When I posted my Floral Minidress, I got the most shit-flipping in regards to the turquoise belt I was wearing. I don’t blame anyone for this – it’s an awesome belt. Lots of people asked where I originally scored it – and I’m sorry to say that it was a purchase from a vintage store in New Orleans (nyah nyah nyah).
Occasionally I like to do nice things for other people, so I trekked down to the fabric store & picked up some supplies to see if I could duplicate the turquoise belt. And it worked! And now I’m going to share my tutorial – and pattern! – with the rest of the internet. Don’t say I never do stuff for you :)
I’m calling this the Jenny Belt because it’s a very 80s design, and Jenny is (to me) the most 80s name there is (well, other than Tiffany). Also, my first name is Jennifer. So yes, I named this belt after myself, technically. Wow that’s kind of awkward. Anyway, feel free to use the pattern as many times as your heart desires – but please don’t make it to sell. I want this to be free to everyone so let’s just be fair here, okay? Okay.
Let’s start by looking at the original inspiration.
I left the yardstick there so you could see the actual size of the belt – a little over 26″ total. My waist is 26.5″-27″ (depending on how much I eat that day) so obviously this belt doesn’t need to stretch much to fit. The back half is elastic, but you don’t want to put too much stress back there or else you will distort the flow of the front.
Please note that I am writing this tutorial for a me-sized belt – i.e., one that will fix a waist of approximately 26″-28″. If you need your belt to be larger or smaller, you will need to adjust the elastic (and possibly the pattern pieces) accordingly.
Belt fabric: I used fake leather, but you can use whatever you want! Make sure your fabric does not have any stretch and is sturdy enough to handle belt-stress (or else plan on interfacing that sucker!). I have 1/4 yard here, but I think you could feasibly get by on much less… 1/4 yard was just the minimum cut at my particular store.
3″ Elastic: 3/8 yard was enough for me. If you can find 4″ elastic, even better!
1 1/2″ Button
Jenny Belt Pattern
Print the pattern at 100% – it should fit exactly on a sheet of regular ol’ paper. If you need to double-check the measurements, the length at the widest point should be approximately 8.5″. Cut out your pattern pieces – including the button hole. No seam allowances necessary!
Fold your leather in half, right sides together, and place your pattern pieces on the straight grain. You can pin around the pieces to keep the layers together, but be mindful that the pins will leave holes when you remove them. I used weights to keep my pieces down while I traced around the edges with a piece of chalk.
Stack your pattern pieces, wrong sides together. If you are using interfacing, it should be sandwiched between the pieces. Don’t worry if your pieces don’t *exactly* match up around the edges, we will trim them after sewing. Remember – no pins! They will leave holes. If you absolutely need to hold the pattern pieces together, you can use paper clips or binder clips.
Sewing fake leather is fairly simple – the material is thin enough that most machines should handle it with no issues. If you have problems with the material sticking to the bottom of your presser foot, place a piece of tissue paper under the foot (on top of your leather) and sew as normal. I found that I only needed the tissue paper to get the seam started, and then I didn’t have any issues with sticking. Hold the material taunt (but don’t pull it!) to keep everything flat & pucker-free. Play around and see what works for you!
Sew the three sides (indicated by the pink line) and don’t forget the button hole!
Sew the elastic into place, making sure to back stitch at each end. Again, use tissue paper if you need it!
Sew the button on (as indicated by the X marking on the pattern piece).
That’s all! I hope this tutorial is clear enough for everyone :) If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!
And, of course… you make your own Jenny Belt, I’d love to see it!