How to Make an Obi-Style Belt Quickly & Easily at Home

Sewphilia Studio
by Sewphilia Studio
9 Materials
25 Minutes

In this sewing tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make an obi-style belt. Obi belts come from Japan and are typically worn wrapped around a kimono. Unlike your standard buckle belts, obi belts are done up by tying a bow with the material.

The final piece is a great accessory to have in your wardrobe that you can style in many different ways. Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Non-stretchy fabric (I used black satin)
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Iron 
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Chalk
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
Measuring the pieces for the obi belt

1. Mark the measurements

Start by working out the measurements for the thick part of the belt.

Fold your fabric in half to make it easier to cut, and the measurement of this wide part is half of the waist circumference minus 2 inches (5cm) plus 1/2 inch (1.3cm) for a seam allowance.

When you have determined what your measurement will be (mine was 14 inches, 35.6cm), place the measuring tape on your fabric and mark it.

The width of the belt is four inches (10cm) or however wide you want your belt to be.

Cutting out the obi belt pattern in fabric

2. Cut out the pieces

Pin and cut out two pieces of the measurements you just marked for the front and the back. 

Shaping the ends of the obi belt

3. Shape the belt

Next, shape the belt on the sides by cutting out a little bit of fabric in a triangle form. To do this, mark 3/4 inch, 2cm, in from the edge on both the short and long sides, and then cut off the triangle.

Measuring and cutting the belt straps

4. Measure and cut the short straps

Measure out four straps for tying in the front. The measurement is the waist measurement plus 5inches (12.7cm) plus a ½ inch (1.3cm) seam allowance. Each strap is 2 inches (5cm) wide. Cut out four of those.

How to sew an obi belt

5. Sew together

Now you have four strap pieces that you need to sew together to make two long pieces.

DIY obi belt tutorial

6. Shape the straps

Next, angle out one side of both of the straps by cutting them in a slanted way.

How to make an obi sash belt

7. Sew

Pin the two straps together, sew along the top and bottom but leave the short sides open for turning the piece inside out.

Attaching the interfacing to the belt

8. Attach the interfacing

Next, iron interfacing to one side of the wide section only because we don’t want it to be too thick.

Make an obi belt from scratch

9. Sew

Then place the pieces one on top of the other with the right sides facing and sew the top and the bottom sides with a straight stitch.

Turning the fabric right sides out

10. Turn right side out

After sewing the wide piece, turn both pieces right side out.

Tip: You can use a knitting needle to help you do this.

Pressing the DIY obi belt with an iron

11. Iron down

Now press the belt down flat with an iron to make it nice and smooth.

Sewing the obi belt straps together

12. Sew the straps together

The final step is to insert the belt straps into the sides of the wide belt and secure that with a straight stitch.

DIY obi belt

How to make an obi-style belt

We are finished! As the belt is black, it is very versatile, and you can style it with many different tops and dresses. I’ve styled mine against this bright, colorful dress, and I love the definition it adds to my waistline.

How to make an obi-style belt

This DIY obi belt is a nice change to your standard buckle belt, and it is very simple to make. Let me know what you think in the comments. I hope you’ll give it a go!

Suggested materials:
  • Non-stretchy fabric (I used black satin)
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Iron
See all materials

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