Saturday, August 3, 2013

DIY: Garter Belt from Leggings


When I think of garter belts, I immediately remember a lacy one that my grandmother mistakenly gifted to my older sister for Christmas one year, thinking it was...I don't know, a bra or something? My sister was maybe 14, so it was kind of an unexpected gift to receive from a grandparent, but I think it was an honest mistake. I think my grandmother saw it upside down and thought it was a tiny bra? None of this makes any sense and probably says much too much about my home life, but if you haven't had the pleasure of receiving lingerie from a grandparent, I have an easy way for you to make some yourself!
I guess I can see how this would look like a bra if it were upside down, but STILL!
I have a problem with never letting old clothes go, even when they're stained or the crotch is blown out, like with these super cheapo leggings. I'm going to leave the part about the blown out crotch there because when you start with a grandmother garter belt story, any semblance of class or dignity is already gone. These kinds of things go into my "sewing pile" which may or may not include clothes I haven't worn in nearly a decade, but with which I am just about to do something. I needed to give these leggings a new life because I would otherwise pay good money for stretch jersey by the yard, and this was free and had a finished waistband! The trash is for suckers, am I right?

I've been wanting some kind of not-expensive garter belt, not for looks, but for the actual intended use - to keep my damn knee socks from slumping to my calves every 10 minutes. It felt like every step I take in knee or thigh-high socks scoots them down a little more. LAME! This DIY garter belt cost me literally $1 to make because I had everything but the bows AND I used a coupon because I know how to live life. Sew along with me, won't you?


WHAT YOU NEED
Leggings  //  4 Garter Clips  //  1/4" Elastic  //  Decorative Bows  //  Needle & Thread  //  Scissors  //  Sewing Pins  //  Sewing Machine (optional)

HOW TO MAKE IT
First, fold your leggings in half lengthwise. Cut a straight-ish line from the crotch to the outer seam (you'll be cutting all layers at once). You can make this a little shorter if you want, I just opted to keep it on the long side so it works as a slip-type garment as well. I apparently have a need for a garter and a slip because it is suddenly 1957 or something.

Fold over the raw edge you just cut toward the inside and then fold over again. Pin it in place.


Repeat the edge folding and pinning along the entire seam and sew.


On to the suspender pieces! You'll need to cut four lengths of elastic, and the length will depend on your height and how far down you want the suspenders to hang. I added an extra inch to two of the elastics because the back ones need to be a little longer to accommodate for dat butt. 

Take a piece of elastic and pass it through the open loop at the end of the garter clip (going toward the back of the clip). Fold the cut end of the elastic into itself to create a clean hem on the back of the garter clip. Sew and repeat.

Four completed suspenders.

Flip your garter belt inside out and pin your front suspender to the middle of either the right or left half. (I just keep calling them that, but let's be real - is there an actual term for the dangly bits? Suspenders seems like the best option.) Pin the other front suspender in a similar position on the other side. Pin the back suspenders based on the position of the front ones. Sew these all in place.


This is technically optional, but the idea that you would come this far and then neglect to add a tiny bow to your garter belt really says something. And it isn't something good, just to be clear. Not to bully you, but just take the extra 10 minutes to hand sew some tiny bows to the elastic of the front suspenders (or truly blow me away and sew them on all four). IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. Also, if you do them in black like I did it makes your knees feel like they're wearing tiny bow ties and that's an experience you can't get very often, if at all. If you know of an alternative source of that "knees in a bow tie" feeling please feel free to email me.

That's actually it! Pretty simple, yes? Because of the fabric and color this thing is kind of a pain to photograph, but I think you can understand the general idea. When you're done you'll have a stretchy tube to wear on your waist and/or hips which will keep your knee and/or thigh-high socks in place. Please don't judge me for owning a Tori Spelling book, I beg of you! If you promise not to judge, I'll promise not to buy all of her other books...again. I'm getting rid of them, I swear!

Another view in which you can see my apartment's buzzer. It's like my very own robot/duck/monster that always looks like it's screaming at me. Fun!

It's kind of hard to show you the whole thing without showing you my whole thing, but you get the idea here. Since the suspenders are elastic, they can stretch to hang low or just stay up higher and out of sight if that's more your style.

Just in case you need to know how to use the garter clips:
1. Sandwich your sock between the sides of the open clip.
2. Slide the "nub" of the bottom side up so that it rests in the larger upper section of the top side.
3. Push the nub down so it fits snugly into the smaller lower section of the top side.
4. This is how the back should look.

Would you wear a garter belt or is that too old fashioned for you? Are your socks constantly slipping like mine? What are you doing with your old clothes - something normal like just donating or trashing them? Why can't I just let $5 leggings go?!


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36 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! It was a total "Oh, DUH!" moment when I thought of it! xo

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  2. I have garbage bags full of clothes because someday I'll use them for fabric (so I say). Old blue jeans are like gold. Love the garter and the bows. Your g'ma sounds like a hoot! Hitchcock and Pee Wee Herman? I think we're kindred spirits. Have a lovely day!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's just so hard to let go of old clothes made from good fabric! I just wish I sewed faster than I buy clothes, but that will never happen. Pee Wee Herman is my hero! xo

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks - it's surprisingly quick too! xo

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  4. I always love to see a creative great DIY.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you - I'm a DIY lover myself! xo

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  5. oh wow this is a sweet idea, I have so many pairs of leggings with holes in it so it'd be awesome putting them to use like this, thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you - yes, it is a great way to use up those leggings that never seem to last very long! xo

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  6. What a great idea! :) love those little bows.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, the bows are my favorite part too! xo

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  7. i'm laughing so much at the picture and your description of the buzzer!!!
    This is such an awesome DIY!!

    cowbiscuits

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    Replies
    1. After years, that buzzer still has a way of making me laugh too! xo

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  8. great d.i.y! thanks so much for commenting on my blog hun xx

    Mary
    www.littlefeatherstyle.blogspot.com

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  9. Replies
    1. That is the ultimate compliment to any DIY - thank you! xo

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  10. You are a genius! I would love to wear this, but I never wear socks/stockings because its always 553459893485 degrees outside. I love how this looks!

    Mabel
    Life of Mabel

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's hard for me to wear them in the summer, but I layer them like a champ most of the year. Thin knee socks like these ones help in the summer, though! xo

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  11. that's pretty genius- it's PERFECT for when you just can't afford to buy one. and it was pretty easy to create. i like the added bows to make it cutsey, too :)

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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    Replies
    1. Exactly! They can be kind of pricey to buy and I could not justify paying for something that no one really sees anyway. xo

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  12. Wow, this is such a unique DIY! Very cool! I don't wear garter belts but if I did I would definitely do this, it's so much cheaper!

    heyniki.wordpress.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I know, it was basically free! xo

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  13. This is a wonderful DIY, I might totally try this, I know I have leggings past their prime around here somewhere...

    You are hilarious, my dear, and are a fantastic writer - I enjoy reading your blog very much.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you - this is super nice and sweet of you to say! I'm so glad you enjoy reading. xo

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  14. Wow! How creative :) I can totally see a grandparent doing that as an honest mistake!

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    Replies
    1. I know right? Super weird but definitely good for a laugh! xo

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  15. This is just so cute! Definitely bookmarking this.

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  16. hey doll!

    This is such a fantastic DIY!!!
    Wow you are so creative!
    Amazing idea amd I don't think suspenders are old fashioned at all:))

    Not judging you for your Tori Spelling book lol
    I like her actually:)

    Thanks so much for your precious comment on my blog!
    Let's keep in touch;)

    xoxo kisses Tamara Chloé

    http://www.tamarachloestyleclues.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't help it, I just like her book! Thanks for the sweet words! xo

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