Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Expensive Inspiration Turns to Inexpensive Interpretation


 Do you peruse catalogs, store fliers and online sites drooling over shoes, clothes and accessories?  I sure do, but I am looking for inspiration for things I know I can make waaaaaay cheaper than the store price.  While looking at the Anthropologie on-line site recently, I came across these great belts.  They were very 70's looking, imported, made from woven trim-like fabric, very colorful, with a  contrasting tie instead of a buckle.  They would look amazing with a long top worn over a flowing summer skirt, capris, shorts, jeans or even a dress.  I needed  some of those belts, but I certainly was not willing to pay $48.00 for the narrow one or $68.00 for a wide one.  Why?  Because,  I knew I had some great vintage trims and buttons that I could use for just such a belt.

I made one for myself yesterday.  Didn't take very long at all and I wore it to our daughter's house last night.  She commented on how much she liked my belt!  Needless to say, I asked her if she would like one, or two, or five.  She immediately said yes so we measured her  waist and my intention was to make belts today.  Unfortunately, the weather thought otherwise.  

We were awakened at 4 am by howling wind, window rattling thunder, rain and hail.  I quickly turned on the television to see the weather and immediately the power went out.  Uh oh.  No weather report for us.  The storm blew through in about 30 minutes, but it was too dark to see if there was any damage other than all the hail on our deck.  It was just starting to get light and I was already making plans to sew belts, lots of belts.  We still had no power at noon, so we went out to grab some lunch.  Oh my goodness, the entire area looked like a war zone.  Trees were down everywhere, huge trees completely uprooted.  Power lines and cable lines were hanging from poles, laying across the streets, snapped in half.  Everywhere you looked there were flashing lights from all the trucks from the power company, cable company, phone company, police cars and television crews.  Wow.  What a mess.  Damage was very widespread on our side of town.  Looked like we might be without power for quite a while.  Rats.

We had to do a lot of backtracking and winding through neighborhoods we were not familiar with just to get to where we wanted to go.  Finally, we reached our destination and low and behold there was no damage in that area.  It was like being in two separate towns.  Funny, how that happens.  We are so happy that it was only trees and power lines.   Our hearts are heavy for the people of Alabama and Missouri who have suffered so much devastation and loss.  

After we returned home, we still had no power.  I was so ready to make some belts, but it was not to be at that moment.  So, I worked on an art project that I will share with you later since I could do that with the light coming in the window.  No power required.  The boxes of trims and buttons were beckoning me.  I searched through boxes and matched things up while I waited for paint and glue to dry.  Wonder of wonders, the power came on.  Yay!   Sewing machine, here I come.  The pictures posted are two of the belts I made.  It is a very easy project.  It actually took more time to decide which trims to use than to make them.

Supplies needed:

Choose contrasting trims with a woven look to get that really "70's" feel.  Check the home dec section of the fabric stores, or vintage stores and flea markets if you don't have a supply of trims on hand.  

Wide trim, at least long enough to go around your waist
Narrower trim, at least 45 inches long
2 buttons, ones without shanks work best

Cut the wide trim to fit your waist measurement.  Turn ends under so there is no raw edge.  I turned mine under twice, about 1/4 inch each.  Stitch.  

Cut two pieces of narrower trim about 22 inches long so you have enough to tie a bow.  Turn ends under on one end of the trim, same as for wide trim.  Place one piece of the narrow trim on the top side of wide trim about 3 inches in.  Repeat on other end of wide trim.  Stitch on 3 sides, leaving end stitch free on edge of trim.   

Place a button towards the stitched down end of narrow trim.  Sew buttons on.  Ta dah!  You now have an expensive looking belt for little of nothing.  You just saved $40.00 to $60.00.  Don't you love it?   I see many more belts in my future, for our other daughter, daughter-in-love, our youngest son's girlfriend and all the women who work with our daughter here in town.  Guess I had better get busy!   

Everyday Donna

Things to remember:

However little of anything you have, you can always find someone who has less. Find that someone, and give to them from the abundance that is yours. Neale Donald Walsch

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