Since I got back to sewing last summer, my mum has been collecting and saving fabric bits and bobs for me, because she is, quite simply, awesome.
She recently sent me some leftovers from outfits we had made for my sister’s wedding. As soon as she told me she was sending these across, I envisioned a wide sash similar to an Obi sash worn over a Japanese kimono. I’ve seen various leather belts inspired by these and wanted one in some gorgeous fabric.

I used a beautiful dual toned silk brocade fabric, and I just happened to have the perfect purple lining fabric to go with it!

From Sew What

I used the lining fabric to back the brocade, since I did not want to waste a single inch of the brocade fabric if I didn’t have to.
I cut a strip of each of the fabrics and zig zag stitched them to each other, wrong sides up. I then stitched a straight line as well, for a neat finish.

From Sew What

I need to mention here, that when working with silk or polyester satin or any slippery materials, a sharp needle is a life saver. I used a number 14 for these. A sharp needle goes through the fabric like butter and does not cause excessive tearing of the fabric. I have also learned to ease up on the stitch tension when working with delicate fabric to avoid puckering and pulling of the fabric. The things you learn from sewing machine manuals!! I knew NONE of this growing up and pretty much used any needle, any thread and any tension for EVERYTHING I made. Little wonder then that I mostly made costumes, pouches and Barbie clothes back then.

Once the two fabrics were attached I was left with a tube, which I turned out to reveal the right side and then carefully ironed down to flatten it out. I then folded in and ran a single line of straight stitch across one of the short ends and gathered it up with some simple tacking.

From Sew What

I repeated the process on the other edge and then moved on to making some straps, as the idea was to have the brocade fabric wrap around me and then have straps extending out which would cross at the back and come around the front to tie in a bow.

I used the same fabric as the backing and cut a strip of fabric, folded it lengthwise and zig zag stitched and straight stitched it into a tube. Once that was done I turned it right side out, centred the seam and ironed it out flat, to make a flat, straight ribbon of fabric.

From Sew What

I then cut the whole strip in half to make two straps. I folded in one short edge and roughly hand stitched it to one end of the brocade/lining piece. I went over it a few times by hand as the machine could no manage such a thick mess and I wanted to make sure it was strong and secure.

From Sew What

I repeated the process on the other end of the brocade piece and was very close to being done. However I am anal and cannot have things be messy or badly finished. I needed to cover the ends where the brocade piece was attached to the strap.

I took small strips of the lining fabric, ironed in a centre crease and then double folded again towards the centre crease – basically making my own binding.

I placed the binding, with the opening of the fold outward, towards the strap, open to reveal the centre crease and attempted to stitch it in place, later covering it with the second fold of the binding. However, I then realised that I am once again doing things the mentally detrimental way, that this is a belt and that I have a hot glue gun. So with the same placement, I hot glued the bottom layer of the binding to where the brocade and strap met. I then folded over the rest of it and wrapped the binding around the back and hot glued it in place. The double folding was required because I did not want the stitching, or rather gluing to show through.

From Sew What

Hereafter I used a candle and carefully sealed the edges of the straps and voila!

From Sew What

I could not be MORE pleased with this little project. It turned out exactly like I wanted it, I learned a few things on the way about Obi’s and I’m all set to make a few more. Even if I see an expensive silk fabric in the store, a simple half metre of fabric would be more than enough!

The best part though? It reminds me of my sister’s wedding and the AWESOME memories we made. I can wear it more often than I can wear the actual outfit this material was used for and I am reminded of that great month every time!

For the actual outfit I had in mind when making this belt and how to wear it, please visit soon!


10 responses to “Obi-have!

  1. Debuted at the Gunnarolla Birthday Extravaganza!

    Love the Asian inspiration, and I didn’t realize it was related to your sister’s wedding! Awesome.

  2. Thanks hon!

  3. OH MY GOD!!!!!!!! very very very cool….<3 it!

    • Thanks beta! Going to make many more like it!

      • I keep going to SPD to see if you have put it up there yet! Why the delay girl?

        btw, I am ET’s friend and wanted to tell you I love this blog. You are so very creative and I wish you all the best. Keep posting!

  4. Oh thanks Anita! I appreciate the compliments! 😀

    I have so much to catch up on on SPD, so was trying to go in chronological order, but I’ll post the Obi outfit next just for you. 😀

  5. Oh oh oh, I saw this really cool top on Gilt that I think you might be able to make. Want photos?


  6. I really like the belt!

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