Advent Calendar 2023 – the 16th door

A new day and a new door opens here in the BERNINA Advent calendar! Today I’m going to show you how to easily sew a wrap belt and turn it into a magical and stylish winter accessory using sparkly embroidery thread. Whether for your own Christmas outfit or as a gift for a loved one, this belt is a real eye-catcher and is very easy to sew, without any cutting patterns!

Taillengürtel mit Satinkordel als Bindeband

What you need for this:

  • Changing taffeta, approx. 50cm
  • Firm iron-on interfacing, e.g. Vlieseline H250
  • Black sewing thread to match the taffeta
  • Shiny embroidery thread in contrasting color, in my case it’s purple and gold
  • Standard machine needle, size 70-80
  • Magic pencil (disappears when ironing)

You can design the cutting pattern directly on the fabric or – as I have done here – as a paper pattern. This makes it easy to use again and again. All you need is pattern paper, a ruler, paper scissors and a pencil.

Design the cutting pattern

The belt model actually only consists of two parts: the belt itself and the tie. To determine the basic belt length, simply measure your own waist measurement. This is the length of the belt. Since the pattern is cut into the fold of the fabric, you will need half of it. The finished belt is 7.5cm high, so the first thing I do is draw a long rectangle 7.5cm high and 35cm long (my waist width/2) on the paper.

Wickelgürtel nähen Schnittmuster erstellen

The belt is curved towards the ends, making it easier to wrap around the waist. This is why I subtract 1 cm from the top and bottom of one end. Now I fold the paper in half so the sheet is even on both sides and draw a line from the center front to the new height. I cut the paper above.

Wickelgürtel nähen Schnittmuster erstellen Wickelgürtel nähen Schnittmuster erstellen

And the basic cut is complete. The ribbons to tie each have a finished length of 1 m and a height of 4 cm. Please note, if the waist circumference is greater than 80 cm, the ties must also be longer. You can calculate the length of your straps with a simple rule of three:

(100 * Waist)/70 = Band length in cm

I need a 100 cm long tie ribbon for a waist size of 70 to 80 cm. The formula results.

Cutting parts to dimensions

Zuschnitt des Wickelgürtels

To sew the belt, cut out the following parts:

  • Belt, 2x on the fold of the fabric (you must add the seam allowance)! I recommend 1.5 cm)
  • 2 ribbons to tie 103 x 11 cm (1.5 cm sewing area included)
  • 1x waistband cut from iron-on interlining

Wickelgürtel Zuschnitt

Then iron the interfacing on the inside of one of the parts of the belt.

Sew a belt with embroidery

Before sewing the belt together, I embroider the top with the decorative stitches from my BERNINE 480. It’s not a special embroidery machine, but it comes with all kinds of great decorative stitches. With beautiful embroidery floss you can embroider wonderful details that will transform your home-sewn garments into something very special. In this case, a little “bling” is added to the belt. Before I start embroidering, I first trace the seam line that will be sewn later. For this I use the “magic pen”, a fabric marker which disappears later when ironing.

Image of the BERNINA 480.


The B 480 is intended for all amateur seamstresses and tailors who love beautiful design but also sophisticated automatic functions. A brilliantly simple machine.

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Nahtlinie mit Zauberstift markieren

What decorative stitch should I use?

The choice of decorative stitches at BERNINA is so vast that sometimes I don’t know where to start. This is why I tested different stitches beforehand with the embroidery thread on a scrap of fabric. I really recommend it to you too! This way you can immediately see how the stitches come out on your fabric and where you may need to vary the length or density.

Maschinenstickerei auf einem Teststreifen

I embroider the first row with stitch n°416 and the Open embroidery foot #20. This foot is very wide and open in the center. This gives you the advantage of always being able to see exactly what the machine is embroidering and being able to correct it in time if something gets stuck or doesn’t turn in the right direction. To ensure the embroidery is straight, I guide the fabric exactly along the side marking line of my needle plate.

Image of open embroidery foot n°20.

Open embroidery foot #20

Perfect for sewing decorative stitches ✓ Creating attractive appliqué designs ✓ Allows you to accurately follow lines and designs ✓ Open shape for a clear view of the project ✓ For 5.5mm and 9mm machines ✓

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Sticken mit Nähmaschine et Stickfuß

I embroider the next row in the same way with stitch #708, using the first row as a guide. For my belt, I embroidered two rows at the top and two rows at the bottom and left the center free, because that’s where the tie will be wrapped later.

Two stickers for the machine

Sew the wrap belt

Once everything is nicely embroidered, it’s time to sew the actual belt.

Sew the Ties Together

First, iron one short edge of each tie to the wrong side. This is the end visible later. Next, fold the strip in half lengthwise and topstitch it once from start to finish.

Binding for Wickelgürtel support

Then turn the strips inside out using a safety pin and iron them.

Binding for the Wickelgürtel quandden

I sewed the visible ends of the strips together with a decorative stitch. To prevent the machine from pulling the fabric on the short piece, I started in the middle at each end of the strip and sewed to the edge before sewing the other side. You can also simply close the ends invisibly by hand with a blanket stitch.

End of the Bands zusammen nähen

Sew the ties to tie on the belt

Binding strips an den Gürtel stecken

Now place the two ties to tie on the front part of the belt, exactly in the center between the two edges. Topstitch them there. To prevent them from slipping later, it is best to attach them to the belt part with a few pins now.

Sew the belt pieces together

Once you’re done, pin the two parts of the belt right sides together. The strips come out in one place, which will later become your opening for turning the belt over.

Gürtelteile zusammen stecken

Now topstitch the pieces on top of each other and leave approximately 1 cm in length. 5 cm wide opening where the strips hang.

Gürtelteile zusammen steppen

The seam allowance is now shortened and cut tightly at the corners. The seam allowance only remains as it is in the opening area.

Nahtzugabe im Wickelgürtel abschneiden

I iron it inside out before turning it over.

Nahtzugaben nach innen bügeln

Turn the rolled up belt over and iron

In the next step, turn the belt inside out. Hanging bands are a good turning aid!

Gürtelteile wenden

In order to neatly shape the corners on top of the strips, I use a wooden stick to carefully flip the corners. Finally, the opening is closed with a few hand stitches.

Holzstab as Wendehilfe

Finally, iron the entire waistband from the inside to shape it. And your Christmas accessory is ready!

Selbstgenähter Gürtel mit Stickerei

Personalized wallet belt – as a gift or Christmas accessory

Even if things get hectic again before Christmas, this belt transforms a simple black dress or sweater into a festive outfit in no time.

The bright embroidery turns heads, but at the same time it’s not too opulent. The belt is perfect for all kinds of festive occasions, whether it’s a Christmas party with colleagues, a family Christmas dinner or, worn over a coat, a meeting at the market of Christmas.

Sizengürtel mit Bindebändern and Stickerei

With this belt, you will definitely no longer have to worry about your waistline after the holiday season. As it is packaged, it will also flexibly fit a little cookie belly 🙂

But even after the holiday season, it’s not his time. The shimmering fabric and shiny embroidery can accompany your elegant outfits for the rest of the winter. To be honest, I sewed three at once. One for me and two for my dearest friends.

More versions, more ideas, more belts!

Variants Wickelgürtel

For the second and third belts, I experimented a bit with the shape and bands, as you can see. The second belt has a straight cut and a small drawstring at the back for a cord to replace the tie tie. The third belt is curved again, but the ties to tie are sewn in imitation leather. I deliberately did not topstitch them so that they remain slightly elastic for a superb wrap-over look.

As you can see, you can get very creative with this simple accessory, and there are many variations possible here!

Taillengürtel mit Bindeband aus Leder

Taillengürtel mit Satinkordel als Bindeband

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas, happy holidays and lots of fun with the next door of the Advent calendar opening for you tomorrow.


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