Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Toy Artillery Belt and Holsters

Note: 1/16/13  - this blog post will be updated soon with a real goal is before the end of February 2013.

Our summer activities include a project for each kid of his/her choosing. My one son chose a belt (that went around and over the shoulder) that would hold as many of his play weapons as possible.

The general instructions are below (although you might have to click on the file to make it full sized and readable - or you can get the pdf.) This is not intended as a tutorial, although I could make it one later if someone needed it - and asked.  Several weapons/objects  (like the light saber and walkie talkie) had hooks that could rest on the belt. Several others needed holsters - specifically the little cheap dart gun and the Nerf Maverick dart gun - Little bullet holders for the nerf darts were, therefore, needed too. Those two holsters and bullet holders are what I have patterns for below. (There is an inch square on each pattern piece to help get the sizing right.) The nerf gun holster can be pieced together using the guidelines (pieces are marked for top, bottom, right and left).

 I doubt anyone uses my blog. Hence, the reason I didn't bother with a real tutorial - just a quick pattern and general instructions - so don't judge me by my poor, quickly written instructions! Good luck.

update 2/5/2013
Added help:
For making buttonholes on the holster to attach it to a belt.

Put it on a Belt -  create 'button holes' big enough to accommodate a belt
- a later time making this, I made a casing for a belt by folding over fabric at the top.

1. Hold the holster up to the belt where you want it to sit and mark vertically where you want the buttonholes to be. Also mark little horizontal slashes for where the belt edges are (so you know how tall to make the buttonholes).

 NOTE - You could do this with a buttonhole function on the sewing machine - espcially if you have the 4 step kind, but my current machine has  a 1 - step button hole so I insert a button into the buttonhole foot, align it (that's the tricky part), drop the foot, and hold down the pedal...occasionally 'convincing' the thick layers of fabric to keep moving.  I can't use a 1-step for this project because the foot will not accomodate a button as large as 1" or more.

2. Set your machine's zig zag stitch to a narrow setting (test it out on a scrap of fabric to see what you like) and to a very short length (so that the zigs touch the zags nearly in straight lines sideways...sometimes called a satin stitch.

If you have a 4-step button hole function, just set your machine to that - and start on that edge. Change which step as you go around your line.

3. Start at one end of the line you've drawn (you'll need to extend the hole a little longer than the line so the belt goes through comfortably) - Zigzag down the  side of the line - keeping it straight.

4. Turn the fabric and repeat on the other side of the line - leaving only the drawn line exposed.

5. Now set your zig zag to it's shortest possible length (or drop the feed dogs - those are the little jagged metal things that move up and down in a circular motion under where you feed the fabric - you don't want the fabric to move, so you flip a switch to turn them off). And set the zig zag wide enough to go across the 2 parallel rows of zig zag stitches plus the tiny gap in between. (If yours doesn't go this wide, then just as wide as it will go.)

6. Now, with the zig zags/line running in the direction from you towards machine, align the end of the line under the needle. Sew back and forth a bunch (fabric shouldn't move - a bunch of sideways stitches will 'cap' the end of your buttonhole to keep it from continuing to tear once we actually make the hole.  Do this same thing at the opposite end of the line.

7. Your line should now be completely surrounded by stitches.  Place a straight pin at each end of your button hole, slightly closer together than the end stitches.  CAREFULLY, with your seam ripper, insert the pointed end through the fabric in between the two pins, and slowly rip open a buttonhole. (The pins should stop you from ripping right through the opposite end of the button hole.) You can also start with a seam ripper to make a small hole and then cut with scissors. Whatever works for you.

Done (make 2 buttonholes so that the belt can go in one and out the other...and the farther you space them the less the holster will flop around).

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