Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Bow belt tutorial


A few people have requested a tutorial on making a bow belt like the one I made for The Birthday Party Dress. Why certainly! 

It really was very simple (well, once I discarded the cryptic instructions and blagged it) so I hope that maybe some readers who haven't sewn anything before might give this a whirl. You don't really even need a sewing machine! Reading blogs inspired me to start sewing this year and I'd love to think that I could get other people interested in it in turn. With that in mind, I'm going to make these instructions fairly detailed - more experienced sewers will be able to wizz through it.

This is a great way of using up bits of leftover fabric. And it can transform an outfit. Last night I went to a party in honour of the 50th anniversary of Breathless and used this belt to add a chic touch to an old B&W stripey top. Ooh la la! Right, enough waffling, on with the tutorial:


1. Cut out three pieces of fabric to the following measurements:
Belt - (your waist size + 4") x 4"
Bow - 12" x 4.5" 
Knot - 3" x 3"


2. Cut out interfacing the length of your belt minus 1", by 1.5" width. Position it on the wrong side (if you're using a printed fabric) of the belt as show above - so the bottom edge is along the centre lengthways, with 0.5" seam allowances above and on the sides. Iron or baste onto the belt.


3. Fold the belt in half lengthways, right sides together, so you end up with the interfacing on the outside.




4. Stitch the seam edges with a 0.5" seam allowance (ie. 0.5" from the edges of the fabric), leaving one side open so you can turn the fabric inside out. Trim down the seam edges.



5. Turn the belt right side out so the interfacing is on the inside. This is easier said than done! I use a knitting needle or a chopstick. Put the stitched end of the belt on the blunt end of your chosen implement and slowly shimmy the... er... sheath down the length of the stick (ahem). Once it's about half way on, you should be able to turn the rest right side out quite easily. Now slip stitch the free end and press (iron) the fabric nice and smooth.



6.  Fold the bow in half lengthways, right sides together, and stitch along the long edge with a 0.5" seam allowance. Trim seams, turn right side out and stitch the ends together (don't worry if the seams look rubbish, they won't be on show). Position this seam in the centre of the underside of the bow (you can mark this with a pin - see above).



7. Fold the knot in half, right sides together, and stitch along the long edge with a 0.5" seam allowance. Trim seams and turn right side out. Position the seam in the centre of the underside of the knot and press. Form a concertina shape to the centre of the bow with your fingers, then wrap the knot around tightly around the middle. Stitch in place, either by hand or machine, catching in some of the bow fabric in the stitching to secure it.



8. Sew two hooks onto the back of one end of belt.



9. Sew corresponding eyes onto the other end. Because I'm a classy kinda lady, I've put two sets of eyes onto mine for pre- and post-lunch roomage options. Oh yes! Sew the bow onto the end with the hooks on (on the opposite side). 



Et voila!

If you've made a bow belt, I'd love to see it - leave a link in the comments below...

[Soundtrack: 'Babooshka' by Kate Bush]

55 comments:

  1. Oh yay! Love the bow belt, thanks for sharing your tutorial! You're right, it could transform an everyday outfit as well as look great on a dress.
    To use up leftover fabric - I like to give it a secret second life as facings, pocket bags on the inside of garments. I save all my scraps for pulling out later on! Although, I usually think something like this belt needs its own fabric, so I wouldn't have thought of making it out of leftovers, what a good suggestion!

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  2. Thanks Tilly! I am going to make one to go with the dress I am making when my cast comes off. It is a great tutorial!

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  3. Thanks! Sorry about the rather rubbish photos - only just noticed how bad the light is. Chiaroscuro, if you will...

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  4. Yay! Thanks heaps for this tutorial. I have not stopped thinking about how much I need a bow belt in my wardrobe since you posted your dress. I am definately making one of these as soon as I get back from my holiday.

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  5. Excellent tutorial Tilly, you make it all look so easy!

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  6. Tilly, this is fantastic! I shall be making one immediately.

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  7. Adorable! If I have something to go with it, I'll make this belt!

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  8. Lovely, lovely, lovely! Thanks a lot for a great tutorial.

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  9. This is also now going on my to-sew list! Love the tutorial Tilly dear!

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  10. I love it, I can't wait to try it out, thank you for sharing

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  11. Thanks Tilly! Will definitely be using this tute. Monique xx

    blog | originalmischief.blogspot.com

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  12. Absolutely gorgeous and you make it look so simple. Love the 'shimmy' instruction. And you're my kind of Sewist - pre and post-lunch options. Perfect!

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  13. Your blog is super cute! I love this tutorial!
    I also admire how you make so many cute outfits w/ your patterns. I bought one not too long ago, but I am so afraid I'll mess up.. However, you're becoming a big time inspiration for me hehe

    =)

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  14. Lovely idea! I think I'll make one for myself, so thank you! :)

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  15. Wow! Thanks so much for the tutorial - especially love the fact that you added pre and post lunch options haha!

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  16. Very nice! I've seen the bow construction before, but I would've never thought to hide the belt fastening under the bow! So seamless, so sweet! This would made a great headband, too.

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  17. the perfect little bow belt... i will ahve to give this a try, thanks for possting! :)

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  18. Oh thank you, I intend to do it, major thumbs and toes up for your soundtrack of choice too xx

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  19. Great tutorial, and a super, super cute bow belt. It looks great on you, too! :)

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  20. YAY!!!! I am so excited! I am so making this for my outfits! can't wait to hear more about the Breathless event!

    By the way, I never made it to the V&A exhibit :-( ...didnt have enough time after I arrived....fooey. Ah well, means I'll have to come down for another cool exhibit soon! :-)

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  21. couldn't figure out how you did the bow... then I saw the tut and was like duh. Really pretty, great colors!

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  22. saw this from wardrobe refashion..love it! i'm totally making lots of these!

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  23. That is so cute and versatile- I love this! I just clicked over from Craft. I would love to link to this if you didn't mind.

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  24. Very cute. So classic. :)

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  25. What a lovely little belt! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-vintage-inspired-bow-belt/2010/07/31/

    --Anne

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  26. SEW simple! LOL (sorry very cheesey) Just finished making it and after finding interfacing completed in about 1/2 an hour. LOVE IT SOOOOOOO MUTCH! thanks! Becky♥

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  27. Wow, someone's actually made it! Becky, I can't find your email address but if you read this I'd love to see the belt you made...

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  28. This is such perfect timing for me. I picked up an adorable dress at a thrift store this weekend, but alas, it was missing a belt!

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  29. I made the belt! Yay! It turned out wonderful. Thanks for the tutorial Tilly! The details are on my blog and I linked back to you:

    http://www.whatsupcupcakeblog.com/2010/11/mad-men-peggy-dress.html

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  30. I am in love with this. I recently made a black one out of these horrible black vinyl pants I had and I'm getting ready to make a gold one. =)

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  32. Tilly, you are so adorable, I love yours blog so much! Nice work, great ideas.You are inspiring me!

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  33. Found you on a link from AllFreeSewing.com. This is a great idea for my retro 20-something daughter. She's impossible to shop for! Her birthday's coming up so now I have a start on her present! Thanks so much. I'll be keeping an eye on what you're doing!! LOL!

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  34. This is sooo cute, I love your blog! Following for sure!

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  35. I just made one! Thanks for the tutorial!

    http://www.refugeecrafter.com/2011/03/another-belt.html

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  36. Amei a ideia e seu blog.
    estou te seguindo, e voltarei sempre.
    aprendizdecostura

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  37. so amazing. def going to try. thanks.

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  38. sooo cute. this is my favorite fabric belt tutorial I have found! I featured it on my blog here:

    http://raspberriesandruffles.blogspot.com/2011/06/fabric-belts.html

    Keep up the good work!
    -Katherine

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  39. I made one :) thanks for sharing the tutorial tilly! I love it I will definitely be making more....

    http://fashbrickroad.blogspot.com/2011/10/bow-belt-how-to-link.html

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  40. A quick question for you Tilly...

    Of course, ambitious old me decided to make a few of these for Xmas presents this year. Only problem - I don't know the exact waist measurements of my friends! Any suggestions of how to make this appropriately sized for all?

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  41. Hi Stitchybritt

    If you can subtly find out their dress size, you could make it to the waist measurement of that standard size. For example, a UK size 10 waist is 61cm, size 12 is 66cm, and so on in increments of 5cm.

    It's also a good idea to have more than one set of hooks and eyes so they've got options!

    You could also use a different closure method that's a bit more flexible for sizing, such as a strip of velcro.

    Hope this helps!

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  42. Thanks for this Tilly! I think I'll try a few sets of hooks+eyes at their dress size waist, I think velcro might look a bit funny. Will let you know how it goes!

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  43. Hey Tilly! Again me. Thanks for your bow-belt-tutorial.

    Now, there's one more bow in Germany. Have a wonderful christmas!

    http://frautipmatic.blogspot.com/2011/12/teil-ohne-namen.html

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  44. Hiya Tilly! Guess what I made?

    http://stitchybritt.blogspot.com/2011/12/bow-belt.html

    I actually stitched the hooks on but not the eyes, I'm leaving them until my Mum opens the gift on Xmas day so that I can 'tailor' them to fit best.

    Thanks Tilly!

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  45. hi i like your tutorial. just had one question what do you call this white tape exactly?

    thanx shienie

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  46. Hi Shienie, do you mean the white stuff stuck on the fabric? That's interfacing. It stiffens the fabric slightly on things like belts, collars and cuffs. It comes on a big sheet and you iron it onto the fabric (or sometimes stitch it on). Hope this helps!

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  47. LOVE bow belt (& Collete’s bow fasteners on blouse back),but, an easier way to turn belt to right side:trim seam;sew round shoelace end-to-end to belt,leaving 1/2"inside belt (a safety pin on inner lace helps later);Cut off end, push lace/pin thru & pull. Magical! Finish right side.r

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  48. Hey, that's really cute, thanks for this tutorial! Here is my belt - finally: http://nina.dreep.de/2013/02/my-tilly-and-the-buttons-bow-belt/ :)

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  49. gourgeous! I can´t wait to make my own cuz I´ve been wanting one for a long time and now that I started sewing I see the world of possibilities!

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  50. I think I've found a pretty addition for a dress I'm making. Would look great with some other wardrobe staples too. Thanks for this!

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