I love running. I also love my dogs and understand that they need exercise. LOTS of exercise.
As anyone who has ever gone jogging with dogs will tell you, holding the leashes in your hand is not the best way to run, especially if your dogs tend to pull. So up until now, I used to wrap the one leash around my waist. the problem with this, was that I often ended up with a very uncomfortable run and even some bruising around my waist.
I started looking for a solution and found very few jogging belts available. More than this, stock in South Africa is VERY limited and ordering from abroad would cost a small fortune.
So i did what I like best...DIY.
Please have a look and vote for me!
Step 1: Planning Is Key
As with most great things, it starts with a plan.
My plan was simple: Make a belt that will prevent bruising, can hold either one or two dogs, is comfortable to wear, is strong and can potentially hold my phone/keys/pepper spray/treat bag/water bottle/etc.
I looked online for ideas (which I can't share the images of for copyright reasons) and combined a few concepts with my own thoughts.
Step 2: Gathering the Good Stuff
At my local fabric store, I managed to find everything I needed.
1. I opted for a water resistant Canvas fabric, as I wanted it to be durable.
2. I used 50mm belt both for the load-bearing and non load-bearing sections, simply because I liked the width.
3. 50mm Velcro, to match the belt width.
4. Thread...strong enough to not break under pressure.
5. Lastly, buckles, tri-slides, rings...and anything else you want to add on. E.g. A clip for your keys perhaps?
Step 3: Tools
So the tools are rather simple.
You will need:
1. Something to measure with.
2. Something to cut with (scissors & sharp knife)
3. Something to mark with (I used bright coloured chalk)
4. Padding! The pivotal part to this build. I opted for EVA foam as it is dense and is less likely to deform with regular use.
5. A mother that loves you enough to lend you her sewing machine, even though it's semi-broken. (Dankie, Ma) :)
A basic sewing kit help a lot as well. Just for the little peripherals.
Step 4: Let the Work Commence!
Sadly I didn't take too many photos of the belt itself while doing it, but you can get the idea from the making of the pouch I made to hold my phone while running.
Another sad fact, was that I didn't have any pattern to work from, so everything had to be done by measuring very carefully. This is where the bright coloured chalk comes in.
Measure the size you want, taking into account enough spillover to cut off later and considering ALL sides you want to have.
My belt, I worked towards narrowed ends, to end on 50mm (matching the width of the belt).
One thing I learned through this, is the importance of pinning everything into place before sewing.
Mark, fold, pin and sew!
I sewed the belt to fasten around my waist on the inside, as it doesn't take any of the strain, while the belt to attach the dogs, on the outside of the padding, as this is the one that takes the brunt of the force.
I also reinforced the stitching at a few places, where I imagined the most pulling force would be, by using a cross-stitch method.
Step 5: Testing the Fit.
Once the main stitches had been sewn, I tested the EVA foam insert, to ensure a tight fit (so no moving around inside).
It takes quite a bit of effort to push the foam all the way in, as the fabric is quite stiff and doesn't allow for scrunching, but perseverance is key!
However, this step is not limited to the end. Because I had no pattern, and if you work the same way, test everything as you go along. Measure twice, cut once...
Step 6: Phone Pouch
I wanted something to pack my phone into while running, as I can't always have it in my pocket.
I made the pouch and found eyelets, which will prevent any water from pooling inside, should I decide to make my way through a river for some reason...or perhaps just get caught in the rain.
Ps. my phone is water proof, so I'm not worried about water getting in there.
I also wanted the ability to add or remove peripherals as needed, hence I added loops onto the belt, where you can add the phone pouch, or remove it when not needed.
Next up, is a water bottle holder and thereafter a treat-bag.
Step 7: Final Thoughts
Tried & Tested and it works beautifully!
In fact, better than I had anticipated.
Thanks for checking out my instructable!
Please vote for me, so I can have my own sewing machine and maybe even start supplying these in my area! :)