Friday, February 4, 2011

Extra Special Obi Belt

It's been awhile since I've done a sewing project with you so today's the day! 

I think one of the most flattering belts out there is the Obi belt.  Not only are they pretty, but they're super simple to make.  Today I made one from scratch and added some extra special embellishments just to take it to the next level.

This is going to seem like a long tutorial, but trust me, it's a very easy project.

Here's what you need:

And a sewing machine
The Pattern
1) First we'll make a quick pattern, because once you make one of these, you know you'll want to make more.  I used tissue paper for my pattern but you can easily just tape some regular old office printer paper together and it'll work just fine.

Draw a rectangle on your paper.  I'm a bit on the small side so mine measures 13" (33cm) X 4 1/4"(11cm).  Add another inch or two for medium or larger.

2) Now extend your rectangle another 6" (15cm) on each side but just draw a dotted line.  Find the centre of the side and draw a line that is 5.8" long (1.5cm).  Now connect each side of that small line to the corners of the original rectangle.

3) You can either do step 2 again on the other side, or you can just fold the original rectangle in half and trace the end piece.  Once that's done, just cut your pattern out

The Belt
1) Fold your fabric with wrong sides together.  Lay your belt pattern on top, pin, and cut.

2) Cut two pieces of ribbon that will go around your waist one and half times.  Lay one piece of ribbon flush with one end of your belt body and sew across with a 5/8" seam allowance.  I'm using 1" wide ribbon only because that's what I had on hand.  I suggest something narrower or gather the end so that it matches the width of the end of your belt.  (Make sure you have right sides together and the length of the ribbon is towards the centre of your belt.)

Do the same on the other end.

3) Fold your ribbon pieces towards the inside and secure with a pin just so that you won't catch it in your seams when you sew the belt together.

 4) Place the other belt body, right sides facing, on top and pin.  You will now sew the sides, leaving a small opening for turning, with a 3/8" seam allowance.  (I'm using a great taffeta fabric that is reddish on one side and black on the other.  For added flexibility I'm making one side of my belt red and the other black to make it reversible.  If you're new to sewing, just keep things simple and put right sides together.)

Turn it right side out, press, and hand stitch the opening closed.

That Extra Special Touch
To take your belt up a notch we're going to add some pretty flower embellishments that you can remove if you want.

1) Draw a flower template on a piece of paper. 

2) Place on fabric, pin, and cut.  Don't worry about being perfect here.  In fact the messier the better.  Cut out 3-4 pieces for each flower you plan to create.

3) I was going to stitch around each flower and then pull threads so that they were frayed at the edges, but I didn't care for the look.

So, instead I singed all of the edges with a candle flame.  This works best with man-made fibres.  You don't even have to touch the flame, just get close enough so that the fabric starts to melt and curl a bit.  Of course, my fabric did actually catch fire more than a couple of times.  Just keep a close eye on it as you're going, and blow it out quickly. 

Be careful.  The edges will be hot for about a minute or so.

4) Hand stitch long gathering stitches in a circle in the centre of one of your flowers.  Gather, secure, and repeat the process with another flower on top without cutting your thread.  Do this with 3-4 flowers pieces.  This won't be visible so, again, don't worry too much about it being pretty.

Gather some more from the back if you want a fuller flower and secure with  hand stitching.

5) Hand stitch a stick pin closure onto the back of your flowers if you want the option of removing them from your belt.  If this isn't a concern you can just hand stitch your flowers right onto your obi belt.

And now we're finally done!

Totally BLAH~
 Version 1:

Sophisticated and Pretty
Version 2:

Obi Belt, DIY Obi Belt, free Obi Belt Pattern, Reversible Obi Belt, free pattern, How to make an Obi Belt, How to make a belt, How to sew an obi belt

And when I flip it to the black side I'll have even more options!  I can take off some flowers or add more on.  You could make them in contrasting or matching fabrics.  Really, the possibilities are endless.

 What do you think?  I think this'll be the perfect accessory for my new LBD  .  I know it looks like a lot of steps when you write it all out but it actually all comes together very quickly.

I'll be posting this project at all the linky parties throughout the week. 
Make sure to click on the tab up top to check out the parties for even more fun ideas.


mousee23 said...

Very pretty

Michelle {Daydream Believers} said...

What a great belt! :) I just checked out your shop and you are very talented! :)

Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} said...

Love this! The flower really does add a nice punch of something extra. Great work, it really is beautiful.

WobiSobi said...

This is just Beautiful! you are so Right! I said the words out loud... WOW!!!!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous!! thanks for sharing!

Katherine said...

So pretty! I may actually try this and I do NOT sew! Thanks for linking up to Gettin' Krafty With It!

Beth said...

Very pretty. Now I wish I actually did something where I could wear this.

Anj said...

I'm totally digging this! Very cool!

The Blackwood Cottage said...

That is fabulous!!!!

Nicole said...

That is a fancy belt. So chic! Make me one please...

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

this belt is so nice! it really makes a statement!!

Etcetorize said...

Hi Guys! Thanks for all the great comments. I actually made two more of these belts (small and medium) and hope to get them into my Etsy shop soon. Watch the side bar for them if you're interested in getting one~

Alison Agnew said...

Oh my...this belt is so totally follow I am!

Would love for you to link this to my Fridays Unfolded tomorrow.


Stuff and Nonsense

anne maskell said...

Great tutorial. Thank you so much. I'll have to make one(or more!) soon!

AllieMakes! said...

WOW! is right! Love it! Thanks for the tutorial!
Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence said...

Wow is right--beautiful! Thanks for linking up to Beyond the Picket Fence.

Pink Princess said...


Stitches said...

OH wow! I love it! I think I am going to try it.


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