Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Ribbon Bow Belt Tutorial, And Cheers for a New Year!

First off, I'd like to wish everyone the absolute best for 2014--my year is already off to an incredible start! I went to a huge NYE celebration at a Portuguese restaurant with my parents and some family friends.

I debuted a Jessica Simpson textured lace dress and black American Duchess Gibsons. To break up the black of my dress, I made a belt from cream grosgrain ribbon. The ribbon was from the waistband of my Alice Dress--I had sandwiched the tulle between two strips of ribbon. Since the costume was poorly and hastily sewn, I was OK with taking it apart. The belt took about 30 minutes to make.

To make the belt, you will need:

- Approximately 2 yds. of ribbon in your choice of color; I recommend grosgrain because it's nice and sturdy, and the texture is fun.
- Coordinating thread
- A pant hook and eye
- Measuring tape, scissors, needle
- Fray Check
- Iron and Ironing Board

To start, cut 3 lengths of the ribbon: a 2.5 inch segment, a 30 inch segment, and a segment that's your waist measurement plus an inch (in my case, 26.5 inches--I'll refer to this as the waistband). I Fray Check-ed all the raw edges in this belt, as turning the raw edge under would've created too much bulk.

1. Apply Fray Check to the edges of all the ribbon strips. On the waistband, fold down 1.5 inches and press. Sew a hook to one end of the waistband. Now, fold along the crease created by the iron and sew it down with a whip stitch.

2. Determine where you want the belt to sit on your waist; it should be snug but not strangling you. The extra 1.5 inches in the waistband accounts for seam allowance and wearing ease. Wrap the belt around your waist and mark where you want the hook to be. Fold down the excess ribbon, and press. The hook should be placed right at the edge of the fold; stitch the hook, then stitch down the fold with a whip stitch.

3. Now, on the 30 inch segment, measure out 9 inches and fold in half--it should reach the 4.5 inch mark. Sew this down, and pres with the iron.

4. On the right-hand end of the ribbon, fold it at the 8 inch mark. On the left-hand end of the ribbon, fold the ribbon at the 1 inch mark. Press.

5. Fold the rest of the ribbon at the 7 inch mark. Pin it, trim 1/4 inch, fray check the cut edge, and stitch down through all layers.

6. Put on the belt and determine the placement of the bow. The fastening should be hidden beneath the bow. Pin the bow in place and stitch.

7. To keep the bow flat once the belt is fastened, slip a pin through the largest loop on the side of the fastening to attach it to the waistband. On the other end of the bow, sew a small stitch through the waistband and largest loop to secure the bow.

8. Finally, take the 2.5 inch segment, wrapping it around the center of the bow and waistband to conceal the stitching. Stitch down one end of the segment, then overlap it with the other end, stitching that with a whip stitch as well.

This accessory is a cute staple that can add texture and interest to any outfit! It will subtly define your waist and add a bit of retro flair.


  1. That is a sweet belt and goes perfectly with your lovely dress! How fun!


  2. Aah! So cute! And pretty on you :) I'm going to have to try this, thanks for the tutorial!
    Anneliese :)