Friday, November 26, 2010

DIY Bow Belt Tutorial

Yay! My first tutorial. Let's make bow belts today, per request from my first outfit post. Here it goes!

What you'll need:

Fabric: For this belt, I used a 30"x30" square of fabric, since I wanted to cut the belt along the diagonal so it'd stretch better. For my original purple belt, I used a scrap piece, so it was only a strip of fabric, about 5 inches wide, and I just cut it along the straight edge, and it wasn't stretchy at all. It's best to use something with a bit of weight instead of just a plain cotton, so you don't need to use interfacing.

1 set of sew-on hook and eye closures

matching thread, needle, sewing machine, ruler, blah blah blah

Instructions are after the jump.

First, we need to cut out a long rectangle, I made mine 35" by 4" (which was still a little too long for me, make yours accordingly. Always better to make it too long than too short). I cut it at a 45 degree angle to the edges of the fabric, so that it's the most stretchiest.

If you have a rotary cutter, it would make your life easier.

Now I have a 35" by 4" rectangle.

Fold it in half, and pin a few pins just to hold the pieces together so they don't slide when you stitch them together.

Sew with a 1/4" hem.

This is the hardest part. Turn the tube inside out (easiest to use the safety pin method), and then iron flat.

Roll in the edges and sew them down.

The belt part is done. Now it's time for the bow! Fold one of the leftover triangles, and cut a rectangle that's 5" x 7" on the folded edge, so that it's 10" x 7" when opened up.

Oops. I messed up. The rectangle should look like the one on the left, not the one on the right.

Keep it folded, and pin it together.

Sew along the sides, leaving a 2" opening on the bottom. THIS IS IMPORTANT, so you can flip it inside out.

Once flipped inside out, push out the corners with a pointy (but dull) object. I used a mechanical pencil without the lead. And my rectangle is a little lopsided. Oops. Iron it flat.

Now let's make the little middle loopy thing for the bow. I just cut an extra piece that was 3" x 5", folded it in half and sewed it up. I didn't bother flipping it inside out, but in hindsight, that would have been a good idea.

All I did was iron it down so that the edge was in the middle.

Next, take your bow rectangle, and fold it like an accordion. I didn't stitch up the 2" opening since it will be covered by the loopy thing, but if you want to, go for it.

Slip the middle thing around it, sew it down, and then snip off the excess fabric.

Bow is done. Ta da!

Now, let's sew the bow onto the belt. We'll hand stitch it, making sure that we don't sew through both layers of the bow.

I also stitched the middle loopy thing down, just so it wouldn't twist around and show the rough edges in the back.

Sew on the hook and eye closures. For me, I preferred to have it adjustable, so I only sewed the "hook" part on, and used a safety pin for the "eye" part. That way, I can wear it higher up on my waist, or lower when I want. If you have extra fabric, the bow will probably flop around, so I just used some fabric tape (you know, the kind that keeps clothes in place) or you can use a safety pin.

All finished!

This just happens to look like an oversized bow-tie. AND, I just happened to make a mini bow-tie with the SAME fabric months ago. (This fabric was leftover from making a dress, and of course I had to make my son a bow tie to match mommy's dress.) Isn't that cute?

I hope that all made sense, so let me know if you have any questions! :)


  1. oh thank you for the tutorial!! your bow belt was so cute in your first post. hopefully i'll get a chance to try this out sometime!

  2. great tutorial! i'll definitely have to try this out. i love the cute matching bowtie you made to go along with the belt.

  3. great tutorial! i'll definitely have to try this out. i love the cute matching bowtie you made to go along with the belt.

  4. I finally got around to trying your tutorial - so happy with the results! Thank you so much for sharing the instructions! :)

  5. This is so cute.
    What fabric would you recommend using for this?


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