How to make an obi-inspired wedding sash

Guest post by Liz Gubernatis

7185094120 80899b72cb b 1 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)A wide belt or sash can really take in and set off a dress. This obi-style belt is easy to make and lets you accessorize any look. You might be trying to unite many-colored bridesmaids (or groomsmaids!) with a coordinated slew of obi belts, or trick out your own wedding-day costume. If you want to make one of these for your own outfit, you could add a small pocket (stitch a doubled square onto one panel of the main belt before you put right sides together to hide the stitching) and you can keep your vows, some tissues, a cough drop, or Batman Band-Aids in easy reach.

And since you can make this look your own with a yard of fabric, you can turn a nostalgic sheet set or pillowcase into a bitchin' belt. I'm lookin' at YOU Ms. Rainbow Brite. You too, Batman. Oh, and Ninja Turtles, you're next!

Here's how you can make your own…

Materials and Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric — something with little to no stretch is best. If your fabric has some stretch to it, try to cut it so that the stretch is going in the “short” direction — if you cut a stretchy fabric so that the stretch is going “long” it will stretch and loosen while you wear it (kinda like how jeans get looser as you wear them after they've been in the drier)
  • Scissors
  • Water glass/cup/bowl/something round to trace
  • Sewing machine + thread


Step 1: Measure your waist. Don't be vain; this belt will have nice long ties. You want an accurate measurement here.

Step 2: Measure a rectangle the length of your waist, minus 3 inches, and 5 inches wide. So if your waist is 30, you'll want a 27 x 5 rectangle. My waist is a bit longer, so my rectangle is a bit longer. Double your fabric (fold it over) and then cut out your rectangle (so you have two rectangles of fabric that are that magic waist-3″ x 5″).

rectangle times 2

Step 3: Using your glass/cup/bowl/something round, trace a curve to the corners and cut.

trace cup for rounded corner

Step 4: Now measure and cut out 4 rectangles that are 24-30 inches long by 3 inches wide. These will make your two straps. I like longer straps for the bow in the back, so I make mine closer to 30 inches long, usually. Your mileage may vary.

ties cut out

Step 5: With right sides together, stitch all the long sides of all three pieces (two straps and main belt). Stitch along the curve of the main belt, but leave at least 3 inches open on the short end of each side (this is where we'll attach the straps).

Step 6: Clip the curves as shown. (Clip a few times around the curve to but not through the stitching.) This will let you turn it out without bunching up.

clip the curves

Step 7: Stich an angle along one short side of each strap and trim excess fabric as shown.

Clipping corners to turn out

Step 8: Turn all three right side out and iron flat.

Step 9: Use a chopstick or pencil to nudge the points of the straps out into nice points.

pointy corners with a chopstick

Step 10: Topstitch around each strap.

topstitched straps

Step 11: Turn unfinished edges of main belt in and iron flat.

turn main belt unfinished edges in

Step 12: Slide unfinished edges of straps into main belt and pin in place. Make sure that your pointy ends are matching — either both up or both down.

straps are pinned

Step 13: Topstitch around the entire main belt, securing the straps at either end with a bit of backstitching. TaDa!!

topstitched to secure straps

Step 14: Tie one on!

7185094590 d36a2a7920 b 1 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Your Turn!

Will you be making one (or several) of these obi belts? Tell us how you'll make this craft your own in the comments below.

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