How to make a belt

Vintage dress plus home made skinny belt

Another easy way to update your wardrobe is to incorporate a skinny belt. They work well over a jacket or with a pullover. I took a look at my current crop of belts and found not much to work with. I need skinny belts. It’s not possible to cut fat belts in half or modify them without frankly ruining them. Who knows how long skinny belts will be around? 

I will retire my fat belts to the back of my wardrobe for now and revert to Plan B, which is to make a couple of skinny belts. I bought a mix of strapping and heavy weight tape from the haberdashery. They didn’t have many buckles to choose from, so in the end I bought what I could. The buckle does the job.

Skinny belt

To make the belts, I took my waist measurement and allowed extra for overlap and a hem at each side. Have a look at the picture to see how the belt was put together. The nice thing is I could make a bunch of belts in a variety of colours for next to nothing. I like the idea so much I want to try and make some bright coloured watch straps too. One word of advice when working with ribbon is to cut the ends diagonally. I have no idea why, but it stops them fraying.
The dress is a vintage crimplene number. I have had it forever and it’s a travel staple of mine. There was crimplene on display at the fabric shop and I tried to buy it on the spot. Sadly, they wouldn’t sell it to me. Crimplene has got to be the best ever fabric for travel wear. I know synthetic fibres are not the first eco choice. But consider that nylon and trilobal require absolutely no ironing ever! Besides buying vintage and making your own beat buying brand new. A girl has to have a bit of fashion fun after all. Do take 20 mins out, sit with a cup of tea and visit Annie Leonard’s animated documentary – The Story of Stuff.

The Greenie Galleries at the top of this page have 100s of photos of older and newer projects showing multiple ways to make your own clothing and accessories. There are also ideas to recycle or upcycle.