Have you ever had or sewn a dress that would look lovely with a sash but doesn’t have any belt loops to keep it in place? The sash tends to travel or come undone and needs constant adjustment, but regular belt loops would look plain goofy? Thread belt loops to the rescue! You’ve probably seen them hundreds of times in the side seams of lady’s and little girl’s dresses. They are skinny little belt loops that blend in to the garment and hold a sash or small belt in place. They are super easy to make and once you know how, you’ll be able to add them to any dress or garment that needs them.
All you need to make thread belt loops is thread and a sewing machine. Usually the thread color is picked to blend into the garment or sash so it is hardly noticeable. I used navy thread for mine even though my sash is off white because it would have been hard to take good pictures of off-white thread. I’m thinking off-white would have looked better and blended into the sash though. My daughter loves it either way though so I’ll call it a win. 🙂
You can watch a video tutorial (right below) or skip over it to read the text tutorial.
First you need 4-6 strands of thread long enough for your belt loops and with enough room on the ends for you to hold on to. I usually cut them about 18″ (45.7 cm) long.
You can use any foot you’d like as long as it will accommodate a zig-zag stitch. The foot in the picture below is a zig-zag foot and usually comes with most sewing machines. The hole in the front of the foot helps keep the thread centered as I sew. Other feet, like the beading foot, have grooves underneath that can help you guide the thread too.
Set your machine to a zig-zag stitch with a medium stitch width. The stitch length setting doesn’t matter because you won’t be using the feed dogs. Start sewing nice and slowly. As you sew you want to make sure the needle is going on either side of the threads and not sewing into them. Without the help of the feed dogs, you will have to manually feed the threads as you sew. A nice slow even feed is the trick to make your thread loops look neat and uniform.
As patiently as you can, slowly feed the threads through your machine, zig-zagging all the way down the threads until you get to where you can’t hold on to the end anymore. As you can see below, I got a bit impatient while sewing and my threads aren’t very even. The beautiful thing about thread loops is they are small and not very noticeable so I can still use them and not be worried they will stick out.
After you’re finished all that’s left is to cut your belt loops and insert them. You can sew them into the side seams of a project or use an embroidery needle to insert them into a ready made garment. Just make sure to give yourself a little more room than the belt or sash will take up. I use this formula to determine the length of the belt loops:
length of belt loops = width of sash + 1/4″ + (Seam allowance x 2)
Once cut, a little fray check on the ends of the loops can keep them from fraying. Also, once you insert the belt loops it helps a lot to reinforce them by sewing over the ends in the seam allowances a few times.
That’s all there is to it! So next time you find yourself needing a tiny belt loop, you’ll know exactly what to do.