Making an Edwardian leather belt from scratch is really easy and quick: It only takes a few minutes!
Belts were very fashionable in the Edwardian era. They were made from a wide variety of materials. Cotton and linen belts – plain or embroidered – were worn with wash dresses, silk belts with afternoon and evening dresses, while leather belts were worn with shirtwaist costumes. Here I’m making an Edwardian leather belt for my Edwardian shirtwaist costume.
Related: How To Dress In The Edwardian Era
I’m using black patent leather for my Edwardian leather belt but you can use other leather as well. Patent leather was fashionable in the Edwardian era but real patent leather is difficult to find today. Besides, it’s very expensive.
Leather is perfect for belts because you don’t have to finish the raw edges! And another advantage of leather belts: Whereas Edwardian belts were often lined and stiffened with featherbone, Edwardian leather belts were usually unlined and not stiffened. So one sewing step less!
Related: DIY Edwardian Fabric Belt
How To Make An Edwardian Leather Belt
- Edwardian-style belt buckle
- strong sewing thread
Here I’m making an Edwardian dip waist belt: Dip waist belts were popular in the early Edwardian era.
I used a pattern from Jean Hunnisett’s book “Period Costume For Stage And Screen”. I adapted the dip waist belt pattern slightly to make it fit me better.
Edwardian Belt Buckle
Silver belt buckles were especially popular in the 1900s but there were other belt buckles as well like brass, gold and cut steel belt buckles, and also belt buckles with enamel, pearls, glass, precious stones and rhinestones. If you want to use an antique Edwardian belt buckle, they’re still sold today. Silver belt buckles are usually sold as “Edwardian nurses belt buckle” today.
For more inspiration, I’ve pinned many antique Edwardian belts and belt buckles on my “Edwardian Shirtwaist Costumes” pinterest board.
Make The Edwardian Leather Belt
Using your pattern, cut the belt from the leather without adding seam allowances. Depending on the buckle you’re using, it may be necessary to add seam allowances at the front of belt. Now you should have one long strip of leather.
Depending on what leather you’re using, you can dye and burnish the edges of the leather. I left the edges as they are.
Related: How To Dye Leather Black Naturally
Now add the belt buckle. Slide the leather through the metal loop of the belt buckle. Then fold the leather back on itself. Check that the belt is the correct length. Secure the belt buckle in place with a double running stitch and strong sewing thread by hand. Don’t make the stitches too close together so that the leather doesn’t tear out. Tie an overhand knot to secure the thread, then cut off the thread. And your Edwardian-style DIY leather belt is finished!