the scissors are right here…

11 Jun

After prodding from some readers (gratefully received! thank you magic and drudgery and the creative miss w) I have made my craft belt! I am incredibly proud of it – I know exactly where my scissors are for the first time ever – but I have to admit that it is most certainly a triumph for slapdash sewing. I do think this blog should be renamed ‘the slapdash sewer’ – I never realised before starting the blog just how lazy I really am.

The tutorial from Kerri-made that I’d all advised you to follow turned out to be a little harder than I’d at first thought. And the thing is, this craft belt is not a gift for anyone. For me, it just needs to be an item that functions and is durable. So, hands up – I’m guilty, I turfed the instructions from that tutorial out the window and went for a bit of my good old friend intuition.

I think it worked – I hope you agree. It’s a cute little belt, with different fabric pockets (something that greatly pleases the patchwork quilter in me who constantly wonders about the poor little, often chucked, scraps of fabric left at the end of any big sewing project). Here’s how I did it.

Step 1. Cut two 1 metre-long lengths of fabric and hem them so that no loose edges of fabric are left.

Step 2. Cut a rectangle of fabric (c. 20 cm by 60 cm, but play this part by ear.. or eye) and hem around the edge.

Step 3. Sew each length from Step 1 to the top of the rectangle, beginning from half way along. You will end up with the lengths sewn to the top of the hemmed rectangle, and two extensions of fabric from the top of the rectangle that will tie at the back. Ta da – you have the basic part of your fabric belt. Now for the pockets…

Step 4. If you want to be really quick and slapdash about it, just cut some rectangles and squares of varied fabric (or even better, find scraps) and sew these onto the rectangle of the belt – no hemming, nothing. If they’re the kind of fabric that doesn’t fray, this’ll work just fine, and let’s be honest, it’s a craft belt, not a dress for the Oscars red carpet. If you want to be a little tidier, then make the pockets by…

Step 4b (for tidier pockets). Doubling up the pockets for the material (so that there are two pieces cut to the same shape and size). Hem one side of these fabric patches. On all the other sides, sew the fabric patches together inside out, so that when you turn them inside out, you end up with a stand-alone pocket with a hemmed top. Sew this to the rectangle of the craft belt.

Step 5. You might like, as I did, to have a larger pocket at the front, with two slimmer pockets either side. For the large front pocket, you can add detailing by sewing a line down the middle to create different pockets. It all depends on what you want to keep in your craft belt.

And there we go. The craft belt is made. And you are ready to start crafting. Which is good news for me because I have soooo much to do this weekend. I’ve just signed up for a craft fair in Swindon, which I’m incredibly excited about, but this will mean really going to town with my inventory and increasing it by about 500%! I can’t wait to get started – especially as I visited a junk shop just a couple of days and got the most incredible amount of stash for just £6. The joys of upcycling! I can’t wait to show you some of the things I’m working on… and hopefully I’ll be ten times more efficient because of the craft belt.


p.s. I’ve posted some new pictures of me wearing the maxi dress I made a week or so ago that I think show it off a little better. Please excuse the vanity.


6 Responses to “the scissors are right here…”

  1. magicanddrudgery June 12, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    well done – its good to finish a project, especially such a useful one – I do definitely need one of these – I have a seam ripper issue which drives me bonkers. And I really like the maxi dress, its lovely. Looking forward to seeing all the new projects:)

    • needlepullingthread June 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

      Thanks! I’m looking forward to getting started on some new projects – I have a couple of metres of dark blue satin that have been waiting around for years…

  2. The Creative Miss W June 13, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    Well done! It looks great!

    • needlepullingthread June 13, 2011 at 10:16 am #

      Thank you! And it works – that’s the main thing. I’ve been wearing it all the time – there’s a danger I’ll end up walking out of the house with it on.

  3. Alessa June 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    Yay! Love your craft belt, it’s such a wonderful idea! I’m wondering though, is it practical to wear it during sewing, or just for the process of tracing/cutting etc? It seems like the scissors might stab/prod you while sitting…?

    • needlepullingthread June 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

      Hi Alessa. Good question, but so far so good – I work with it on all the time, but then, usually when I’m sitting down at my sewing machine, my scissors are on the table rather than in my pockets – it’s when I’m planning and cutting, like you say, that I tend to lose them…

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