Whether you’re wearing a custom fabric belt or a ready-made leather one, it’s always a good idea to have some belt loops to hold your accessory in place. You can make them either by hand or by machine—it’s simple as pie.
To make belt loops by hand, use a heavy thread such as Coats Dual Duty XP Heavy, Jeans Thread or Coats Button & Craft Thread. Position 3-4 strands of thread spanning the area where you want the belt to sit (i.e. the garment waistline or hipline). Then create a snug line of buttonhole stitches over the thread strands to cover them—this can be done with All-purpose thread or a heavier thread, depending on the desired look. Begin and end the thread on the garment underside.
To make a machine button loop, hold 3-4 strands of a heavy thread together under the presser foot and sew over the threads with a wide, close zigzag and all-purpose thread. Leave the inside threads long enough to thread through the fabric to anchor the belt loop in place, then tie them off. If your machine has trouble feeding the threads alone, place them on a water-soluble stabilizer for stitching, and then remove it before attaching to the garment.
To make a fabric belt loop, cut a strip of fabric the combined length of all the belt loops needed and three times a wide as the desired finish loop size. Serge one long edge, then press the loop width into thirds, tucking in a strip of fusible web to hold the layers together. Using All-purpose thread or Jeans thread, topstitch both edges of the loop length. Cut into pieces the appropriate sizes needed and sew to the garment, tucking in the cut ends.