Aunt Norie’s Sewing Room
Belts, like anything else fashion-wise, come and go. That handy little belt-making kit, however, can now be hard to find. True, the kit is still on the market, but it just used to be found in several widths, with different buckle choices, on all notion displays. Now, that’s not always so.
There are many ways to make belts. Here are some of the methods we used before commercial belting became so readily available:
Using a firm fabric (pillow ticking is one), cut it two to four times wider than the finished belt needs to be. Fold it to the needed width. Stitch down its center and on each edge, then stitch down its entire length with a zig zag stitch. Now it’s ready to cover and attach the buckle.
Or, simply cut the belt length of dress fabric, plus lap over and seam allowance. To attach the buckle, fold each edge to the center. Now fold again, and you’ll have four thicknesses. Top stitch along each edge, finish the ends and attach the buckle.
We also used old belts from discarded dresses and recovered them. However, one does run out of those, too.
A shortcut for the waistband of a corduroy skirt: just cut the waistband wider than the waist band pattern, then stitch to the skirt, matching the notches. Fold that extra width down two or three times to the desired width and stitch along each fold as you hold it in place. This will avoid slipping in wearing and laundering, and it makes a firm waistband.
I grew up learning so many of these “tricks” before commercial patterns became so readily available. Those first patterns were so hard to use. There were no instructions on the pattern pieces as we have now. There were just holes punched in the pieces. An instruction sheet, like three holes in a certain formation, was placed on the fold, etc.
Cut your thread on a slant, now, and give those hugs away.
— Aunt Norie, PO Box 265, Tonganoxie, KS 66086; firstname.lastname@example.org