2 May 2014

DIY Leather Bow Belt Tutorial

I'm so pleased to be bringing you this tutorial, its something I have had in my head for a while but had no idea how easy this would be to pull off having never, ever, worked with leather before in my life. So here we go, proof that you don't need to have any experience at all to have a go at this, it is that simple.

I have an elasticated belt, which I bought from a major grocery retailer, which I wear with everything. Mr Fox said to me the other week 'what are you going to do when that belt breaks' well Mr Fox, this is what I am going to do! This is going to be a very pic heavy post so I will keep them small and hopefully they will help illustrate the steps.

For the Elasticated Leather belt you will need: 
  • Enough 2inch wide elastic to fit round your waist (colour of your choice)
  • Some Leather (colour of your Choice
  • Leather sewing machine needles
  • Polyester thread (you should not use cotton as it deteriorates) 
  • 4 x Leather popper notions
  • Leather popper tools
  • Hammer
  • Bow pattern(click here to download the PDF)

Step 1: Measure the elastic around your waist and cut it so that it fits snug but is not over stretched. You will be overlapping the ends so this will give it a bit more fit.

Step2: Using the inner lines on the pattern (you don't need the seam allowance) cut out your pieces of Leather using the pattern as follows:
1 x large bow piece
1 x thin center piece
2 x back popper tabs (on the fold)

Step 3: With the front of the bow piece facing down fold the outside edge into the center  making sure the tap is on the other side of the bow

Step 4: Fold the other side over to the middle making sure the two long pieces are overlapping in the center and that the curves of the bow match on both the front and back.

Step 5: Folding your elastic in half mark the center point with a pin. Place the bow right side up with the narrowest point of the bow lined up with the pin. N.B. you shouldn't pin leather as the holes become permanent.

Step 6: With your leather needle in your sewing machine stitch a line through all layers of the bow and elastic securing the center of the bow to the elastic. Make sure to secure the stitches at either end.

*Check it out, you just stitched some leather on your machine! how easy was that (told you).

Step 7: Taking the center strip of leather fold this around the middle of you bow making sure that there is a small overlap at the back.

Step 8: Using the machine, with right sides together, secure the two ends of the center strip to make a circle. You can see I actually top stitched two lines on this piece. This step is entirely personal preference and is not required.

Step 9: Working from one end of the elastic string the center strip (now circle) feed the elastic through the middle and wiggle you leather a bit to get the strip into the middle of the bow with the seam at the center back. This should be tight enough to sit there without moving around. If its not just remove it and make the circle slightly smaller trimming off the excess.

Step 10: Take your two end pieces and fold them in half over each end of the elastic so the leather covers both sides equally and the fold is at the end of the elastic.

Step 11: Top stitch around all 4 sides of the two end pieces to secure in place

Step 12: Using your poppers and popper tools put two poppers on the ends of your belt. Make sure that you get them the right way round so that when they are pressed together the belt lies in a flat circle and the two end pieces overlap. My advice would be to punch the holes in one side and then overlap them punching the holes for the other side through the holes you just punched to make sure they are even. I am not going to show you how to use the popper tools, instead I am just going to link you to this tutorial which is all I followed.

Now pear your new belt with your favourite outfit and wear that sucker with pride!

Of course it would make me very happy to see your versions of these so please feel free to leave a comment linking yours, or send me a picture.


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