Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

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Several months ago I had the idea to make this because I was sick of dropping my seam ripper or small cuticle scissors on the floor. I know some sewing machines won’t accommodate this because they have buttons and stuff this would cover up but for those of you with a style of machine like mine I think you’ll find this useful!

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Gather your supplies!
Sewing Machine Tool Belt TutorialFirst things first: measure around the “arm” of your machine so you know how long to cut your strips. Add 6-8 inches to your measurement.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

You can also measure the height to see how wide you want to make your strips. I didn’t want mine very wide so I cut them 2.5″ wide selvage to selvage.  Important: If you have an embroidery machine with a USB slot you may want to make sure you don’t cover it up OR sew a buttonhole to accommodate your USB stick in the future. 

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

I cut two 2.5″ strips 40″ long (I left lots of playing room just in case) as well as two 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles for my pincushion. You can shape your pincushion differently if you want.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Cut a long strip of fusible fleece the same width as your strip. Cut two rectangles same size as your pincushion fabrics. Fuse your fleece to one of the long strips and both sides of your pincushion fabrics.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Pull your “back” rectangle piece and position the “loop” part of velcro (the soft side) onto the fabric. Sew it down by following around the outside of the velcro and sew an X through the center.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Place your pincushion rectangles now right sides together. Start sewing on one of the long sides and stop before you get back to it. Important: leave an opening to turn it right side out. I like to leave an opening in the middle of one of the long sides.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Turn it right sides out, poke out corners. Press. Also press the fabric at the opening under about a 1/4″ inch.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Your pincushion pouch should look like this now:

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Time to stuff! Fill it liberally with polyfil.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Hand stitch the opening closed with coordinating thread. I practiced my invisible ladder stitch here – it’s getting somewhat better. Here’s an invisible ladder stitch tutorial if you need one.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Now on to your long strips! Place them right sides together. I kept the one with the fleece on top.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Begin stitching at one of the corners. Stitch 1/4 away from the edge all the way around the strips but stop at the opposite corner next to where you started. Basically you want to sew one end completely closed and leave the end you started on OPEN so you can turn it inside out. Reinforce the end you’re stitching closed pretty well so you don’t poke through the fabric when you’re turning it.

The one on the left is completely closed – the end on the right is open
Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Time to turn it inside out! I use a Dritz Quick Turn tool for this. If you don’t have one I highly recommend it!

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

It’s going to be wrinkly after that inside out turning so give it a good press with your iron. I like to use steam at this step to get it nice and flat.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Now let’s wrap it around your sewing machine so we can mark where to cut it off. Overlap the closed end with the excess of your tube. Mark where you want to cut it off. I let mine overlap about 1.5″. Remember – leave extra since you’re going to have to close the end up and that’s going to take about a 1/4″ to do.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Trim away the excess! Undo the seams a bit so you can turn the edges under at your raw end.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Give it a good press. Stitch down that end so it’s completely closed. I also topstitch around all my edges 1/4″ away from the edge on the entire strip.

Take it back to your machine and wrap it around. Mark where you’re going to put your soft “loop” velcro piece. I recommend putting it at least 1″ away from the end so you can really tighten up the tool belt.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Here’s my strip with the soft “loop” velcro sewn down. Now you’re ready to sew the rough “hook” side of your velcro onto the end of your strip. Make sure you’re sewing it on the correct side!

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

I put my rough “hook” velcro piece right at the edge. Trim to fit. Sew around the edge of the velcro to secure it.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Your belt should look like this now! Try it on and see how well it fits.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Important: Slide the belt so the velcro closure is at the BACK of your machine. We’re going to now mark the front for velcro placement to secure your pincushion and for the elastic placement.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

I used an air erase pen to mark where I wanted my velcro to go for my pincushion. Remember – this is the rough “hook” part you’re placing.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

I cut my elastic strips long – enough to wrap around the inside of the belt. One end will be secured under your velcro in one step. Pin this end in place and sew down your velcro.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Now that your velcro and one end of your elastic strips are sewn into place we’re going to sew the other end down. Important: Pull the elastic so that there’s slack in your fabric belt. You want it to be nice and tight when you wrap it around your machine arm again so it holds your tools securely.

I marked my “end” with a purple air erase marker. Stitch these ends down with a tight satin stitch or decorative stitch to secure it in place.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Put your belt back on the machine. It should look like this now:

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Stick your pincushion on! You can also put some tools in. It’s up to you if you want to stitch dividers in the elastic or just leave it to fit any tool you might want to use.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

I stitched dividers in mine to keep my tools from slipping out:

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

That’s it! You’re machine now has a fancy new tool belt. You can even make additional pincushions to switch out when you want a different look.

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Sewing Machine Tool Belt Tutorial

Comments

  1. Amy Laura says:

    Great idea, and wonderfully detailed instructions and photos.

    Thanks!

    BTW-LOVE the aqua nails 🙂

  2. adorable!!!! Great job and thanks for the tutorial 🙂

  3. What a great idea, the instructions and pictures were great also. I enjoy listening to your podcast too. I’m more of a sewist but I want to be a quilter too. 🙂

  4. Great tutorial, Katie, I love your pictures! And the fabrics are oh, so shabby chic! 🙂

  5. Barb Smith says:

    Neat idea. I really like it. Thanks;

  6. I don’t think this style will work for my machine, but just wanted to say want a great tutorial you’ve put together, the photos especially were great and cleared up any questions I had from jus reading, well done!

  7. I really love this machine belt, It’s look very useful to have one.
    thank you very much for the tutoring.
    Michelle from Burgundy

  8. Fantastic idea! I really like how you have shown your step by step instruction above. Very detailed and very easy to follow too. Will make this for my mom. Thank you, Katie!!

  9. Carla Bell says:

    Wonderful idea! Ran right into my studio to make sure that it would work with my machine, but sadly no. Now I will have to come up with another way to accomplish it.

  10. Love, but I love the peeking corgi even more!

  11. Barbara Jansz says:

    Just discovered your podcast today, so prayers being sent your way. Love your tool belt! Plan to make one for me, and another for my sister when I visit her in January. Also plan on making the quilted organizer for both of us! Barb