Making Belt and Sleeve Loops

I’m totally not getting this project done by the time I go back to work on Monday. Boo! I’m actually went out for New Year’s for the first time in years. Well, if by ‘out’ you mean ‘working’ then I went out. I was at the Inner Harbor for the fireworks and I wish wish wish my coat had been ready. You see, I took a boat in from west shore into the Harbor and was much colder on the water.

I’ve also been sacked the last three days with a cold and an infection. Which once I could keep my head erect like a small baby allowed me to read through some of my construction books.

I stumbled quite accidentally on this technique for drafting and sewing the belt, sleeve tabs and loops in my Bunka textbook on Coats and Capes.

You see, the top loop using Burda’s method (which is meant to have a button sewn on it). Fat and thick and kind of happy hands at home. I was going to my friend Lilya’s shop to use her coverstitch. I thought this would give me nice thin loops like jeans. But, not wanting to leave the house, I tried this method.

You fold your fabric in thirds, with the selvedge as your outside, finished edge.  No finishing. Nice, eh? The loops are cut 2 to 3 cm longer than the belt. Bunka also recommends reinforcing the loop placement with interfacing. Which makes total sense. It just didn’t occur to me.

I also made my belt using their directions.

You see, you sew it wrong sides together and then roll the seam to the middle. You’ll then sew the point at the seam.

Comparison of the Bunka method and my slapdash Burda method for making the points on the sleeve tabs. I don’t know why my first looks so terrible. But, I’m now sold on this new (to me) method.

Let’s see:

  • set in sleeves (tie interfacing ordered)
  • interface hem allowance (to use wiggan or no….)
  • make vent (wish this was a pleat instead)
  • line (shiver)
  • sew buttonholes (again with the shivers)

I think if I focus, two weeks *tops*.


  1. Happy New Year! Hope you are feeling better. Thanks for sharing your technique on making loops and belt. I think I’ll put that Bunka constuction book on my wish-list.

  2. I very much like the Bunka method. You are doing a wonderful job on your coat – can hardly wait to see the finished product. Thanks for sharing.

  3. No doubt you’d feel perkier if you didn’t get sick because you’re out without a good coat :-). So keep at it, and you’ll get out of this vicious circle soon enough. This is definitely the year for warm clothes no matter -where- you live.

  4. i’ve shied away from this type of belt before; this method looks fantastic. i can’t wait to see your coat!

    btw if you’re into natural remedies, i have to tell you about a little freaking miracle cure for colds, everyone at my work uses it; Umcka ColdCare. it’s an african root, tastes just like regular cherry cough syrup. you take it the minute you think you’re sick, or if you’re already sick, it shortens the severity & duration of your cold. it’s saved me three times this season!

  5. Your coat is going to look great. Really neat method you outlined for us – thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

  6. I love your ambition and you’ve got me salivating to see the finished coat. I’m impressed you moved so quickly into this project. I can’t wait to see the finished coat! BTW, Happy New Year!

  7. Out on a boat, in the winter, without a decent coat (I think that rhymes…)? OMG, girl, you do like to live on the edge, don’t you? When I lived (ahem a LONG time ago) in New York and had to stand out on the subway landings waiting for the trains in Brooklyn, the only way I could survive without pneumonia was a long heavy wool coat and boots (and remember, those were the days before slacks in the office, too), and I also wore these neat little sort of knit wool ‘snugglies’ (I think Vermont Country Store still carries them)that were basically the length of bike shorts but were just the ticket in terms of keeping the ‘undercarriage’ not frozen. Part of why New York is so horribly cold in the winter is the dampness from the rivers and the ocean/harbor. I’m sure Baltimore is exactly the same way. Get….coat….done.

    • Hi Faye,

      Yes, this series of text books are in English. It seems Amaon in the US no longer has them. But, I’ve seen them on (shipping is high tho) and some stragglers on eBay.

  8. The Bunka method looks fantastic. I want to try this now. Thanks for sharing. I hope you feel much better soon. Happy New Year.

  9. I think I’m going to have to hunt down the Bunka book as well. I love how the belt looks so far, and can’t wait to see it modeled. 🙂

  10. Ooh that bunka loop method IS nice! I’ll have to remember that! I’m not certain I’ll finish my coat either before I’m back to work, but I’m most nervous about the collar and setting in the sleeves. And I’m freaking annoyed that I can’t do my pockets until my *#%€$# spoonflower order from before thanksgiving actually arrives. I swear they must use pony express for their international shipping. And the pony drowned.

  11. Ok, that is a very slick method. I have starred this post for future reference. BTW, if you want, I would be happy and willing to photocopy and mail down to you the vent instructions from my son’s vintage coat. Very thorough, not hard and when I followed them to the letter, the vent turned out beautifully finished, inside and out. Let me know!

  12. Happy New Year! Sorry to hear you’ve been under the weather. I wanted to let you know that over the last few years your posts have inspired me to get my machine out and oiled up. I even made 5 pairs of fleece pj pants for Christmas presents! Thank you for sharing your sewing life wiht us.

    • Hi Leanne,

      Thanks for letting me know. I’m thrilled you’ve gotten back into sewing. I was just telling someone at brunch today that sewing is my greatest passion. So, if that rubs off, I’m happy. I’ve been wearing my pajama pants non stop and suspect I’ll be making more soon 🙂

  13. I’m putting this in my favorites! And I’m cold in PAP, and shiver at the very thought of being on a BOAT in Dec/Jan!!!

    (Yes, it’s all relative but let me tell you, some places in the hills hit 14C!)

  14. Hope you are feeling better RC. The belt is fantastic. I cannot wait to see the finished product. Happy New Year!

  15. Nice to know I wasn’t the only one with a cold over the holiday week, watching too much Law and Order! I hope you are feeling better. Your new method produces a really professional result — wow! Can’t wait to see your finished coat!

  16. Your coat is GORGEOUS so far!!!! You are doing a beautiful job!!!!! Thanks for the link to this book. I’m going to have to put this one on my list.

  17. What a cool technique for the belt loops. That makes so much sense! Thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to the finished coat.

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