I’ve always envied Batman. Not because of the cool costume, or the mansion, or the Boy Wonder (definitely not because of the Boy Wonder) or even because of Alfred (though he’s pretty nifty). It’s the belt.
Because the belt seems to carry just as much as Mary Poppins’ carpet bag, but is way more stylish. Believe me, I have far too much stuff I carry with me and a utility belt would be a blessing.
A few years ago, simransmiles and I made ourselves writer-girl utility belts. Awesome writer-girl utility belts. They were her brainchild, and produced primarily by her sewing skills, though I did some of the grunt work. We made them out of thrift store finds, and designed them to sit just above the hips. I don’t have any pics of me wearing mine, but I do have a pic of Sim in hers:
We made them in a V shape, which was more flattering for our girly curves than a straight across belt would be. I tended to wear the V in the front, while Sim tended to wear it on her hip. Both ways looked fine.
The main body of the utility-belt is made out of a corduroy skirt. Then notice the buttons? Since buttons are notoriously hard to do on your own, we took that part from a pair of button-fly jeans. That portion is actually upside down and forms the center of the V.
We cut the flap that normally covers the buttons and folded it back, lining it with a decorative fabric and sewing it down to make a pocket for pens. As you can see, it fit two pens.
The two pockets on either side of the buttons came pretty naturally from sewing the jean to the corduroy. Both pockets were the perfect size for holding a smaller moleskine notebook. They also fit phones/mp3 players easily. Although stuff could get a bit jumbled up. I found that the edge where the pocket met the corduroy was the place that most frequently needed repair.
Sim found a pouch she liked and sewed that onto her belt. It easily fit a paperback novel or a normal size moleskine journal (have you guessed that we’re both fond of moleskines?). I ended up deciding not to do that.
That blueish fabric you can see forming the extra trim on Sim’s belt came from a cloth napkin. As you can see, you can hook carabiners on it. In this picture Sim also has her utility knife hooked on it.
My version of the belt was all in black (of course) and we used a black cloth napkin to create the trim on mine.
We both wore those belts until they fell apart. I still have mine, tossed into the trunk of my car in case I someday got around to mending it again, although, honestly, it’s probably too far gone for that.
So, for now, I dream about utility belts. And obsessively research them online.