Monday, July 25, 2011

little man ... or little woman belt

I'm a Momma who LOVES her boys to look their very best at all possible times...
while spending the least amount of money to make it happen!

That doesn't mean we don't have dirt encrusted shirts, mismatched clothes or messy hair and faces at times.
We definitely have that!
We own ONE Disney character t-shirt which has been designated as a sleep shirt only.
Yes, I'm THAT kind of mom.
(that doesn't mean I think no kids should wear Disney shirts and I honestly don't even think about it when I see them on other children...really, I don't.)

I just want my boys to grow up knowing it's important to be clean, smell like "Heaven" (a.k.a. fresh soap) and look your best ESPECIALLY on Sunday when we attend church.

Ever since we welcomed Mr. blue boy to our family, I've struggled to dress him due to his rapidly growing frame.
I remember when he was little I couldn't wash clothes fast enough.
By the time I got a new shirt washed and dried, he would have grown too big to fit it anymore.

Believe me...I'm so NOT exaggerating!
Due to these problems, his Sunday wardrobe has been lacking for a while especially in the belt area!
No matter how hard I try ... I just can't find a belt for this little man (that I'm willing to pay for).
So I decided to make it instead and I'm going to show you how I did it!
So let's get started on the easiest 35 minute belt!

What you will need:
scraps of heavy fabric
(boyish, girlish, or neutral...your choice)
rotary cutter
(optional - will cut down on your time)
sewing machine
needle and thread

(yes, I said hammer)

First, you need to measure your little one's waist.
(Leave a little extra room in your measurement for their pants or shorts.)
Now add 5.5 inches.

These are the measurements I will be using ...
green boy's waist: 23 inch.+ 5.5 inches = 28.5 inches
Your length will all depend on the aforementioned measurement.
You are going to cut 2 long strips of fabric that measure 2 inches x 28.5 inches (enter your own measurements here)
AND 2 strips that measure 1 1/4 inches x 6 inches.
(or piece together scraps if you need to)

(approx. 3 min. to cut)
We are going to start with the belt "buckle"
I decided to use fabric instead of d-rings to keep it soft and comfy... just like my little men like it!
You can alter the tutorial to cut out this part and add d-rings later if you like.

Take your 1 1/4 inch x 6 inch strips and place right sides together.
Sew 1/4 inch seams on both sides.
Turn your tube right side out and iron it flat.
If you need help turning your tube, go HERE.
Now top stitch 1/4 seam on both sides like this ...
(approx. 6 min. 30 sec. to sew, turn, iron and top stitch)
Take your two 28.5 inch strips and fold over the edges 1/4 inch(to the back side) and sew.
This is so you will have nicely finished edges at the end.
(approx. 2 min.)
Now, cut the 6 inch piece you just top stitched in half and place (right sides together) those two pieces 2 1/4 inch in from one end of the 28.5 inch long piece.
Place the other 28.5 inch long strip right sides together sandwiching your straps.
Pin in place and sew 1/4 seam on both sides
(approx. 5 min.)
Clip off excess, turn and iron flat.
(approx. 8 min. to turn and iron - took much longer to turn this puppy!)
Now you should have something that looks like this:
Now you are going to top stitch your belt, but only start where your buckle is and then go to the end.
(approx. 3 min.)
It should look a little like this:
I sewed the rectangle and an 'x' to give the fabric more strength and stability when the snap is fastened later. There will be a lot of yanking on that end of the belt so I tried to make it as strong as possible.

Now we are going to sew the ends of your long belt together ... just run right over the stitch you made at the very beginning to seal up that little hole.
Then, fold over the remaining 2 inch flap behind your buckle and hand stitch down.

This is also where you would place your d-rings, if you are using them, then fold over and sew.
(approx. 4 min.)
I decided this end needed to be thicker and completely unable to make it through the belt loops in my boy's pants ...
when the buckle end of the belt slips through the loops easily, it somehow causes lots of belt buckles to end up on the sides of Mr. green boy's body.
Don't ask...I have no idea how that happens!

If you don't need this step.... just place your buckle loops at the end of your 28.5 inch strip instead of 2 1/4 inch in.
That way, you won't have the fold over and hand stitch step and you will also gain 2 inches in belt length.

Now for the snaps...Read the instructions on the back of your packaging. 
I think that's the BEST way of telling how to do it.
Just go get a hammer and a board you don't mind having dents in and get to it.
It's actually kind of fun!
Put the belt together so you can see where the snaps need to be, measure carefully and mark with a pencil or fabric marker to avoid misplacing snaps.
(approx. 4 min.)
And there you have it!
Solution for the wardrobe problem AND
Perfect little man cuteness!
   And the little men wearing them...

Please keep in mind my timings are recorded after careful consideration of pattern and measurements.
I also don't include the time it takes to clip excess threads or thread my sewing machine.

linked with:
gingersnap crafts


Kristy said...

How on earth did I have a 24 inch wasit in high school, if Evan has hit 23 inches already? I am loving his curls. Nice belts Heather!

Lindsay @ Delighted Momma said...

I love this!! You are so crafty!

Nebuchudnessar said...

I love these belts, I must look into making them for my daughter :)

DeNiel said...

I would like a sparkly one!

Dan and LaVon said...

So cute and comfy BUT the pics of the boys are the best. Its hard to improve upon perfection. I love all these fun things you are doing. I will be picking your brain while you are here for a class I have to teach in Sept on re-purposing (anything)

Jenny Bay said...

This is SO cute! I must try this sometime...

Cherished Bliss said...

How cute! My son always wants to wear a belt like daddy but the ones at the store seem to cut in on his stomach! These look so comfy and cute : ) Thanks for linking up!

Karima said...

Sorry if this is a repeat, blogger went off and I can't see original post! Saw you on link party. It can be so hard to find sewing projects for little boys, you did a great job! Karima x

mimijack said...

Hi. I'm loving your blog.Especially the little things. Reading some of those brought tears to my eyes.

mimihalley said...

So cool!

And your boys always look amazing. :)

I don't buy Jill any clothes with words on them, be it slogans like "Daddy's little princess" or brand names. However, she has received many clothes from loving people that have words on them, and I like free too much to not let her wear them!

Cherished Bliss said...

I am featuring these on my blog tonight! Stop by and pick up a button : ) Hope to see you link up again this week!

Miranda @ Life in the Motherhood said...

Wonderful idea! I see some of these awesome belts in the near future for my little guy. Thanks!

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