Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

August Upcycle – Belt loops

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I must say I am a great fan of belts. I think this stems from my fluctuating waistline. A belt can take up a bit of slack around the waist (when I’ve just got up in the morning) and I can keep my waistbands slightly loose so that my lunch has enough room!

You will need:

  • Matching or contrasting fabric of your choice for the belt loops
  • Interfacing if using light-weight fabric

Before you start

1.  Work out how many belt loops you want to sew. Usually coats and dresses just have loops at the side seams. For trousers and skirts belt loops to accommodate the belt buckle and zip, belt loops can be positioned a few centimetres on either side of the centre front and centre back.

2.  Next decide how long each loop should be. Measure your waistband. Each belt loop length should be the waistband width + 2.5 centimetres for seam allowances. For example, my waistband is 4 centimetres, so each belt hoop should be 5.5 centimetres. Alternatively, if you are adding belt loops to a coat or dress where there is no waistband you may wish to calculate the belt loops size from the size of the belt. Measure the width of the belt. Each belt loop length should be the belt width + 1.5 centimetres for some ease + 2.5 centimetres for seam allowances, so for a 5 centimetre belt, each belt loop would be 9 centimetres.

How to calculate the fabric needed for the belt loops

1.  Work out the total length of fabric required for the belt loops. This is calculated as Total number of belt hoops x length of each belt loop

2.  Cut a strip of fabric slightly longer than this length. For example, if I was going to make 5 belt loops each 5.5 centimetres long, I would need to cut a strip of fabric 27.5 centimetres long at least.

3. The finished width of the belt loop is whatever you would like, but this may depend on the weight of the fabric. First of all decide what you would like the finished width to be. Then width of the strip should be 4 times the finished width. For example, to make belt loops with a finished width of 1.5 centimetres, the strip should have a width of 1.5 x 4 = 6 centimetres.

So using the example above I would wish to cut a fabric strip of 27.5 centimetres x 6 centimetres to create 5 loops which are 1.5 centimetres wide.

This is a method I use for sewing belt loops using light-weight fabric

I used fusible interfacing to add weight to my belt loops, but you can dispense with this if needed.

1.  Cut out a strip of interfacing the same size as your fabric strip

2.  Fold your strip in half lengthwise, right-sides together

3.  Trim 0.5 cm off each of the long sides of the interfacing

4.  Fuse the interfacing to the fabric

5.  Stitch 0.5 cm from the raw edges.

Belt Loop 1

6.  Trim the edges and turn the belt loops right-side out. Press.


7.  With the seam at the centre back, top-stitch close to the edge of both long sides of the strip.


8.  Cut into individual loops.

 For the skirt pictured here, I unpicked the waistband a little where each belt loop was to be placed. 

1.  Mark placements around the skirt or trousers to show where you wish to place the belt loops. I’ve marked them here with pins.

2.  Insert the belt loops into the waistband seam edge (where the waistband meets the trousers or skirt)



3.  Sew the waistband to the skirt.


4.  Fold 1 centimetre at the top of the belt loop and pin in place.

5.  Bar tack at the top and buottom of each belt loop to attach them to the waistband.


Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

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