DIY: Pleated Belt Piece
I recently saw this image in an editorial from lord knows where (I've got to start keeping track of these things) and it got the DIY cranks in my head turning. I put this one together this afternoon and it was totally trail and error, but I'm quite happy with how it came out. Smaller than the one in the editorial but I like it like that. I might try to some more now that I've got the steps all worked out. I thought I would try to do a step by step for you guys. I hope it's not too hard to follow, I'm pretty bad at explaining! Comment and let me know if you need any clarification.
What you'll need: Material, scissors, iron, sewing machine
I chose to use the selvage edge for the bottom hem, just to reduce bulk by not having to fold under the bottom edge.
When cutting out your piece there are a few things to consider. Make sure you're cutting your fabric width wise at least double the size you want your finished product to be. I wasn't too particular with the size I wanted to I just followed the lines of the plaid in a size that looked appropriate. Also consider how long you will be making it, as you'll be folding under the top to make a belt loop in a later step.
Turn over both left and right sides of your piece and press, hiding the raw edges.
Make your first fold. I just guesstimated how large I wanted my pleats. (total trial and error but it worked) If you like to be accurate I'd encourage measuring but if you trust your eye, go with that! Press.
Continue your folds. Make sure you're making them consistent in size. The sizes of the pleats is totally personal preference but just make sure they're the same throughout. Make sure you're pressing very well at ever fold.
Continue until you've reached the end of your fabric piece. Give it a hard press on both sides now. Pin down at the top as you will be sewing in the next step.
Sew from the raw edge at the top about 1/3 of the way down. Depending how long your pleats are this will vary. Just make sure you sew far enough that when you fold your fabric over to create the belt loop, the entire thing will be sewed down and laying flat. Sew each pleat as close to the fold as possible.
Fold over top to back, leaving enough room for a belt to pass through when completed. You can either do a blind stitch if you prefer to not see the stitching from the right side. You can also just run it through the machine as I did. I figure a machine stitch will hold up longer after wear than a hand stitch would. Again, total personal preference.
Here it is after sewing! My stitch is a little sloppy but you get the idea!
There you have it! Your very own... pleated belt piece? I don't even know what to call this thing! I hope some of you are interested enough to try this for yourselves! It's super simple and only took me about 40 minutes to do. If anyone does try it I'd love to see it!