Friday, August 7, 2009

Mail Order Belts

I was making a belt today, as I so often do, and I was thinking . . . Anyone who sews with vintage patterns should have access to the self covered belt. Well, I've made about 16 belts total (these pictured are just the ones I own), so you can say that I am getting pretty good at them. The one I made today took me 2 hours and 20 minutes. Not bad considering the amount of hand stitching I had to do. So . . .

I thought about doing another tutorial, which would actually just be repeating this issue of Threads. I could shed some light on that tutorial, with about 10 more pictures and steps on how to do it, but I don't want to do another tutorial, and the back issue of that magazine is only $6.99. If you wanted to learn to cover your own belt, you could just buy it.

I was also thinking that there's got to be some notions company to write to suggesting that they sell a covered buckle kit like this one. Did Dritz ever make one? I can find a few on the internet, but they don't seem to have a brand. I know that the clothing company Stop Staring uses covered buckles, so they're out there, but where?!

Then I thought I could sell custom covered belts on etsy. So this is my proposal. Let me know if you think it would work, and if you would consider doing it:

Say you've got the perfect little vintage pattern that would look great with a self covered belt. You have the fabric, the thread, the notions, and you are ready to go, but you don't want to make the belt, you could:

1. You go to my etsy store, and purchase "custom covered belt" or whatever I might call it.

2. Choose from two different sizes: 1 1/8" or 1 5/8" wide. (These are the widths of the belt, the buckle would be a little wider.)

3. Send me the fabric you are working with. For the 1 1/8" size, I would need a strip of preferably lengthwise grain fabric 3" wide x your waist measurement plus 8" long (If you had a 30" waist I would need 38"). For the 1 5/8 size, the strip would have to be 4" wide. And I would also need a scrap of fabric big enough for me to cut out two 4" squares.

4. Wait patiently for 2-3 weeks (possibly less) for me to ship the finished belt back to you.

5. Put on the dress you just made and the belt I just made, and walk around town in your new, complete-with-self-belt dress.

What do you guys think? Would you purchase one? I think I would sell them for about $30. Would you pay that much for one? Is it a dumb idea? Any input would be helpful. I don't know if I'll even do it or not.


Shrinky Inky said...

lovely belts but I don't think I could swing another $30+ for a custom belt, unfortunately. I would rather pay you $6.99+ for a pdf tutorial than buy a magazine actually.

livebird said...

I think it's a great idea, but there's a little problem that's intrinsic to etsy, I think - many of the people who buy on etsy are crafty folks themselves, so if they're at the level of making a frock, they're probably able to make a belt too and would not pay for one.

Assembling self-covering belt kits - that, on the other hand, is genius. If you can find a wholesaler and put together a cute kit with great instructions, I think you'd have great success.

Amanda W. said...

I've been looking all over the place for a self-covered buckle kit but cannot find one anywhere. I would definitely buy one pre-made from you.

I also really like the idea that livebird suggested for the kit with instructions.

Anonymous said...

Your designs are beautiful, and I love your 5 o'clock shadow!

I would be prepared to pay for a pdf tutorial. Would you do a tutorial on inserting pockets into dresses? I love the idea of having big pockets to carry things in instead of a handbag.

lsaspacey said...

Hey, I just read this exchange in the comments of this post on Gertie's blog and immediately thought of you. So, there definitely is a market for this service if you decide to go ahead. Good luck!

Stash said...

I just saw this...there was a link on another blog.

Many of us who are crafty still don't want to make belts. If we are picky (I am)we want a professional looking belt. I would be happy to pay somebody to make one.

I am also OLD and yes, when you went to the fabric store, there were belt kits and many size buttons to cover.

rratstarr said...

I know this is an old post, but since you asked the question in your post, I have some old packages of cover-able buckles that are made by Dritz. I also have some in sort of '80s style buckles and the brand is "EZ Fashion," which you can find on ebay sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I recently bought about 10 self buckle kits from a fabric store that was closing - the kits itself were new though. They are still being produced... just rare to find. The brand I found is called Unique. It may just be a Canadian sewing brand, I'm not sure.

Johan Petter said...

Hi........Sugardale.......making covered belts itself is really a great idea. I also wanted to make different and unique covered belts for my customer because i don't have any self-covered buckle kit. But now i'll purchase one made from you and tries to make unique and trendy dresses for my customer.