Category Archives: Accessories

D-Ring Belt – A Quick Project

This is my favorite casual belt. It’s a humble little cotton webbing belt which originally belonged to my son.


It works well with a very casual jeans outfit (or even shorts) and fits perfectly around my hips as shown here on my recent trip to the Citrus Bowl (I’m 2nd from right) – ordinarily I don’t have the end flapping around like that, I swear!

Recently, the belt disappeared for a few days so I started looking around for d-rings in order to make a replacement. Have you seen the Dritz d-rings? Ugh, they are so wimpy! Luckily, I found these beefy boys in Lora Lee’s Etsy shop and they are perfect!


I didn’t have any 2″ webbing in my stash to use as a base but then I found IT: some seatbelting swiped from my friend’s shop last year (he keeps it on hand for testing machines brought in by auto shops). I had this pretty ribbon in my stash (from Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics) and fused it to the seat belting with Heat ‘n’ Bond. Fusing – or gluing – is really necessary because otherwise the ribbon is going to scoot along the slippery seat belting as you stitch.

I continued the ribbon around to the back for about 12″ since that side will show while the belt is being worn. Be sure you heat-seal both cut ends of the webbing/belting (I used a lighter that I keep in my sewing room for this purpose) before attaching the ribbon.


Then it was just a matter of edgestitching all around,


and attaching the d-rings. I sewed this on my walking-foot machine with a size 20 needle and #69 bonded nylon thread (not a necessity, I was just too lazy to change it). I don’t think this would be a problem to sew on a regular machine with a large needle and standard thread.

I’m really happy with the way this turned out and can’t wait to make a few more. I’m always looking for an excuse to shop for ribbons and trims!


Seatbelt belts – they could catch on!



Filed under Accessories, Aren't you glad you sew?

HP Plain & Simple Envelope Clutch

I’ve been busy this week finishing up my exterior lights and working on my wardrobe basics. I woke up today and just felt like making a purse so I pulled out the Hot Patterns’ Envelope Clutch pattern and got to work. I knew that an 11″ x 17″ bag would be way too big for me so I scaled the pattern down to 9″ x 13″. I also scaled down the inside zipper pocket but left the small pocket/cell phone pocket as it was. Since I made the bag so much smaller, I didn’t feel the need for the back strap.


When I first read through the directions I just couldn’t wrap my head around them. Then I remembered that Ann made the bag last year. Her blog post really helped. Once I understood how the bag was constructed, it all made sense to me.

I had this orange faux suede left from another project. I rarely make fabric bags but thought this color would be fun since it’s very out of the ordinary for me. I used thin cotton batting and quilted the pieces first, then backed them with canvas for more stiffness. I bought this quilting set for my industrial machine awhile ago. I usually don’t buy attachments until I need them but was so happy I had this on hand!


I added piping as well because it gives a nice crisp edge that I wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise with these bulky layers. I didn’t have any cording on hand so I used some black drawcord instead (which I have many, many yards of!).

The zip was a bit of a problem. I didn’t want to use a dress zipper so I went to JoAnn’s this morning to see if I could find something more suitable. Of course, I had forgotten how dire the zipper situation is there. I then remembered a couple of Riri zippers with multi-colored teeth that I’d purchased awhile ago. They turned out to be separating zippers but that’s what I ended up using anyway. I had intended to stitch through the plastic piece at the bottom but ended up stitching between the teeth instead. I’m really happy with the way that turned out as this zipper lends an air of quality to the bag.

I know the stitching looks a bit crooked but I swear it looks straight on the right side of the bag!


The flap of the bag is held closed with two magnetic snaps. Because my bag is pretty stiff, I changed the placement a little to allow for the bulk. I also had to shorten the inside layer (where the zipper is) by 5/8″ to allow for turn of the cloth.


I chose a grape-colored Ultrasuede from my stash for the lining. I like the surprise of an unusually colored lining!


It still needs a little pressing but I’m really happy with the way it turned out.


UPDATE 12/10/09: Freshly pressed with the Iron Maiden (thanks for the name, Mary Beth!). Gosh, I love this color, it’s so juicy!



Filed under Accessories, Hot Patterns

Hooty’s Belt

I know, I haven’t posted anything all week. I have been really under the weather and haven’t sewn a single stitch. I still didn’t have any energy to sew today so I thought I’d work on a belt for the owl buckle I bought on Etsy last month. I’ve been dying to wear it!

I went to Tandy Leather yesterday and picked up a couple of belt blanks. I buy the more expensive ones (about $11) that already have the snaps and are pre-skived in the buckle area. They come in one size only (I think it’s 44) and you just cut them to fit. This belt is 1.5″ wide which is what worked best with Hooty but it will not fit through the belt loops of all of my jeans so I’ll definitely need a 1.25″ as well. I couldn’t decide when I was at the shop so I bought one of each.

I don’t have a strap end punch (yet!) so I just drew a nice shape at the end and cut with a strong pair of scissors. Any irregularities can be smoothed out with an emery board.

Next, I marked the holes and punched them with a revolving leather punch. I know these holes look rather large but that is what I needed for this particular buckle. Punching the holes took every ounce of my strength because this leather is really thick!


The next step was dying the leather. I used plain old Fiebings leather dye in Chocolate, which turned out to be a lot darker than I really wanted but it’s pretty. I probably should have used the Medium Brown instead. I applied three coats of dye and then buffed off the excess with a soft cloth (an old t-shirt). I dyed the back as well but only used one coat.


Next, I finished the edges with Edge Kote in Brown. This isn’t necessary but I like the way it finishes off the edges.

Lastly, I applied a couple of coats of Tan Kote to seal everything. I was going to stitch around the edges but I am kind of liking the belt just the way it is so I’ll do that next time. My next belt is going to be USMC Black with brown stitching to go with a really cool buckle I bought on Ebay last week.


45 minutes later, Hooty is ready to wear! I think I’ll go back next Saturday and buy a few more belts to have on hand (and probably that end punch…). The snaps make them interchangeable so it would be really nice to have a few different colors on hand.



Filed under Accessories, Leatherwork

Dotted Swiss – Styled!

Phyllis asked how I was going to style my dotted Swiss blouse. I’m sure you’d rather see it on a body but I have never mastered the self-timer so this will have to suffice. 🙂


I’ll be wearing the blouse with my favorite Hudson jeans and my most beloved piece of Native American jewelry, my vintage Zuni belt. I love this belt so much that the leather strap has been replaced twice. It is not just an accessory, I plan entire outfits around it! As for shoes, it’ll depend on where I’m going.

I bought a second piece of dotted Swiss (in aqua) from Ann. Now I just need to decide what I want to make with it.


Filed under Accessories, Fabric, Simplicity


So…the freemotion/darning foot for my industrial machine broke. It was old, it couldn’t help it, I guess. Suffice it to say that I am not happy about that. You see, my choices are quite limited as most domestic high-shank feet will not properly fit an industrial – the needle just doesn’t line up properly. Industrial darning/quilting feet are pretty much limited to the banana foot:


or the spoon foot:


and I hate them both. I guess I will have to come up with some other idea.


Filed under Accessories, Sewing Machines

Another Cosmopolitan Dress!

As I posted yesterday, I needed a dress to wear to a banquet I am attending with my boyfriend tomorrow night. I absolutely fell in love with this polyester/spandex knit print over at Gorgeous Fabrics and thought it would be perfect for yet another rendition of my favorite dress. All I have left to do is the hem which I will get to later tonight or tomorrow afternoon. With my blindstitch machine it will take me longer to pin the hem than it will to sew it!


I changed the pattern’s scarf sleeve around a bit, which you can see here at the Sewing Divas. This is a super-easy sleeve to draft and is different yet simple.

I’m undecided about which bag to carry: the celery/beige Goldenbleu Emerson crinkled patent clutch or the black python clutch. BTW, the black python was the first expensive bag I bought with my own money right after I graduated high school. In the 28 years since it’s seen a lot of action!


Shoes were easy! I chose these black patent platformw from ABS:



Filed under Accessories, Fabric, Hot Patterns, Purses, Shoes

Déjà vu all over again

As many of you know, in addition to being a fabriholic, patternaholic and shoeaholic I am also a purseaholic! What can I say? I am just a little bit compulsive! As I was reading one of my favorite purse blogs this morning, I came across this:


It’s a lovely bag from Moe Bags. Look familiar? Let me refresh your memory:
1940vogue1940s Vogue Pattern

obSewing Workshop Obi Bag Pattern

I had originally thought to make this bag in velvet but I think the leather is fabulous and better suited for an everyday bag.


Filed under Accessories, Aren't you glad you sew?, Misc. Patterns, Patterns, vintage, Pursemaking, Vogue

Back to Basics

I’ve had the blahs lately. You know, sort of like a bad hair day all over, every day. My favorite garments just aren’t exciting to me anymore. You’ve had it too, haven’t you? Last night, with both of our husbands working, my best friend and I decided to go to one of our favorite little Italian places for dinner. I was in a red shoe mood so I decided that plain black pants and a black top would be easy. I put on simple silver hoop earrings and grabbed my favorite red bag. When I gave myself a final mirror check I realized that I looked more chic than I had in many months. While none of the individual pieces were spectacular, together they were perfect. I’ve been concentrating so much on making stand-out pieces that I have neglected the bones of my wardrobe, those go-to pieces that are always right. It’s time to get back to basics and fill in the blanks.


Filed under Accessories, Shoes, This and that