,

How to draft a Garter Belt

How to Draft a Garter belt

Garter belts were an essential foundation garment – there were no stay-up stockings, nor had panty hose been invented yet. Putting on a garter belt was an everyday activity. Not today. Garter belts have entered the realm of sexy vintage lingerie. Obviously you want one! I’ve seen many patterns for garter belts but as in all patterns, they might not fit every body. You can draft a pattern to make one in less time than it would go to buy one. Here’s How to Draft a Garter Belt in a simple, vintage style that will fit your unique body shape and measurements.
 garter belts catalogue

 Let’s Draft!

First take your waist and hip measurements, and the distance from your waist to your hip. Draw a rectangle on a piece of paper equal in width to half your hip measurement mark as equal in height to the distance between your waist and hip. If you want your belt below the waist, you can change it later. Mark the right side of the rectangle as Center front and the Left side as Center Back.

Now fold the rectangle in two to find the Side Seam, and in two again between the side seam and the ends to find the position of the garter elastic extensions. Your rectangle will be divided into 4 equal parts.

 GB divide into 4 (1)
 Now to reduce the waist. Subtract your waist measurement (32″) from your hip measurement (40). Divide that measurement by 2 (we are drafting one-half the body so that is 4″) Divide that number by 6. That is the size of each side of the 3 darts we are going to create. For example:
40 – 31 = 9″ and 9/2 = 4.5″ and 4.5/6 – .75″
or for a metric example
100 – 76 = 24 and 24/2 =12 and 12/6 = 2 cm

Mark this distance out from each dotted vertical line. You should have 6 marks in all, each (in my case) .75″ away from the vertical lines.

 GB 8 marks

Connect the 6 marks to the bottom of the vertical lines at the hip line. These are your dart legs.

 GB darts drawn (1)

Cut along the black vertical lines B and SS and fold so the pink dart legs align and the darts are closed

 GB curved (1)
 Draw a gentle curve along the top line for the waist, keeping as close to the original straight lines as possible.
 GB waist curve
Draw a curve from the bottom of dart B through the dart at SS to the bottom of dart F as shown. Draw a curve from the bottom of dart F to the CF line, making sure the curve joins the line at a right angle. Finally draw a curve from the bottom of the B dart to the CB line, again meeting the CB line at a right angle. This curved line is higher due to the size of the CB fastener you will be using.
 GB bottom curves (1)
 Connect the waist curve and the hip curves with straight lines at CB and CF. Add seam allowances if you are adding trim to the bottom edge or lining the garter belt. Garter belts are often made from woven fabrics, such as silk satin or charmeuse. Depending on the type of fastener you choose, you may have to add some length at the CB.
 GB seams added

If you imagine the full length garter belt (instead of just one half) this is what it looks like. You could keep it in one piece or you could break it into smaller sections to save fabric or to provide some interesting detail.

 GB draft done
So now you know how to draft a garter belt – go and find some nylon stockings to wear with it. How about those vintage style ones with a seam up the back!
8 replies
  1. Yvonne
    Yvonne says:

    There is another great reason to wear a garter belt and stockings, rather than pantyhose. Some of us are so susceptible to yeast infections that it is a very bad idea to cover the area with anything but pure cotton. When I was in my 20s, I wore garter belts for practical reasons. I do not wear pantyhose or stockings now, but if I did I would have to make a garter belt since the ones available now are intended to be on for about 2 minutes. They are so pitiful I wouldn’t pay 50 cents for them.

    Reply
    • Ivan
      Ivan says:

      The skimpy 4 strap belts are for the bedroom. If you look at garter belt websites, There are robust 6 / 8 / 10 / 14 strap belts which are suited to daily use and will last.

      Reply
      • Beverly Johnson
        Beverly Johnson says:

        I disagree. I wore many garter belts in high school and university, before the days of pantyhose. I never wore anything more than 4 straps. If spaced correctly, 4 is quite enough, in my opinion.

        Reply
  2. Bart
    Bart says:

    Well i remember my mother wearing stockings with her girdle with the garter straps. Some of the men that were friends of my father thought she had some “nice” legs. I just liked the feel of those “hose” .

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] the garter belt was going to be infinitely more complicated than it turned out to be. I followed this tutorial to draft the pattern, which took altogether less than half an hour, including a lot of […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *