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Vintage Details: Fabric covered buckles

buckle

Back in the day, dresses often came with matching belts covered in the same fabric. What’s more, home dressmakers could buy kits for making their own belts to match every dress they sewed. When I first started sewing, these buckles were available in most fabric stores.

Unfortunately, this old fashioned touch has fallen out of favor and it seems these cover-your-own buckle kits are no longer being manufactured. I mourn the loss of the covered belt, and really wish they’d make these again.

But you can still find vintage ones! They are easy to use and come with their own little pattern and instructions on the back. Check out this pretty yellow silk-cotton voile dress I made recently, and tell me that the matching belt doesn’t add so much charm.

matching belt

dress

So go ahead and find some on ebay or etsy and try a belt with your next dress. The great thing about these being so out of fashion is that they can be found for cheap!

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This week at Colette Patterns…

[...] magic of vintage fabric covered belt buckles, and how I wish they were still being [...]

On , Cindy said: | colourbynumber.blogspot.com

very timely post. I am making a 60′s pattern which calls for one! thank you. I adore the yellow dress! Is this your pattern or did you use one? My mom had a dress in the late 50′s which I loved to wear around when I was young. Your beauty reminds me of it, and it was a pale yellow voile too! So similiar–I would love to make it!

On , jen said: | blog.loveliette.com

o, i whole-heartedly agree! but i’ve never seen these cover your own kits, that’s awesome! i’ve been collecting regular vintage buckets for my dresses but if i spot one of these i’ll have to snap it up. :)

your dress is lovely, by the way. i love silk-cotton voile. it may be my favorite summer fabric, actually. and the rich yellow color you chose is so uplifting. :)

On , SwanDiamondRose said: | SwanDiamondRose.com

that’s funny i did a buckle post today. but buckle bracelets mainly. i really love matching self covered buckles and belts. i have a skintight 70s plum velvet high-waisted pencil skirt. it has a tiny matching belt. it makes me crazy. your dress is perfect.

On , Gertie said: | blogforbettersewing.blogspot.com

Sarai, that dress is gorgeous! Please tell me that’s a pattern you’ll be offering someday. :)

I’ve been wondering how to deal with the matching belt issue myself for my Vogue’s New Book for Better Sewing project. One resource I’ve found is called Pat’s Custom Belts and Buckles, a mail-order company that will make covered belts, buckles, and buttons from your fabric. Pat uses vintage equipment–this service used to be available in most fabric stores, I believe. I’m definitely going to try it, and I’ll post about how it goes.

I also love the idea of finding these vintage kits too! Maybe I’ll try both and do a side by side comparison!

On , Paula said:

Sarai-I love this dress! Is the fabric vintage too? In our little town here we have a fabric shop that has been selling some of it’s new old stock, so I have been able to pick up a couple of these kits. While I bought larger ones with the idea of making a trench coat, I love what you have done too!

On , Casey said: | elegantmusings.com

It’s so sad that these kits aren’t widely available any longer–I wish I had stocked up on them years ago! ;) lol. I think I’ve got a couple vintage ones I’ve thrifted somewhere in my sewing room; I’m planning on using one for a dress I’ve got on the drawing board! I just adore the look of belts that perfectly match the dress; there is something so sweet and lady like about them!

On , Sarai said: |

I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who mourns the homemade matching belt. I’d love to bring these back!

Gertie, the pattern for that dress is vintage, and it’s quite lovely! Here’s a photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saraicat/3323208368/

I shortened it a LOT, in truth because I miscalculated the yardage when I bought the fabric. But I like shorter lengths anyway.

On , Sarah said: | fingersandtoes.wordpress.com

What search terms do you use when looking for the kits? I’ve had no luck so far. If McCullough & Wallis doesn’t stock it, it’s probably a lost cause anyway…

On , flynn rhodes said:

Help! Using Vogue vintage pattern#V1137,calling for 1 3/4″ covered buckle belt.Suppliers only sell mutli yard belting,1 1/4″
buckles. Will hair interfacing give me the right vintage look for the belt? Thank you

On , Elisabeth said:

this is really cute! i actually found one of those buckles online that i’d like to buy but i have no idea to how to make the belt. i read somewhere you can use belt backing but the buckle i want to get says 1/2″ and i can’t find that size anywhere. can you let me know how you got to make yours? thanks so much for the help!

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

I actually found some belting at my local fabric store that you can cut to size. It is quite wide, and I just cut it to the exact size I needed. Take a look for it locally or online!

On , brenda said:

I make alot of 40′s and 50′s dresses, I have everyone on the lookout for the belt buckles to cover. used my last one. am desperatly in need of them. were can I purchase.?

On , P.J. Sullivan said:

I also love the cover your own belt, and buckle. Have not seen them in years. Someone gave me two older sewing machines, and they had two of the cover your own belt packages in them. Let me know if anyone locates any, THANKS.

On , invisible mending said: | doreemending.com.au

These belts are fantastic in look.Thanks for sharing pictures.

On , Sarah Heath said:

I am also sending this to the ladies of the blogs that I like. I found a source for cover buckle kits. It appears that you can purchase them direct from Maxant with out any problems. They have many sizes. Here is the Link to the website. http://maxantbuttonandsupply.com/catalog.php?id_cat=6 I have no affiliation with Maxant. I just wanted to share what I found. They also sell belt backing in many sizes as well as cover buttons and many other notions.

On , julia said: | trouveshome.com

LOVE the dress! So adorable.

On , Lindy said:

I, too, am making a vintage pattern that requires the belt. I was extremely disappointed to find that Jo-Ann Fabrics locally did not carry these, since I remember them (and even have one in my sewing basket that is now too small!). I found these still available at http://www.maxantbuttonandsupply.com and at http://www.createforless.com for a reasonable price. By the way, your yellow dress is beautiful!

On , Lindy said:

This is another site for the covered buckle belt kit: http://www.sewbizfabrics.com/BDR14.shtml