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Obi Tie Belt Tutorial


I've seen a couple of cute, super easy, obi belts on Pinterest lately.  I've been dying to try my hand at one.  Unfortunately, I could only find "one-of's" at my local thrift store and I wasn't about to pay retail for a set of matching men's ties.  That would defeat the purpose of a cheap DIY!  What to do, what to do?  Oh yeah!  My "other" job is working as a newly titled, "Genius Seamstress", at a fabulous couture bridal shop.  I just asked my boss if I could snag a scrap of silk duchess, imported from Europe.  Score! This is my quick and dirty, Obi Tie Belt tutorial.  It went so quick, I didn't take detailed pictures.  But if you have basic sewing skills, you can figure it out from the photos.   This is a pretty easy concept.  I only had one tie, and I needed two.  Instead of doing all the work to make another tie the "real" way, I cheated and just copied the shape, working with the scrap material I had. Trace your tie onto your "scrap" material, leave room for seam allowance.  Cut out interfacing and lining.  I had fusible interfacing on hand.  If you need to piece it together, just make sure to leave a generous overlap, about an inch or so.  Iron to the INSIDE of the outer fabric.

Wow, that's a really wonky image.  Oh well!  You get the idea.  Pin your material, right sides together, along one edge, then sew.  I tapered my lining material to be a little smaller then my outer material, that way, when turned and flipped, the seam lines would not show.  That's a little couture technique, free of charge.

Press the single seam you just put in, THEN go back and pin and sew the other side of the tie.  This will make your life easier.   Do you trust me?   This is also the perfect time to sew up the narrow end of the tie.

Once you have sewn the narrow end and both long edges, turn and flip your tie right side out.  Pay careful attention while pressing, making sure to keep the lining towards the inside of the completed belt.  When you're done, check to make sure your two ties match up in size.  You will want the "fake" tie to be a little bit more narrow then the real tie.  Don't sew up the fat end of the tie.  There is no reason to.

Slide the fake tie into the end of the real tie.  You will be able to slide the point of the fake tie to the little tacked stitch.

Flip and pin in place.  No here's where you get to make a decision:  You can top stitch around the real tie, hand stitch to hide your stitching, OR do like I did and run a stitch line down the center of the tie, right were the belt will cover when tied (see photo below).  I also ironed a fusible hem tape around the edge of the real tie to hold it in place.

When I tried my obi belt on, the back about drove me nuts.  Oops!  I should have thought of that first!  NEXT time I'll create two separate belt pieces and do something more like this.  But for now, I just added a welt opening and that fixed my frustration.

It's easier then it looks.  Just make sure to clip your fabric right up to the seam line.

Since this was an afterthought, I had to seal down the raw edge of the welting.  A piece of fusible interfacing did the job quite nicely, thanks!  I'm not proud, but no one will ever know when I am wearing the belt.  And it's not like I'm going to post this online...oh...wait!

There it is!  See how the real tie slides into the mock tie?  You can also see the stitch line I was talking about earlier for the front of the belt.

Ta da!  This is me, after a full day at the bridal shop.  I could have tied the belt into a bow in the front, but I preferred to slide the ends into the welt opening on the back.  Not too shabby for a $3 tie, huh?  And yes, I am aware that my dress is looking a little large.  I'm blaming it on eating healthier.  Seriously, I JUST purchased that dress a few weeks ago and it fit fine!  Perhaps you're witnessing a magic trick called: The Disappearing Green Mommy!  "A-la almond butter, and apple slice sandwiches", said in my best Mumford, from  Sesame Street, voice.

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  • Pam on

    This is such a neat idea! I love watching creative genius at work! The tie really does look great as a belt. Who would have “thunk” it!

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