Sunday, August 2, 2009

DIY ruffly belt with Rachel from Heart of Light

Photos & Content of today's entry belongs to 100 Layer Cake


First off, Rachel is one of the craftiest gals in the blogosphere. If you’re in need of a little modern, down-to-earth Martha in your blog life right now you must visit Heart of Light.



Quality ribbon - as wide as you’d like your belt to be. We used 1.5 inch grosgrain for our project, but you could certainly use a pretty double satin or something else entirely. Just make sure it will lay nicely on your waist.

Fabric - We used four different types/tones for this project. Rachel chose a few different silks and a tulle. Different textures and weights make for nice variation when they’re all mixed together. The remnants bin of your local fabric store is a great place to start if you’re looking for inspiration.



How to:

Find the center point of your belt/ribbon and start there. We’d recommend cutting your belt longer than you think so you can accommodate for an off center finished product and/or for a big bow in the back.

For the complete tutorial, we’re going to point you towards Rachel’s detailed explanation of a similar headband on her blog. But the gist is this…


Make your petals. Again, how-to is on Heart of Light.

(If you’re concerned with stray threads from rough-cut fabric, Rachel discovered that IF AND ONLY IF you are using 100% natural fiber fabric, you can actually singe the edges of your petals on the stove before you start. This seals the edge and stops your fabric from shedding threads. BUT we repeat, do not attempt this if you’re using synthetic fabric. Two words: Fire. Hazard.)

Stack 2 or 3 petals on top of each other (using a variety of fabrics and colors in each flower).

Twist the back of each flower so you catch the center of all 3 petals and lay it on your ribbon. Now tack it down with a few well placed stiches and repeat.

If you’re using a wider piece of ribbon like we did, you’ll need 2 flowers, side by side, per row. Working in one direction, add as many rows as you want to make the decorative part of your belt the right length. Once you have the general shape and length that you like, you can always go back in and add more flowers where you see fit.

This project is especially excellent because it requires little expertise in terms of sewing. As long as you’re familiar with a needle, thread, and a basic stitch, you are completely qualified to pull this off.


Once you’ve filled your belt with the number of ruffles you like, that’s it! The underside won’t be pretty, but don’t worry. No one’s going to see it. For a more finished product you could always back your belt with a second piece of ribbon.

We can see this project working with just a little flower for your hip or with a full row to accent your entire waist. Totally depends on you!


We’re making more of these, that’s for sure. And seriously, they are so simple you could easily make a whole set for your bridesmaids.