If you are sewing View A or B of the Sienna Maker Jacket, this post is for you! You will thread the belt through the belt vent to close your finished jacket. Sewing the belt vent facing can be a bit fiddly, especially with thicker fabrics. It results in a very durable and super clean finish on both the right and wrong side of the jacket however, so take your time and be as precise with it as possible. If your fabric is very thick, you may consider using a lighter fabric as an alternative, since the finished facing will be hidden inside the jacket. You could use a contrasting fabric as a design detail!
BELT VENT OPENING
Before you begin, ensure you have marked the belt opening on your left jacket front. Our belt opening marking was too faint for our photograph, so we’ve drawn it in red for this tutorial. The belt vent facing should be interfaced, and the opening should be clearly marked as well.
Press the raw edges of the belt vent facing in by 3/8″. We unfolded the edges and pressed the corners in to create mitered corners. This can be a bit tricky if your fabric is very thick or if it frays easily, but can be worth the extra effort since there will be less bulk when you go to topstitch the belt vent facing in place later. Position the belt vent facing over the marked belt opening on the left jacket front. The right side of the belt vent facing will be against the right side of the left front. Pin the belt vent facing in place, ensuring the belt opening markings line up. Instead of using pins, we basted the belt vent facing in place by hand. It gave us more control over the position.
Switch to a short stitch length, and sew 1/8″ around the belt opening marking. Since we basted the belt vent opening in place, we didn’t have any annoying pins to remove while sewing. You may need to unfold the pressed edges you made to make room for your presser foot. Keep your needle down to pivot as you go around the corners and make sure to backstitch securely.
The belt vent facing will now be stitched in place to the left jacket front.
Cut through the belt opening marking with a small pair of very sharp scissors. Try to cut as close as you can to the stitch line without cutting through it, and clip precisely to the corners. If you don’t cut exactly to each corner you’ll see puckering later on.
Turn the belt vent facing to the wrong side of the left jacket front by pulling it through the opening you just created. Press well and pin in place.
Topstitch the belt vent facing in place by stitching 1/8″ around all four sides of the facing, backstitching at the end.
This is what the finished belt vent facing will look like from the inside of the garment. Keep in mind the bobbin side of the stitching will be visible from the right side of the garment. If you would like to simplify the belt vent opening, you could substitute the entire facing for a simple buttonhole, but it will not be as durable. If you go this route, you will need to ensure the buttonhole is wide enough to accommodate the thickness of the belt. Our buttonhole tutorial shows you how to sew a manual buttonhole with a zigzag stitch, if you are unable to adjust the width with your automatic buttonhole settings on your machine. A corded buttonhole would also make this feature more attractive and strong.
PREPARE BELT & D RING STRAP
Prepare the belt and D ring strap. Fold the long edges of the belt and D ring strap in by 1/2″. Press one short end of the belt in by 1/2″ as well. Miter the corners of this end of the belt by unfolding the edges and pressing the corners in. Press the belt and D ring strap in half with wrong sides together.
Topstitch 1/8″ around the pressed edges of the belt and D ring strap; you may want to grade one of the long seams to reduce bulk. Helpful tip! Before topstitching the belt, pass it through the finished belt vent opening to ensure it fits through. If you need to adjust the width of the belt to fit the opening it will be easier before its sewn together. The finished width of the belt should be 1.5″. Fold the D ring strap in half and thread the rings through. Baste the ends of the strap together to close.
You may choose to sew a line of stitching along the end of the D ring strap; it will help keep the belt closed when you cinch it through the rings. This was a very helpful tip from one of our testers!
The next step is to assemble the body, but we want to explain how this belt works when your jacket is assembled. To close the jacket, thread the belt through the belt vent opening on the left side of the jacket from the inside.
Pull the belt through both D rings, and then loop through the bottom D ring to cinch close and secure.You can also loop the belt the opposite way across the back if you’d like to wear it open.
You’ll feel nice and cozy in your finished Sienna Maker Jacket thanks to your belt! To carry on with the assembly of your jacket for View A or B, check out our post on assembling the body.