Ruched Pleather Belt

Fabricland has some really nice leather look fabric in stock now.  I’ve been admiring it for ages, and bought a small piece of black on black snakeskin-printed stretch knit to add some trendiness to some leggings I’m planning, and a small piece of black lambskin-look (30 cm) to make this belt. 

I went into H&M recently and liked a belt that was similar.  Priced at $17.99 it would not have blown the bank, but when I tried it on, apparently O/S means what — a size 2? 4?  The sides of the belt extended just slightly past the sides of my waist and made me feel fatty fat fat.  Ouch. 

So for $11 including two spools of black thread and some leather lacing which I ended up not using, I have my oh-so-trendy  leathery ruched belt!

Here’s how I did it.  It was probably a 2 hour project, not including lying in bed thinking about the construction details.    First, I divided the pleather (tricot-knit backed lambskin look-alike, supple not stretchy) in half lengthwise.

Then I sewed a strip of thin rayon knit down the centre to form a casing for some 1 1/2″ wide elastic. In case you noticed, I am fluent in both metric and imperial measures, being Canadian.   No, I’m not that accurate, I cut the knit the same width as the center strip, marked my stitching lines then trimmed off the excess, so now it looks like this with the elastic inserted and stitched down on the ends:

back side of ruched center strip

Then I folded the ends under on all sides and topstitched.   I did trim the sides a bit narrower when the elastic was in, just by eye. 

Then I hemmed the sides/ends of the backing strip, which goes around my waist with about a 4″ gap in the centre.

Center Section topstiched in place

With the miracle of basting tape, I centred the ruched strip, adjusting the gathers and topstitched it in place with 2 rows of stitching.  I then decided to curve the ends:

Curving the ends

I finished the belt with ties made by folding and stitching, and put a patch over each tie end:

Finished belt

Here the belt is displayed on my mannequin which has a substantially smaller waist than me:

Back of Belt

You may recognize the top underneath, its Simplicity 3786 – I added a piece to the bottom as it was just too darn short.  With the random pattern, the seam is pretty camouflaged.