the belt-up zone  

Make a money belt! Step 3 - putting it together

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  • Measure yourself around the waist with the longer piece of webbing. Place it so that it encircles your waist in the position you will wear your money belt. Cut it where the sewn end overlaps the rest of the material (the cut section will be anything between 85cm and 125cm).

  • This final assembly needs a few pins to help you get it right. I suggest using only single stitching at first if you are not sure, and then trying the belt for size. When you're happy with it you can sew it more permanently.

  • Before you start the assembly, turn your "tube" inside-out, that is, make sure that the "wrong" side of your material is facing out, and the zip's tape can be fully seen. Put the tube-like money belt flat on the table and roll it so that the edge of the "top" zip teeth is 1.5cm from the fold along the top of the material. Exactly which zip track you call "top" here depends on which way you want the belt to zip up when it's finished: left to right, or the opposite direction. Be sure the edges are all square, and pin it in this position.

  • Push all your webbing in through the open edges of the tube so that only 2mm of the webbing shows out the ends. The longer piece of webbing should have its "turned over" face in the same direction as the zip. You might need to readjust your pinning a little here. The imagined centre line running along each piece of webbing should align with the centre line of the zip, and although it will be crooked inside, have the section of webbing where it meets each side absolutely square.

  • Bring the two raw edges together so that they are level with each other and not crumpled around the webbing. Now all you need to do is sew a 1cm simple seam along each side so that the webbing is firmly held. As I said, do this with only one line of stitching if you are not sure, then return and sew several lines of stitching along each side, after which sew several more lines (or close zigzag) across where the webbing enters the seam. Look at the diagram which shows the top view of everything from the back (non-zip side) of the money belt. Remember, the zip underneath has its centre line aligned to be exactly along the centre of each side point where the webbing passes through.

  • Depending upon the relative power of your machine, the thickness of the needle you are using and the weight of material you're sewing, the sewing over the zip/webbing/material layer may be too tough for it to produce a useful stitch. If this happens, don't try to power through with the motor, but hand-crank the machine ten to fifteen smooth stitches over the thickest sections - some domestic machines are easier to do this with than others. This is a close-up picture of the trickiest area:

  • end view of zip + webbing + material

    Overview of final layout

the final assembly


(the zip is at the bottom out of view, its centre along the same
line as each webbing length's centre line as it meets the edge)






  • This is the final run now. Turn the money belt inside out and check it is a regular, rectangular shape, and that the zip has a smooth action across the full track. It's easy to catch some part of the fabric, webbing or zip tape during this last stage of assembly if you are a beginner. If the ends of the zip distort the inside edges, making it difficult to open the belt to a true rectangular shape (more a problem if you chose a very thin main material), then snip the unsewn section of zip tape and track close to the side stitching inside the belt. Double-check that your sewing is adequate if you're new to this - the webbing should be held by strong multiple, or close zigzag, stitches over where it enters the material at the side. It's best to get it right before you start your travels, rather than having to repair shoddy sewing in some windy hotel room in Dushanbe. You'll probably need a little loop of something to hold the loose end of webbing when the belt is worn - you could sew an offcut of webbing into a tube or use an elastic band (the easiest way).

  • The finished belt should look something like this:


  • Start filling it with cash and credit cards, but remember that it will be most comfortable to wear when lightly packed. Keep the zip track in smooth running condition by rubbing it with a wax candle (unlit!) now and again.

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You can download this complete guide as a PDF file (12 pages, with illustrations) here [330kB] download PDF money belt guide


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