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Topic: How do I make an Obi belt?  (Read 14478 times)
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« on: May 10, 2009 07:42:40 PM »

I was inspired by the 09 runways (i.e. Balenciaga) and thought an obi belt would be a nice addition to my wardrobe.
I have absolutely no experience in sewing, although I do have an old sewing machine that survived through communist-era Russia. What sort of material would be best? i.e. soft and silky, or thick and stiff? I would like something more modern as opposed to fantastical/cosplay. If there are any patterns/instructions online, could someone send me a link?
btw, http://www.style.com/fashionshows/complete/F2009RTW-ETAHARI was my inspiration for this. From what it seems like, an obi belt is usually made of two different pieces--would fabric stiffness be more important in one as opposed to the other? For something like http://www.style.com/slideshows/fashionshows/F2009RTW/ETAHARI/RUNWAY/00060m.jpg would I need to made it with the same process that one would make a corset?
Thanks so much for your input!

p.s. also... http://www.style.com/slideshows/fashionshows/F2009RTW/ETAHARI/RUNWAY/00230m.jpg would it be possible to make a belt like this? I'm assuming the fabric must be super stiff or attached to something stiff, but I wouldn't know.

(I dooonnn'tt really mean something like http://pippijoe.blogspot.com/2008/08/obi-one-tutorial.html)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009 07:48:20 PM by Penguillama » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2009 08:09:25 AM »

The links to individual slides look to be the same belt, just worn different ways. That style is actually pretty easy, but it requires a lining. Depending on how wide you want it, you may have to contour the sides of the waist. Like, if you want it 2 or 3 inches, you may get away with a rectangle with ties attached to the ends. Alternatively, a really wide 6 inch belt would need to be contoured so that it doesn't bunch up. If you want it REALLY wide, then you may have to construct it more like a corset.

Take your waist measurement and make a rectangle of fabric that long, and as wide as you want the belt, but add 2 seam allowances to each measurement (eg 30 inch waist plus half inch plus half inch = 31 inches, and 4 inch wide belt plus half inch plus half inch = 5 inches). Cut another rectangle for the lining. The lining can be a stiffer material to hold the shape of the belt, or a nicer material (so it's reversible!) and you just interface one or both pieces. Cut two ties, and each one should be about equal to your waist measurement (eg both would be 30 inches long) or longer. You can make fabric tubes to be the ties, or buy something suitable from the notions department at your fave fabric store (such as inch wide grosgrain ribbon, I don't recommend satin ribbon because it doesn't stay tied very well, too slippery).

Now depending on how wide it is, you may have to contour the waist parts (apply any interfacing before this part). Measure from your belly button to wherever the side seam of a tight shirt sits. Fold one of the rectangles in half to find the middle and then mark off to both sides of the middle the measurement you just took (on the BACK side of the fabric). Do the same to the other rectangle. What you're gonna do is make a little dart at the places you just put the marks, so that a bit of fabric is pinched out at the middle of the fabric and only a smidgen is pinched out at the top and bottom. When you sew the dart, it will look like a little crescent moon. Do that to all of the marks and try to make them as close to the same as you can. Without taking a bunch of measurements on myself for an example, I'm thinking a half inch maximum for each dart would suit most figures (if you have a straight waist, you'll need to take out less, but if you have a really curvy waist, you'll need to take out more).

Construction! After ironing the darts as well as you can, put one rectangle face up on your work surface. Pin each tie to each end with most of the tie sitting on top of the fabric and just a little bit of it poking over the edge of the fabric. The take the other rectangle face down and pin it in place, but you have to leave a hole somewhere that is at least an inch wide so that you can flip it right-side out. Sew around the edges, clip off the corners, flip it out through the hole (grabbing the ties will help) and use a knitting needle of something to poke the corners out nice. Give it a quick iron and make sure the seams at the hole are lined up and then hand sew the hole shut.

TADAA! It would probably take someone experienced only a little more time than a headband. Hopefully my engineering doesn't have any flaws anywhere, but without testing this myself, I can't guarantee success. As for wearing it, the models in the photos you shared are wearing the belts two different ways. One has the open end at the back with the ties wrapped around to the front and tied in a bow, while the other has the open part at the front with it tied in a bow right there.

(PS: I love solving construction puzzles!)

La Maestra
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2009 06:06:28 PM »

Wow Alexus1325!  Great description!  Also, if you go to the Threads magazine site (Taunton press) and search Obi, they have a 1 hour pattern pdf. file that has a visual to go with the pattern, and how to tie it, too.  Have fun!

I don't know if this will work - http://www.taunton.com/besewstylish/pdfs/OneHourWideBelt.pdf
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009 12:55:17 PM »

Hey, I remember that pattern! I personally don't like it though, because of the fabric at the back having to twist past each other, if you know what I mean. I actually really like the belts shared by Penguillama and I'm gonna try out my own tutorial once I'm back home with my beloved sewing machine Cheesy

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