Womens Fashion: Make Your Own Ribbon Belt

Taking the diy route is the best way to enjoy one of this season's vintage-inspired trends, the ribbon belt.

Enjoying this season's vintage-inspired ribbon belts doesn't have to mean dropping a lot of cash at the department store or scouring the flea markets.

This is one accessory that even beginning crafters can easily make at home for far less money, and wind up with stylish and unique wardrobe addition. Ribbons of different widths, colors and materials can be combined with a variety of buckles to create unique belts that perfectly complement favorite outfits. Try a crisp and preppy grosgrain with simple D-Rings over pressed khakis, or a rich tapestry with a decorative buckle to romance worn jeans for a quirky bohemian look. This style can even go formal with fancier fasteners and velvet ribbon.

With a few inexpensive, easy-to-find notions and less than an hour of free time, you can have a hot fashion accessory that is truly your own.

You will need:


2 D-Rings or one decorative buckle

Needle and Thread or sewing machine

To make the belt:

Choose a ribbon that is slightly slimmer than the width of the D-Rings or buckle. For instance, use 7/8 inch ribbon and an inch-wide fastener, or 1 ¼ inch ribbon with a 1 ½ inch fastener. Grosgrain ribbon is the most common material, as it is the easiest to work with and will give the best results for the first few belts you make. Once you are comfortable with the technique, try expanding into velvet, tapestry, or satins.

To determine how much ribbon is needed, measure the waist at the point where the belt will sit and add approximately 12 inches to that length.

Fold and press the ribbon ½ an inch from the end. Fold another ¾ inch, and press again. This is the loop that will hold the fastener. Slide the rings or buckle into the crease, and either hand or machine sew. Go back over the seam three or four times to make sure it is secure.

There are several options for finishing the tail end of the belt: if a synthetic fabric is used, it is possible to simply run the end across a candle flame. This will slightly melt the fabric, preventing the end from fraying. For a more finished look, cut on a diagonal, fold and press a 1/8 of an inch, repeat, and sew.

If a D-Ring closure is chosen, to fasten the belt, thread the ribbon through both D-Rings, and then double back through one, sliding to tighten.

Once you have the technique down pat, expand into some variations.

Some possibilities to explore:

-- Add an appliqué next to the buckle.

-- Sew a thin contrasting ribbon along the center of the wider one.

-- Instead of one wide ribbon, braid three narrow ones.

-- When using printed ribbon, double the length and sew the wrong â€" that is, the unprinted â€" sides together. This way, when the belt is worn, the print will remain visible on the tail end.

With a little work and ingenuinity, you can have a selection of low-cost yet stylish and unique accessories to pull your favorite outfits together.

© High Speed Ventures 2011