Saturday, 19 April 2008

Crafty Tool Belt Tutorial

For all coming over from Sew, Mama, Sew! Welcome! And I hope you stick around, there is always something going on here now. (I’m new and therefore obsessed with the whole sharing thing.) And for those loyal readers, I’m so very glad you’re still with me and I love the whole lot of you. The online crafty community is such a wonderful place!

I took pictures while the first Crafty Tool Belt was being put together, but somewhere along the way things went awry and the camera missed some steps so I made another one.

The inspiration for this was first blogged about here. I thought the idea was great and thought, ‘I can make that!’ A lot of thought and planning went into this and I took my cues from a tool belt, because it seems to be a perfect way to tote your junk with you without said junk getting in the way. But they aren’t very pretty, functional yes, pretty not so much. So I tried to come up with something that was both pleasing to the eye and would serve its purpose.

Okay, I’ve bored you enough with the background of this little guy and I’m sure many of you skipped the babble and just scrolled to the pics. So here is how it goes:

You know the rules. You can make these for personal use, gifts and charity. Do not produce them for profit. Please, credit this blog and link back if you make one. If you have any questions feel free to email me, my address is in my profile.

Crafty Tool Belt

You need:
¼ metre main fabric (you may need more if your hip measurement is over 46 inches. Just read the math section to make sure. Ditto for the accent fabric)
¼ metre accent fabric
1 pkg. SINGLE fold bias tape
1 pkg. DOUBLE fold bias tape

N.B. if you have the inexplicable fear of the bias tape go here. If you have already been there and still have the fear then just omit the tape, but you will have raw edges inside and you have to do the nasty hemming around the edges. Plus tape makes it pretty. No pressure, though!

Math for Accordian Pleated Toolbelt

You can find the math and directions for the optional Box Pleats over here.

I’m sorry but you have to do some math. Just a little bit.
Divide your hip measurement in 2. ____
You need 15” to apply both pockets. So subtract 15 from your number. The number you have left is the width after pleating. ____
Multiply this number by 3. ____This is the width of the material before pleating. **Remember this number, you need it later.
Add the 15” back onto this and if you would like your apron to wrap around your hips a little more add 4” or so. ____

This isn’t exact, it’s just to give you an idea of the width of the apron piece you need to cut. I could get the width I needed out of 40” wide fabric. If you need to make one wider than the width of your fabric just divide the number in two and instead of cutting one long apron piece, cut two halves of your apron and sew it up the middle. Repeat this for the bottom trim as well.

Just to make sure you got the right idea. My math looked something like this:
22-15=7x3=21+15+4=39 inch is the desired width of the apron piece.

**if you are unsure how much width you need, cut it wider. You can always trim off some of the width after you add the pleats and before you attach the double fold bias tape trim.

Fabric cutting:

  • Main Fabric: Apron - 8”x desired width. Cut 1
  • Accent Fabric: Waistband and Ties 4.5” x width of fabric. Cut 2
  • Bottom Trim 2.5” x desired width. Cut 1
  • Pockets 6” x 5”. Cut 4
  • Loopholes 1.5” x 6”. Cut 1

Getting Started:

Pockets X2

Place two pocket pieces right sides together and sew all the way around leaving about an inch opening on one of the long sides for turning.

Clip the corners and turn right side out. Push out the corners and turn the edges of the opening in. Press. Topstitch along the long edge that had the opening about ¼ inch in from the edge. I stitched a long, narrow rectangle because I thought it would look nicer. Set aside.


Run through a bias tape making tool or fold under ¼” on the long sides and press. Fold in half along the length and press. Sew along the edges. Cut into two pieces and set aside. You could just use some double fold bias tape if you like.

Waistband and Ties

Pin two of the short ends with right sides together and sew. Press seam open. Fold in half with wrong sides together along the length and press. Fold ¼” along all edges and press. Set aside.

Assemble the Tool Belt:

Attach the Bottom Trim

Lay out the apron piece and the trim piece with WRONG sides together. Open up the single fold bias tape and pin it along the edge. Stitch in the crease closest to the edge (approx 1/4”).

Fold the bias tape down to cover the raw edges and topstitch.

*If you would like a rounded Tool Belt you can now fold the apron piece in half. Draw a curve along the corner and cut.

Accordian Pleats
Go to the optional box pleat tutorial

Mark the centre of your apron piece with a pin. Measure ½ of that measurement you were supposed to remember and mark it with a pin. Now measure 1.5” from the centre and place a pin. Pin every 2” after that out to the last pin. Work out from the centre in the other direction in the same manner. Fold the fabric so the 1.5” pin meets the centre pin, pin in place. Fold the next pin to meet the edge of the fold you just made and pin in place, continue to form all your pleats. Repeat in the other direction.

Now test fit your tool belt. If you like it continue on, if not you can add or remove pleats, or trim excess off the edges. This is the last fiddling you will ever have to do.

Baste the pleats in place.

Apply the Double Fold Bias Tape Edge

Open up the double fold bias tape and lay the apron piece wrong side up. Beginning at the top right hand corner pin the bias tape with wrong side up along the sides and bottom of the apron ending at the top left hand corner. Do not attach to the top of the apron.

Sew in the crease closest to the edge.

Flip the bias tape to the right hand side and topstitch as close to the edge as you can.


Open up the waistband piece and lay it with right side facing the wrong side of the apron piece. Sew in the crease. Flip the waistband so wrong sides are together. Turn under the pressed edge and pin in place on the right side of the apron. Pin the ties together as well. Starting at the top corner of the tie topstitch along the edge of the tie along the apron and the other tie ending at the top corner.

Attaching Pockets and Scissor Loops

Using one pocket and one loop pin the pocket at an angle on the side of the apron. Tuck the ends of the loop under the edge of the pocket and pin.

Sew around the edge of the pocket leaving the top open. Backstitching over the loops to secure them in place. Repeat for the other pocket.

Press your pleats and smile knowing you will never go searching for your sewing stuff again.


A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Thanks for the tute - this looks great!

jillytacy said...

I'm glad you decided to do a tutorial for your crafty tool belt. It looks good. I hope to try it soon as I'm forever losing my scissors when I'm crafting. I also walk around with pins and needles stuck in my clothes when I'm crafting. So a tool belt will really help. Thanks for sharing your crafty goodness.

Tiffany said...

I love the colors you chose. :D I want one! You should make them... and sell them on Etsy. I'd buy one, fo sho.

Tori Leslie said...

Great tut! Very nice little apron!

Jaci said...

This looks fantastic! It actually quite resembles a kilt!

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