UFO Ahead! The Two Year Old Belt

I don’t really know what got into my head at the time. Maybe I was tired of embroidering stuffed dolls? I really, really don’t know, but I decided I wanted to make an embroidered belt with a vintage belt kit. I outlined the belt, drew in my design, even finished embroidering it(!) with a hoop (!), and left it at that. I do remember worrying about the belting catching in the stitches in the back, so I put it aside. The more it sat on my sewing machine table, the wonkier it became in my mind. Until, of course, I pulled it out Tuesday and it was beautiful! And there was only one long string on the back, so I have no idea what I was thinking.

Of course, after all this time, I completely lost the instructions, but managed to keep the bits and pieces. The eyelet, spappy-things that came with it only had one half of the pairs (I got it used for under a dollar) and by the time I got around finishing, I only had half of the half.

Here it is, sewn and turned (no small feat).

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The long blank space is where the holes are supposed to go.

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And somehow my belting ended up too long.

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But would you look at those roses!

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The green was done with a stem stitch, and the roses were done in three colors, light peach, light yellow, and a pale cream, in a bullion stitch. Those links will take you to the best online embroidery stitch resource. There, you’ll be shown basic stitches and then how to do variation on each basic stitch.

The more I looked at what I had, the more it looked like completing the kit as intended wasn’t going to work. For one thing, the belt itself would have been too long and I would have needed a hole right where the final rose in the chain would have ended up. Not only that, but I didn’t leave enough room to put the buckle, and even if I did, I wasn’t sure if that lovely, final rose at the far end would have gotten damaged from being pushed repeatedly through the buckle.

So back to the drawing board we go.

I had recently watched some videos by Runway Done My Way over on YouTube on making belts out of trim, using a bit of elastic at the back, so I thought I would extemporize.

I used some left over fabric to make casing for my elastic, as I didn’t have any pretty elastic on hand. I sort of stretched and pinned and guesstimated the length of elastic I needed and sewed it into the casing. I chopped off the belt so only the embroidered band remained, finished one end, attached the casing-bound elastic on the other and used snaps on the other ends.

And here’s the final look!

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It’s looks okay here, but if we back out some…

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You can see from the way it’s drooping in the middle that it’s still too loose!

Here’s a shot from behind to see that closure:

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(my photographer only told me after that it wasn’t centered, but I didn’t know he meant that off center, not to mention the rest of the dress)

The length of the elastic (without seam allowance) was 4.5 inches stretched out, so I don’t have that much wiggle room.

Right now, I’m sort of at the stage of pondering what to do next, but as it’s wearable, I’ll probably wear it out a few times before I make a decision.

Edit:

So I signed up for The Monthly Stitch! Yaaaay, so in honor of that, I decided to updated these rather silly images, but I thought I should share them here, too.

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Muuuuch better. I think that I might add a few snaps to make it more varying in width, but I’m still brainstorming.

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