Friday, May 20, 2011

Tutorial: Vintage Style Tie Belt

Quite a while back, I promised a tutorial for this awesome, vintage style tie belt, which I made for my BurdaStyle: 02/2011 101 scoop necked dress.
I love wearing belts with the dresses I make. I love a little bit of contrast at the waist to break up a design, and I love giving a little more definition to my almost non-existent waist. Now, as you can use almost any fabric type for this belt, you should be able to perfectly match any dress. Just what you need right?
Look at the difference - from simple to smashing! All from one simple belt - awesome!
My inspiration for this belt came from this vintage pattern, Vogue 6661. My tie belt is a simplified version of the one in this pattern. It should only take a minutes to whip up and certainly adds a pretty touch to an outfit without any girly girl bows.

To create your own belt, you will require:
  •  a strip of fabric, just over 6 inches by the full width of fabric.
  •  a strip of interfacing (optional)
  • 2 or 4  hook and eye closures (or a couple of biggish safety pins - if you're feeling lazy or rushed)
  • coordinating thread, sewing machine, 1/4 inch foot, rotary cutter or scissors and hand sewing needle
To make the belt:

Cut two 3 inch strips of fabric the full width of your fabric. This measurement will create a belt and bow with a finished width of 1 and a quarter inches. Cut a 1 inch strip of interfacing.

Fuse interfacting to the wrong side of one of your strips of fabric. You should align the long edge of the interfacing with the centre of your belt, so that the long edge of the interfacing runs along the centre of your belt or 1.5 inches in. The interfacing helps prevent your belt from stretching. If you are confident that your fabric is stable or that the belt won't experience too much stress, then you can leave the interfacing off. The fabric I used for my belt was stretch sateen, so I needed to interface it.

Fold both strips of fabric right sides together and sew a 1/4 inch seam along the long end. Your quilters foot makes it easy to do this straight.

Turn both fabric tubes right side out. This is easier if you use a bodkin or safety pin. As you can see below, I've pulled one end of the tube though with a safety pin.
Carefully press your strips,  making sure the seam and belt is straight. You should now have two tubes of fabric, one with interfacing, one without.

To make the bow.

Take your strip that has no interfacing and tie in a slip knot.
 To do this, wrap the strip around your hand as shown.
 Pull the top end through the loop.
 Then pull tight.
Trim the ends of your bow to your desired length, turn under the raw edges, press and slip stitch in place.

To attach the bow.

Take your interfaced belt, turn under one raw end and press. Align your bow with the end of your belt as shown and hand stitch in place. As you can see, I've pulled my two bow ends out a little, to create a more triangular knot look, but you can style the bow as you like.
 Here's a picture of the front.
Now all you need to do is trim your belt to your desired length. I left about 3 inches for overlap and sew a couple of hook and eye closures to the reverse of the belt to hold it in place.

Alternatively, you can just fix your belt with a few safety pins. I'm going to be honest here. I finished my belt just prior to running out of the house the first time I wore this dress, and I still haven't sewn any fixings to the belt. Lazy? Yes, but safety pins work, you can't see them and they are adjustable, so if you eat a large meal, you can loosen the belt for comfort. Classy? Meh, maybe not, but still it looks sooooo cool!

Now you should be finished. You now own a super cool, not-too-girly, handmade, vintage styled bow belt. I'm certain this belt would go with almost any dress. Just imagine the possibilities!!


PS - Don't forget I'm holding a giveaway here.


  1. Gorgeous dress. I love the fabric. Belt looks fab!

  2. The belt is a nice final touch to your beautiful dress.

    -Zane of ontario honey


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