The hipster belt how-to
By Annie Tomlin • Photo by Nicole Radja
Courtesy of Venus
When I started sewing last year, my mind swam with delusions of grandeur. Skirts, dresses, underwear — I aimed to create them all with love and perfection. But the sewing machine, she is a fickle mistress. After spending hours trying to thread the machine properly, I decided to embark on a simple first project: a low-slung cloth belt. Reminiscent of an obi, this belt is almost criminally easy to make — which is a plus if you're a clumsy novice. Not that I'd know anything about that.
1 yard cotton fabric
thread of various colors
1/2 yard ribbon
Step 1: Measure & Cut
Decide where you’d like the belt to hang on your hips, and take your measurement. Now cut a strip of fabric to that length minus 3 inches. Cut the width to 11 inches. You should now have a long rectangle.
Step 2: Fold & Pin
Turn the fabric so that the pattern is facing down. Fold it lengthwise in thirds, making sure to overlap the fabric (think of three-way-folding a letter). Adjust it to the shape you want — my belt has some slopes and curves — and pin the fabric in place. Your belt should now show the pattern with the right side up.
Step 3: Sew & Stitch
Using the sewing machine, stitch the entire length of the fabric at least three times. Let the stitched lines cross a few times for decoration and to keep the construction sturdy. If there's any excess fabric on the back, just trim it off. The last sewing step is to hem the ends of the belt. Don’t worry about making the ends symmetrical. Symmetry is for squares.
Step 4: Grommets!?!
To create the lace-up effect, fasten grommets to both ends of the belt. Craft stores sell special gadgets to do this, but if your future doesn't involve lots of grommets, don't waste your money.
Instead, use a small hole punch to make two or three holes near each edge of the fabric.
If you don’t have a hole punch, pull a MacGyver and poke through the fabric with a pair of sharp scissors.
Following label directions, fasten the grommets to hug the holes you made.
Step 5: Thread & Shake
Thread the ribbon through the holes in a criss-cross pattern.
Now slip the belt on over your head, tie the ribbon in a bow, and shake those belted hips.