Today I want to celebrate the big boy in my life. Recently he’s been playing lots of imaginary games, which inevitably result in me strapping something to a belt loop or draping something around his shoulders. Sometimes it’s magic wands, time-turners and deluminators (yes, we’re a self-confessed Harry Potter-mad family), other times it’s lego or army men or swords and shields…sometimes even snacks!
More out of a desire to make him self-sufficient in this respect than anything else I came up with the idea of a
MULTI-PURPOSE, UNISEX UTILITY BELT
Making this was great fun because George and I designed it together. I had it all planned out in my head but then he came along with very specific requests (elastic straps in back for the shields, sword holders on front and back, etc) which made me realise once and for all that I’m not in the same mental place as an 8-year-old boy!
This version is really just a prototype – there are endless variations depending on what your kid intends to do with it (I’ve seen Margot – 5 – trying to use it for her playmobil until George uses his sixth sense to sniff out the act and swoop in to get it back!).
This isn’t really a full-blown tutorial but here’s a quick run-down of what I did in case you want to try one yourself:
- You’ll need some heavy home-deco fabric for the main part of the belt.
- Measure from your child’s shoulder to the opposite hip. Double this measurement then add about 20cm/8in (to allow for the buttonhole and button). Mine is a total of 132cm/52in and that fits an 8-year-old boy. This is the length.
- The width of my belt was 12cm/4.75in.
- Cut two rectangles using the above dimensions. I rounded the edges of the corners (to make attaching the bias easier) and narrowed the section that goes over the shoulder (for a better fit).
- Now the fun part! On the right side of one of the rectangles, start sewing everything your little one needs – pockets, zips, loops, grommets, clips, elastic…so many possibilities.
- Now the not-so-fun part – attaching the bias. Baste the two rectangles wrong side together, all the way around then attach the bias in your favourite way. For this I didn’t bother pinning or opening out the bias. I just slapped it on there and sewed slowly all the way around, bending the bias as I went (it’s a prototype, remember?!).
- Add a button and buttonhole (or velcro or ties) and you’re done!
Enjoy! I’m sure the boys (and girls!) in your life will thank you! Feel free to message me for more detailed instructions.