Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Belt Tips for Home-made Webbing Belts

Look what I found on eBay!  Belt tips to make your home-made belts look just a bit more like store-bought. 
These were quite inexpensive, just a few dollars for a packet of gunmetal black and silver ones, and they were easy to put on.  I'm going to test these out on zipper ends instead of sewing up the little squares of fabric, too.  Shall let you know how that goes.

Ribbon Storage Solution

While some of my ribbons come on nice spools that are easy to store like these,

ribbon bought by the yard just gets folded up and taped.  I've been buying a lot of ribbon by the yard lately (because Sandra of Sandra Sews is a bad influence on me.)

I was hanging the by-the-yard ribbon over regular hangers, but trying to get one out usually resulted a more than a few others cascading to the floor.  Enter these pants hangers with those nice holes on each side for organizing!  By the way, if you need to separate ribbon by food groups--cupcakes, lollipops, mushrooms, orange slices, and ice cream, in addition to dots, stripes, sports, chevrons, animals, baby stuff, flowers, solids, Fleur de lis, and miscellaneous, you might be a hoarder.  Not that I have any PERSONAL experience with that kind of thing.
See those lovely holes--five on each side.
While the sides on these hangers close tight, the center doesn't.  They do close enough to keep the center ribbon from moving about too much, though.   Perfection would be having these holes and whole length of the hanger clamping tight when closed. If you find those hangers, let me know.  

In case you are wondering, yes, I do think I may have gotten a little carried away buying ribbon, but I am USING the ribbon up.   My rubber ducks, on the other hand, now they might be a problem.   

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Wintering in New York

Winter is trying to imprison me.  Can you believe these icicles growing down over my windows?

At least they are attractive bars.  Here's how I'm coping with our snowy, exceptionally cold weather.

I'm rereading an old favorite book in front of the fire
while my candle reminds me of better weather to come.
I have a perfect view of all my bird feeders from the loveseat.  Those big blue vinyl circles on the windows are supposed to keep the birds from banging into the glass by the way.  Do they work?  Well, I guess there are fewer thumps than before putting them up.
Not many here because I scared them off while settling in for a morning read.

These big, bold jays have no trouble squeezing on those tiny perches of the feeders meant for the small birds
while these tiny finches (gold finches in dull winter plumage) all sit civilly on the large perch meant for the big birds.
I never said they were smart.  They fly into windows all the time after all.

This part might be the best, snacking on the muffins I made as a Valentine's Day treat for my stud muffin.
Best muffins ever!  I used the upside down banana bread recipe that has been popping up on Pinterest with a little tweaking for muffins because the bread turned out so well last week.   I may learn to like winter yet.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Still Making Belts

So the other day I wanted a purple belt to match my shirt, and twenty minutes later I had one.  This newest crafting obsession actually has some worth. The purple one even has a hook to hold my keys or that cute little Chapstick holder that I've been meaning to make for the last two years.
I thought sewing this loop for the swivel hook would be a pain, but it was quite easy.  I sewed the webbing loop with the hook on it and then twisted it around so that the seam would be on the inside.  Next time I shall try it with the matching ribbon on top. 

I'm still experimenting with these belts.  For the one below, I put ribbon on both sides which worked out well. 

In keeping with my new year's resolution to use up the stash, I've also been trying to make do with the hardware I have on hand.  I used up all the one-inch d-rings like the ones on this belt:
and rummaged through the stash to come up with two different pieces I had purchased for bag-making. I think I may like both these even more than the d-rings for the belts.  Never could figure how to use the first ones below for bag handles, but they work really well for a belt.
I sewed the webbing around the two lower loops and use the outer loops for closing the belt.  The second one, below, is the same basic design except that the center piece moves. 
You can loop the belt end to the inside which gives a nice flat, clean look without that belt end waving about. I'm not a big fan of that end piece hanging out.  Depending on the pants you are wearing you might be able to get that end to tuck into a belt loop but sometimes not.   Looping to the inside will always keep the end out of the way. 
Belt looped to the inside--nice look IMHO
I also decided to spruce up the two store-bought cloth belts I had hanging around with some ribbon.
I think Brian is getting a bit fearful that I may start embellishing his belts with polka dots or boats, so I'm moving on to something else tomorrow.  I have a ruler to make circular quilts (Jaybird Quilts maybe?) that's been sitting around for a couple of years.  Time to put it to work!   

  I shall leave you with a few things learned from all this ribbon belt sewing:
  • I  have stopped using any Wonder Under or Steam-a-Seam.  I found it easier to just guide the ribbon as I sew it on.  It is especially easy when the ribbon is the same width as the webbing.  The iron-on stuff also creates small puckers at times.  The puckers aren't significant and don't show when the belt is bent around your waist, but why add to the cost of making these if you can avoid it.
  • While I usually use a long stitch when sewing on ribbons and such, I shorted them up on these to a 2.5 or 3 setting on my Brother machine.  It looks better and seems sturdier to me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ribbon Belts

In wandering about the internet looking for ways to use of the massive amount of ribbon I have purchased, I found this link for webbing belts with ribbon sewn on top.  They used military buckles which are nice but more expensive than my d-rings and square rings. 

They also put on belt tips. Love the look, and I have some on order.  However, I used nylon webbing and just singed the edges with a lighter to prevent fraying.  In fact I singed the edges of the ribbon to prevent them from fraying as well.  The site suggests sewing close zig-zag stitching if you don't use belt tips, but the one store-bought cotton webbing belt I have like this just has the end folded over and sewn.. 

For one of mine, I put ribbon on top of ribbon to get the look I wanted. Love it!

Whether using a tip or not, you can start the ribbon on the reverse side by a few inches like this:

so that you will have the same ribbon showing when you have the belt "buckled" as you can see below.

I started this project with the idea of just using d-ring and only used the square ones on the black belt because I didn't have any black d-rings.  I found I kind of like the square rings better because of the straight line it gives rather than the slightly scrunched effect of the d-rings.

These would make great kid's gifts for both boys and girls.  With girls you get to make some fancy hair bows to match.   Did I say I had too much ribbon?  What was I thinking!  I may not have enough. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Partial Credit

Brian says I only get partial credit for my attempt at Valentine's Day decorating because I reused the Christmas snowman.  What???? I thought it was genius.  It's artistic recycling.  
 This puts a real damper on my idea of turning those hearts into shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day.