Today I will be showing you how to design and make your own embroidered belt. It’s easy to make and requires almost no investment of time and money. Like I discussed in my first ethnicwear DIY post, even if you have only basic sewing knowledge or a tailor at your disposal these are easy to make. The design can be comfortably customized to suit your ensemble needs. The versatility of an embroidered belt is evident in the styling shoot, as shown below.
Embroidered border- 31 inches (your waist measurement+1.5 inches)
Lining fabric- approx 20 cm (including fabric for tie-ups)
Sewing thread matching the lining fabric- 1 piece
Measuring scale/ ruler
Pearl pins/ t-pins
First make your fabric cord. There are various design options you could use, either make the cords of the lining fabric or even a contrast fabric for design element or even use ready-made cords of any kind that you deem fit with your embroidery. Once ready keep them aside, we will finish the open edges in the later steps.
I have used cord for the belt because of two reasons. One I liked the effortless look of the cords and second it will be adjustable to fit any amount of clothing layers below. If you don’t want the cords, you could use trouser hooks with 1″ overlap of belt.
I wanted 1/4″ cords, so I cut fabric strips of 1″ and full width of the lining fabric (38″). Then I sew along with 1/4″ seam allowance and inverted the cord using a safety pin. Refer to this video tutorial by Cindy for a how-to guide on inverting the cord. I made two such cords and cut them in the middle to give me the final 4 cords I needed.
First remove any stitch lines that are visible on the front of the border, these stitches on the market bought borders usually don’t solve any purpose. Second, cut the lining for the belt. Measure the height of the belt and add 1″ seam allowance/stitching fabric to the measurement. Cut this measurement along the width of the fabric. If you want you could also use bias fabric strips available.
Next using the now open seam allowance on the border and the lining, stitch on both edges with the right sides facing each other. Using the same safety-pin inverting method used for the fabric cord above invert the border with lining. Since the embroidery is thick this might take some effort to invert. I personally like to have the least amount of visible stitch lines so I use the inverting, you could also just fold the seam allowances and use a top stitch to attach the lining.
Try the now lined border with pinned cords and do any length adjustments if required. Then fold and finish one side of the cords. Hand sew it such that the stitches are not visible. Next pin the cords to the border.
When pinning the cord to the belt- fold half inch all around the open edge of the border and align the cord’s 1/2 inch with it on the inside. Then hand sew this opening, attaching the cord to the border in the process. Make sure all the hand sewing is neat and not visible to the naked eye, this adds to the appeal of the final product. Repeat the process on the opposite open edge of the border. Cut away any stray threads or embroidery threads that might have sprung.
Your belt is ready! The finished belt looks grand with it’s embroidery and finish. The total costing of the belt honestly is just Rs.65 (Rs.50 for 1 meter border+ Rs.12 for 20 cm lining fabric + Rs.3 for sewing thread) and 1.5 hours max of labour. But it’s true value lies in the versatility and the finishing of the product. I can’t stress enough on the importance of finishing, specially if you want a DIY or low priced product to look worth more.
Send me pictures of your own sewn embroidered belt. Comment below with your thoughts on the belt and the styling. Dress up and have fun! 🙂