shit to make: on-trend corset belt (no sew)

I was asked to do a DIY post that didn’t involve any kind of sewing. So alright. Do I think i’m above turning to Kylie Jenner for fashion inspiration? yes. Am I actually tho? no.

kylie

She looked 100% great in this outfit and I love it for being the perfect combo of trashy and classy. The belt took a total of 1 hour to make and that was through severe allergy crying and mucus-unloading because MY KITTY IS SO FUCKING CUTE AND SOFT BUT HER FUR IS POISONOUS.

SUPPLIES:

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Fabric: I decided to make mine 2 colors (black and green) for more VERSATILITY so the front and back are gonna be different. It’s up to you if you wanna go that route but you should because why the fuck not. Try to get the heaviest ANTI-UNRAVEL pleather you can find at the craft store because you want this to be thicc and no one wants to be dealing with sewing boning into their shit. and i already promised this would be a no sew project. I got away with getting a quarter yard of each fabric because both were like $20/yd and I’m still working a part-time job. Make sure you have a decent amount of width to work with and if you’re unsure, don’t be a dumbass (like i’ve been so many times before) and take measurements first before you buy.

Fabric glue: E6000 is a fantastic standby for everything and if you’re ever going to make shit then you should own a tube. I’d probably date E6000 if it was a person. It’s just that perfect and reliable. For this tho I only ended up using Scotch Super 77 sprayable fabric glue because I’m lazy and that stuff actually worked well. Scotch Super 77 is like that guy you’d never date but is 8.5/10 hot and knows way too much about craft beers BUT he wears a NASCAR shirt and you’re like, a little too unsure whether it’s ironic or not.

Eyelets/Eyelet kit: Since I’m not a fancy boy with the rotary fabric hole puncher/eyelet placer tool, I have to buy the old fashioned poor bitch eyelet kits whenever I need to use them. For the belt I made, I needed 20 2-piece 1/4 inch eyelets, so I only ended up using 2 packages.

Cording: This is for lacing the whole thing up. I got two colors, black and beige, to match the two different sides of my belt. They can be used interchangeably.

Here’s a picture of all my supplies w/added cute cat:

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MEASUREMENTS:

I really hate pattern making because it involves a decent amount of math and I really, on a very fundamental level, don’t super understand how numbers work. In my junior year of high school I wrote an essay about postmodern semiotics and counting theory on the back page of my Remedial Algebra II final instead of actually taking the test because that was the only thing I could physically do to make it look like I was doing something with my pencil. I got a D for it because my teacher took pity. So the lesson is, if I can do this measurement bullshit, you can too.

Height: The largest part of the belt is the front, and it extends from just under the bust to right above the hip line. I have the torso of a farm animal so my height will be longer than most. My measurement was 8 inches.

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Length: measure around your waist and subtract 2 or 3 inches for lacing. My waist measurement was 25 inches so I am going to make my belt 23 inches long.

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Sides: This belt narrows down to its shortest height at the sides. I measured this by bending to either side and seeing how much length I could have without making the fabric bunch up. For me, this was 4.5 inches. Picture is not great because it’s really hard to measure yourself and take a picture at that angle.bend

Side note: Kylie’s belt mirrors the front peak in the back as well. I thought this looked awkward so I left it out and continued my 4.5 inch height all the way around the back.

DRAWING THE PATTERN:

I use a roll of parchment paper to draw my shit out on because it’s cheap, thick, and decently sized. You can use special pattern paper or wrapping paper or really whatever else you have that’s big enough. We’re going to half everything for our pattern because that makes life more enjoyable and simple. Also I know the lines are hard to see and I apologize for that but I use pencil because I fuck up everything I do a minimum of 3 times first.

  1. Start by drawing out half your length. My length measurement, with lacing accounted for, was 23 inches. So, my pattern length is 11.5 inchesIMG_2017
  2. Draw half your height upwards from one side of your length line. My total height was 8 inches so I drew 4 inches up from the left side of my length line. IMG_2018
  3. Draw half your side height upwards from the other side of your length line. My side height was 4.5 inches so I drew 2.25 inches up from the right side of my length line. IMG_2019
  4. Begin to map out the taper from the peak to your side height. The taper is pretty dramatic, and I basically free-handed it after marking inches in descending order until i reached my side height. I did it in a way I thought looked right.IMG_2023
  5. Outline the whole damn thing in marker you can actually see.IMG_2024
  6. Fold your paper in half HOT DOG STYLE, and cut along everything but the fold. My parchment paper is incredibly annoying and curls way too much so I had to break out my classy piano paper weight and a rock from outside to help me out. IMG_2025

FABRIC TIME:

  1. Okay so now that you’ve got your pattern we can begin our journey to becoming a trash bourgie bitch. Fold your first fabric in half, wrong sides out, and place your pattern on top. Carefuly line the smaller side up with the fold. Pin shit down. IMG_2028
  2. Cut it all out. Don’t cut the fold, obviously. IMG_2029
  3. Unpin the pattern and unfold the fabric. Look at what you’ve done.IMG_2031

ADDING THE BACK LAYER:

  1. Now we get fancy with our second fabric. Start by spraying fabric glue on the wrong side of the piece you just cut out. Getting the entire thing, especially the edges, coated in glue is really important. Also I suggest wearing gloves and doing this outside because I fucked up and didn’t do either of those things. IMG_2032
  2. Lay your freshly glued piece down on the wrong side of your second fabric. Make sure you smooth it out because air bubbles will make your belt look like an animal made it. If any edges are separating, which they shouldn’t be if you sprayed enough, close them up with E6000. IMG_2033
  3. Carefully cut out your second fabric using the top fabric as your guide. This is what all those years of scissor practice in grade school has prepared you for. IMG_2034

EYELETS:

  1. Mark out where you want your eyelets. How close or far apart they are is totally up to you, but I wanted mine to be fairly close together. I ended up making them .75 inches apart, marked with a sharpie dot since fabric marker doesn’t show up on fake leather. Since my dots were really hard to see in the picture, I went ahead and KINDLY added some red lines in post-production to better show you where they were and how they lined up. IMG_2008
  2. Poke holes on your dots and make cuts just big enough for an eyelet to snugly fit through. I like to make an initial hole with a beading dowel and then cut a small X with thread scissors. Since you’re digging through two layers of thick fabric, this counts as a workout. If you look close enough at the second picture, you can see where my boogers leaked out. IMG_2036IMG_2039
  3. Hammer your eyelets together. There are plenty of easy-to-follow YouTube videos about doing this that explain it way better than I can. Basically, the kit comes with a bottom disk and a top disk with a post, and you sandwich the two pieces of your eyelet between the fabric and the two disks and hammer the top post so the eyelets fuse together. There are different kinds of eyelets so I won’t get super specific on the directions, but its actually fun and kind of relaxing because you’re hitting shit with a hammer. Make sure you do this on top of a hard surface, but use a piece of barrier fabric in between the floor and your bottom disk. I used pink felt scrap. IMG_2041

YAY UR DONE

Look what you’ve accomplished. Front and back look great. Eyelets will reinforce the holes for lacing and now you’ve got a trendy item that probably won’t be cool 6 months from now. 

colage done

Lace it up and pair it with whatever looks good. You can go the giant tshirt route like Kylie or put it on a dress or just wear it on its own with nothing else—that’s hot too.

collage finished product

xoxo,

allegra

shit to make: things that actually fit

So the bane of my entire existence is clothing. I am, and always have been, a skinny bitch. Despite my best efforts to intake 2500ish calories a day, I haven’t been able to rise above 115ibs once in my entire life. I can drag unconscious grown men out of pools and carry multiple bags of industrial chenmicals but still, my upper arms are roughly the circumference of a McDonald’s straw. It’s fine. I’ve learned how to work with it.

So when I started taking class to get my EMT license, my best option for our uniform shirt was a MENS SMALL. HELL NO NOT GOING TO WORK. It was like wearing a blanket with a collar. Essentially a snuggie with the program emblem embroidered onto it. It was, as far as i’m concerned, a whale tarp. VPR 1

I wasn’t about to go to clinicals in that, where i’d look like the worm from Busy Town in a quadruple XL and be surrounded by professional, hopefully hot EMTs and paramedics. So, like most clothes I own and actually want to look good on me, I had to make alterations.

busy work real

^me.

HOW IT’S DONE:

Altering clothes is really easy, especially if you already have a similar item of clothing that fits you the way you want. Shout out to my job for providing polo shirts that ACTUALLY FIT MY BODY.

Start by turning your to-be-altered shirt inside out and laying it flat on the floor. Place the shirt that actually fits on top and center it, lining the collar and shoulders up. IMG_1900

Figure out how much you need to take in on both sides. I could safely take in about 1 full inch from each side of my gray shirt. Since this is for class and I’m not looking to make it tight or shapely—just better fitted in a way they won’t know I’ve altered it—I’m going to take it in while maintaining the shape of the original shirt. This means that I will be following the stitches already made, not adding curves or taking off any length. IMG_1907

The armpit is where I had the most issues. I get that they’re accounting for the macho men with those mini-watermelon biceps, but what about  pipe cleaner arms?? I could house a family of 4 in the space between my armpit and the shirt. I ended up taking 2 inches off of the inside arm curve. IMG_1908

Follow the curve of the shirt and make your cohesive adjustment line. This is the line you will be sewing on.

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Do the same on the other side. Make sure it looks symmetrical.

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Pin it up horizontal to your line. IMG_1913

Sew along your lines. I did a straight stitch first and then a zig-zag on top of that since I don’t own a serger machine. If you don’t feel like it, you can get away without the zig-zag top stitch. I added it in because this shirt is going to get WORN. IMG_1918

Cut away the bullshit excess you no longer need. Leave about 1/4 inch. (i got eager and started cutting before I added in my zig-zag stitch. Don’t do that)IMG_1919

Nice. Now you got something that doesn’t look like a potato sack.

VPR 2

VPR 3

If I could do more work on this and not risk ruining an important shirt for class, I’d shorten up the sleeves and adjust the shoulder seam to be…actually on my shoulder. Whatever tho, this is something I’m not embarrassed about wearing anymore, so the pressure is on to embarrass myself in some other, much more emotionally devastating way.

xoxo,

Allegra