Friday, October 2, 2009

Simple belt for kids

We thought we'd sorted the problem of a little jeans constantly falling down when we found a tiny leather belt with a buckle. It looked cute, but wasn't comfy around the little tummy when the little one was sitting down. The belt was ditched and the jeans fell down again.

Today I went into the studio on a mission. The first thing I did was make a belt.

The second thing I did was make another belt (with improvements) and then ANOTHER one to take step-by-step photos. Here's what it amounted to.
1. Lay up two pieces of cute kiddie-print fabric. It's best to go on the straight grain that's parallel to the selvage (because the fabric is more stable in that direction) but not absolutely essential. I didn't because I didn't have the length of fabric in the prints I liked the best.

2. Cut a 5cm (2") wide strip in both fabrics. The length is up to you - add about 20cm to whatever waist measurement you need.

3. Cut a 2.5cm (1") wide strip of medium Fast2Fuse 4cm shorter than the fabric strip.


4. Trim the ends of the fabric to a point (this is to help it to travel through a 25mm bias tape maker below).

6. Start to thread a fabric strip through the bias tape maker. You made need to use a pin, tailors awl or unpicker to help ease it through to the opening at the front.

7. As you pull the fabric strip through, press the folds of fabric toward the centre. See if you can control the fabric (with a tiny zig-zag motion with the iron or by using fingers) to leave an even gap of a few mms between the raw edges at the centre of the tape. That will make the next stage a little easier.

8. Place the Fast2Fuse strip in the centre of the fabric strip - starting a few mms back from the cut point (as shown above).

9. Taking care not to put the iron on the surface of the Fast2Fuse, fold the fabric back over the top and fuse it into place.

10. Turn the whole strip over onto an applique mat (remembering that Fast2Fuse is fusible on both sides!) and give it a really firm press. Let it cool and remove it from the mat.
11. Run the other fabric strip through the bias tape maker and press the edges in to the centre. (The gap in the middle is completely optional here).

12. Working on top of an applique mat, lay some hemming tape (or vliesofix cut into a strip) over your fabric strip.

13. Fold the mat over the top and give it a press.

14. Let it cool and peel the fabric off the mat.

15. On the pointed ends of both fabric strips, turn the corners in and fold the top over as shown below.
You might find trimming the turnings to reduce bulk is helpful - do this after you've pressed the turned edges so that you can see exactly where it needs it. Don't trim too close to the corners or the fabric will fray when the belt is in use.
17. Lay the two strips together and line up the edges. Add a bit of extra hemming tape between the two folded ends. Press the belt pieces together until they fuse. (Let them cool before you wiggle them around too much).

18. Topstitch as close to the edges as you can. You might also like to add an extra row or two of topstitching (like I did) - that's optional.


19. Trim the other end to remove any hanging threads or fraying edges. Thread it through two 2.5mm (1") d-rings. Pull the fabric through so that the Fast2Fuse part of the belt is just over the other side of the rings. Fold the cut end under.

20. Fold the cut end of the strap right under so that it nearly reaches the d-rings and edge of the Fast2Fuse. Stitch the folded end back onto the strap with a wide square or rectangle of stitches. Sew as close to the d-rings as your machine foot will allow and use a tailors awl or unpicker to hold in stray raw edges.

To do up the belt - thread the end of the belt through both rings...

...then thread the end over the top ring and under the bottom ring. Adjust the tension on the belt to fit the tummy.

And little jeans stay up all day!
...
Most of these gadgets - applique mats, bias tape makers, quilting rulers, unpickers.... - can be found here. Fast2Fuse is here. Medium (1") d-rings are here.

25 comments:

JodieMo said...

We have the very same problem...times 2! I have been looking for belts to buy that will fit them, but they are all too big ( not to mention not very cute). This is the perfect solution. Thanks!

Nikki Cardigan said...

That is super cute and super clever Nikki. It's amazing what a woman on a mission can achieve!

Tania said...

You absolute star! I am going to be the most bees knees mother* once I get around to making these (apparently it's undignified to walk around with your trousers around your knees).

* Am happy to share credit since you actually got your act together and worked out how, rather than just saying you would.

Purple Paisley Patch said...

Fabulous instructions, thanks for solving such a tricky problem. Neither of my kids has any bum to keep their pants up, so belts are a must around here! :-)

pipnmillycreations said...

I make these for my two, but I like your method much better! I'm off to find the applique mat and big bias tape maker now....

thornberry said...

Fabulous Nikki. I'll be needing some of these for my little one! Great step by step with all those little extra details that always make your tutorials and instructions superior!

Liam's Mummy said...

That is a cute belt. I've always been meaning to make a belt with D-rings, but never thought to use fabric.

Kirsty said...

Fabulous tute Nikki. I think I shall add these to my Christmas gift list. Thank you.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

That is so cute and so well-explained. Thanks so much for sharing, I'll be linking to this.

Sew4Fun said...

Nikki, you might want to look at this website - http://www.myselfbelts.com
These belts are easy to make and are very functional for little ones when they go to the bathroom.

unpicking is the pits ! said...

You are a mind reader !
I went looking for a belt yesterday for my 4 yr old as the plumbers Y at her rear end was distressing her !
couldn't find anything. But I am off to the sewing machine right now ..Thankyou !

April said...

This is WONDERFUL!!!! Thank you!!! I have had the hardest time finding any belts I liked at the stores - they're all dumb & ugly.

sewjourn said...

Brilliant as usual!!

CurlyPops said...

I made one today to add some colour to a denim skirt Birtskag which was looking a bit plain to me. It's supercute!

Anonymous said...

I need to try this one Nikki, Keira's jeans keep heading south too. This Tut is brilliant!!
Thanks so much

Zaneta

Lisa T said...

That is a great idea. I may make a couple to put in my daughters santa sack!

Thanks so much for sharing your great ideas.

Lisa

Margaret @ Konstant Kaos said...

applique mat, maybe that is what I need on my ironing board to stop the sticky stuff .... hmmm

Thanks for the tutorial, might knock-up a few for Tori!

Handmade said...

Well done - great tutorial- cute belt!

Sarah said...

An adorable solution for tiny hineys. :)

Lisa said...

What a great idea, thanks for tutorial.

Me said...

thanks for the tutorial!!!!

I think I'll make a combination of your process and the snap button plus velcro that the people from "myselfbelt" (other commenter) use. Super! Because my 5-year-old has to be able to open _and_ close his belt all by himself during his all-day schooldays, that's just perfect.

frog said...

(facesmack) Of course! Plumber's crack begone.

Karen said...

Nikki this is BRIILIANT!!!
I have very tall girls who have to wear jeans too big to get them long enough and I end up tying a ribbon around as a belt to keep them up.
Will definitely be making some of these in the future, now just to find some more time...

Boys Pajamas said...

I love this belt idea. That looks so simple and I love that you can take some seriously cool old fabrics that you would have thrown out or scrapped. Great tutorial!

dita said...

Thank you!!!! this is just what I need for my son...