Ever since I saw Astrid’s Flip Belt at our Spring Thaw race in February, I knew I had to have one. So, I looked online and they’re $25. I’m far too cheap for that, so last time I was at the fabric store, I picked up some performance/dance fabric. The key is that the fabric has to be pretty stretchy since there’s no closure, right. But, I’m terribly cheap. The dance fabric ran from $9.99 to $16.99/yard, and I figured I’d want enough that I could mess up a bit and not have to run out to the store before I could try again. I bought 3/4 yard of the cheapest I could find…black at $9.99. No other colors came at that price point. Now, I’m wishing I had spent a little more (good thing I have coupons for 40% off for next time).
So, today, after church, the hubs gave me some time to be creative. It took a long time before I got started. I looked at Pinterest (I’m Melflem on there, if you want to see what I like) to see if I could find anyone who had already set out to create one of these lovely numbers. NOPE. NADA…how often does THAT happen?! I had drawn an idea of how to do it on my church bulletin this morning, so I resorted to doing what I had planned (no, I didn’t miss much of our awesome sermon because, well, that’s just how I roll, I’m always doing two things at once).
My thought was this: Fold the fabric lengthwise, then French seam it, then fold it lengthwise again with the previous seam near the back inside. Well, I tried French seaming, and had to give up… So, I went to plan B. The fabric was now wrong sides out, but the belt will be on my waist and no one could tell, it is, after all, plain black lycra, just one side was shinier. So, I left my original seam, and then on a spare piece of fabric, cut from my 60″ length”, I tried seaming it into a double thickness tube.
I think this is where I went wrong. I should have topstitched the edges so it would hold it’s shape, but I did not, I just tried pinning it. I pinned it so that the original seam was in the middle of the back of the band on the outside so when I turned it rightside out, it would be inside. I left a little overhand of the other fold to stitch into. It worked. I made sure to seam with a zig zag for stretch (actually, I used the three time zig zag so it wouldn’t pop even if it was a little tight). I sewed it lengthwise, randomly leaving a few holes to stick my stuff through (after all, that’s why I’m doing this, right?!!). I didn’t have rhyme or reason where I placed them, I just wanted to make sure I had a few holes. Then I turned the belt right side out, and sewed the short ends together to make a circle with it, without sewing the ends shut (which I think would be fine too, it certainly would’ve been easier).
Here are the results…
I have to figure out how to make it hold it’s shape better, but this will work for now. I will no longer need to wear my armband (which ripped the heck out of my body under my arm last year due to the velcro rubbing during a race). During longer races that are run by wonderful organizers like Elite Runners and Walkers who hosted the Spring Thaw (10-15-20 miles-I did 15) AND Just a Short Run (5k, 8.1 miles, Half, or 30K-I ran the Half) who provide enough drinks and fuel that I don’t have to wear my Fuel Belt, I wanted something to carry my keys, chap stick, and ever important, inhaler.
But, I know this was just a prototype. If you’re a sewer, or some sort of engineer, who can figure out how to give it more structure, while still allowing me to toss it into my washer machine, and keep it easy to wear, feel free to send suggestions…I think I’ll start by getting thicker fabric that could hold its shape better though, and maybe add more stitching. And definitely check out Astrid’s in real life, REAL Flip Belt.
Other projects I want to undertake are making custom headbands (with wicking fabric), and running skirts that I can attach to my own running shorts that I love. I’ve already made a tutu and superhero capes for our family’s upcoming 5k.