joined using cross stitching starting from the inside of the leather piece and going outwards. I designed it this way because I don't like seeing inside the bag while the bag is closed. Many other bags lids leave a gap at the sides when they are closed, through which you can take a look if you wish so and I find that undesirable.

Step 12: Fasten the Ball Studs on Parts 7

It doesn't matter at which point you accomplish this operation but I'm mentioning it anyway. I used screw in ball studs for which you need a screwdriver. You may also use other accessories like snap fasteners or whatever other nifty things you may find out there that fulfill the same purpose which is to close the loops around the belt.

Step 13: Sew Parts 7 on Top of Part 1

Not much to be said here so make it snappy so we may move on.

Step 14: Sew Part 5 on Top of Part 1

This is a again a trivial task. You may observe the heart shaped stitching holes on both parts 1 and 5. I thought it will give the bag a bit of personality. You may also modify this part if you have the means to but this was my personal preference.

Step 15: Join Parts 1 and 2

The last and the most demanding task will be the bag's perimeter stitch for which you may like to split your thread in two. You need to start sewing from one of the top left holes of part 2, with the grain sides of parts 1 and 2 opposite to each other. Again a menial task but the most time consuming.

You may find this video useful as well.

I hope you'll enjoy this project and I'd love to hear from you after you're done. If you wish to see more of my work you may visit my webpage.