Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Using a Covered Belt Kit (and a Rant)

Cidell and Trena

Vintage Belt Kit

One of the things I did for my Seersucker Social outfit was to make a matching belt for the first time. I am so hooked! I used a vintage belt kit that I got in a big bag of random sewing crap at the thrift store. The kit contained belting, a two piece coverable belt buckle, a hook for the buckle, and even the eyelets for the belt.

Cut Xes

I started by interfacing the fabric for the buckle. I was using a bit of lightweight and fairly sheer swiss dot batiste (purchased in Vietnam and made into McCall 5426). The interfacing gave it a little more heft and opacity. I placed the top part of the buckle on the interfaced side of the fabric and traced the holes. Next, I cut x-es into the corners, so I could fold the fabric up into the belt buckle.

Spray Adhesive

The only thing missing from my vintage kit was the piece of adhesive used to glue the fabric to the buckle.  I used a spray adhesive instead.

Fold Fabric Into Channel

Once you've sprayed your belt buckle with adhesive, place it onto the interfacing side of the fabric and then fold the fabric into place over the buckle. It doesn't have to beautiful inside the channels. This was my first time, so I will admit it's definitely not the best job (it looks fine from the front). Next time I will clip deeper into the corners. Trim off any excess fabric that can't comfortably fit inside the channels.

Snap Back in Place
When the front of the buckle is covered, you snap the back part of the buckle in place. Before covering the buckle, I was concerned about the two pieces staying together. The back part of the buckle is significantly smaller than the front, and when the front is uncovered the two don't stay together at all. When the front's channels are filled with fabric, however, the back snaps and stays in place because of the tension. Use pliers to close the loop that holds the hook on the buckle.

Punch Hole for Hook

To cover the belt itself I followed this tutorial. I used my eyelet setter tool to punch a hole for the hook to go through. The last two inches of the belt do not have belting--I punched the hole about 1/2 inch from the end of where the belting is. I used fray check on the hole. The recommendation on the packaging was to use an eyelet for the hook, but this seemed bulky and made it harder to buckle the belt.

Stitch Belt over Buckle

I folded over the part of the fabric belt that did not have belting in it and hand stitched it in place.
Use Tool to Cut Holes

 My sewing goody bag also came with a set of vintage eyelets. I have an eyelet setter gun type thing, but this set came with the tools you use with a hammer. One of the tools was a cutter, and it cut larger holes than my eyelet setter (which punches holes, rather than cutting them). I found that with the belting, I needed the larger holes. Using a piece of cardboard to protect the table and a lot of hammering, I used the cutter tool and hammer to cut my marked holes for the eyelets for fastening the belt.

Fray Check Holes

I used Fray Check on the holes, just because I'm paranoid like that.
Snug Fabric Against Base of Eyelets

There is an art to inserting eyelets with the gun-type eyelet-setter tool.  If you don't do it exactly right, the back of your eyelet just crumples and it doesn't set properly.

1.  Punch the hole first.
2.  Place the eyelet into the hole and (very important) snug the fabric down to the base of the eyelet.  You must be able to see the neck of the eyelet all the way around.  The photo at right illustrates how far down the eyelet neck you must snug.
3.  Put the stalk of the eyelet gun through the eyelet and recheck your snugging.
4.  Now you can squeeze the gun and set your eyelet.

Belt Eyelets

If you do not do the pre-punched hole and the super duper extra triple check snugging, your eyelet will mess up.  If you do it as described, 90% of your eyelets will go in perfectly.  I have not found any way to avoid the other 10%.

Luckily, all of my eyelets went in perfectly.  Phew!

 All photos of this project are here.

Love the little touch that the belt added!  I am now totally into the idea of making more.  I had never seen any covered belt kits except vintage ones but they are still made!  Most are by a company called Maxant and are available from a variety of sources (google "Maxant Buckle Kit").  I plan to order some soon from here, but I haven't used them before so can't recommend the store yet.


Anonymous left me a comment criticizing my shoes.  I am sure it was intended in a helpful spirit, but let me make clear:


I have crappy feet.  They are completely flat, I have tendinitis in my right foot, and they are unusually tender and unpadded.  I also have injury-prone calves.  It was only after I discovered Danskos (and I have tried other brands; Danskos are best for me) that I realized it was possible for your feet not to hurt all the time.

I don't have a car.  My feet are the way I get myself around.  Not to mention the fact that I am athletic, some might say to the point of fanatical.  Being able to put in a hard workout (or two, most days) is very important to my well-being.  Both of these things require that my crappy feet are in the best possible condition at all times.  Exchanging my transportation and my mental health for cute shoes is not an option.

I am sorry if my ability to walk for miles every day offends you.  But I am not going to endanger my health and my ability to remain active for as long as possible to satisfy your aesthetic standards.  In fact, I'm not willing to accept even the smallest amount of pain to satisfy your aesthetic standards.  Choosing pain when there is a pain-free solution strikes me as foolish.  I am willing to endure occasional discomfort in the name of fashion, but discomfort is *not* the same thing as pain.

Future comments regarding my shoes will be deleted.

In fact, I'm going to declare a new policy.  All inexplicably critical future comments, particularly those left anonymously (someone took issue with my ironing recently--what????), will be deleted.  They are annoying and upsetting, appear to be increasing in frequency, and I no longer feel obligated to let them stand.  It's nothing I would *ever* do, so why should I let it be done to me?


marysews said...

Thanks for the detailed tutorial on making a belt!

My feet are picky, too! I would love to wear what my daughter puts on her feet, but I have to keep them close to the ground. Really close.

I try to think positive (-ly). If I don't like something in a blog, I click on the next blog in my reader.

Anonymous said...

Aww, I was going to comment on your last post that I have those *exact* same Danskos and that I was encouraged to see someone (else?) looking cute in them! I'm in my 20s and feel a little defensive about my "old lady shoes"!

Anonymous said...

I for one love to see you in your Danskos! My feet too object (painfully) to wearing just about any other brand of shoes--and I'm in total agreement with you on the importance of choosing mobility over discomfort.


BeckyMc said...

I read a lot of blogs, and I have seen that the comments you leave on other blogs are always positive and helpful. I guess "those who can, do. Those who can't, nit-pick". Why should anyone be free to tear down another's good-hearted sharing of sewing knowledge? Thank you for the time you put in to your fun and informative blog. I am inspired by your work and enjoy your blog very much. And I will only think about your shoes when you sew them yourself!

annie said...

I absolutely don't get people who are (think they are) in charge of everything. Shoes are meant to protect your feet firstly. If they are attractive, that's great. But remember that's subjective. Jimmy Choo attractive versus comfortable attractive. I'll have the latter, thanks. That's why I wear low heels.

I also have no use for people who criticize anonymously. Spineless.

Lynn (YSG!) said...

I also refuse to sacrifice comfort for fashion in shoes. As a teacher, I am on my feet all day and only sit down for quizzes. It would be better for the world if my feet didn't hurt. While Danskos don't work for me, I do love my Eccos. After years if enduring sore calves and aching arches, I will not give up comfort for style. It is just not worth it.

Pixel Pixie said...

I sometimes get criticized for wearing ankle socks with heels. My response is that it's only a fashion faux pas because someone else decided it was, and me not getting blisters trumps your style indignation. I don't give a crap about mainstream fashion; I care about what I like and what I feel comfortable in. So rock those Danskos!

Karin said...

Well said! On all counts.
I can relate to your foot trouble. And I can attest that, if you don't look after your feet, the misalignment travels up your legs and ruins your knees!
I can see how the belt making kit could become addictive. The result is cute, unique and very professional looking.

Meghan said...

I totally support your rant. People don't realize how hurtful and personal those negative comments can be. Also, as someone who wears a shoe size only about 4 companies make, I've had plenty of people criticize my footwear over the years. Some of us just don't have the option of walking into a regular shoe store and finding something that fits. Anyway, I love your blog--keep up the great work!

Stephanie Farinelli said...

Thank you for the step by step pictures!

I love my Birks and can't wear regular shoes!

You go, girl!

Donna said...

I'm a loyal reader but I don't often comment. I just wanted to chime to say that - yes - delete, delete, delete the icky comments! That's what the delete button is for. :) Thanks for sharing the eyelet info!

carolyn said...

I am a loyal reader who never comments. Love your shoes, your sewing and your fashion sense. I also loved your rant. Right on!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say, fortune favored you when you didn't have the adhesive piece in your belt kit. The adhesive usually bled through the fabric and made the buckle look dirty after a week or so. The spray adhesive seems much better.
Your shoes look fine to me.

Lana from Illinois (no online presence, so sorry for the Anonymous)

M Kate said...

I love your Danskos - and all your shoes! I am totally with you - we only get two feet in this life, so why make them (and the rest of you) miserable? I have some dark turquoise Dansko sandals that I wear a lot, and today I'm wearing some by Jambu. There are indeed plenty of very cute yet comfortable options in footwear these days.

And, of course, your belt tutorial is wonderful. I'll have to put some of my grandma's random buckles to use soon. Thank you!

Sara said...

Elizabeth from SEWN said she was thinking of switching from pumps to flats but said that she didn't want to look like she'd "stopped trying". After thinking about that for a while my thoughts are that wearing heels can look like you're trying too hard. There's something to be said for "I don't give a **** shoes". Same with cars.

Sigrid said...

You're right about deleting abusive comments. And there's no way you need to explain yourself for the shoes you wear, your choice, your blog, your life, your feet.

The belt is cute, thanks for explaning it.

Anonymous said...

I think blog lurkers start feeling that they know you so well that they have a right to make the type of comments that people usually reserve for true friends. They forget that they are strangers, because you are not a stranger to them. Delete the comments, ignore them, or take it as a compliment that you have truly connected with people through your writing.

Rachel said...

Thank you so much for the detailed tutorial on the belt. I have been wanting to try this. Your explanations and tutorials are always the best. I do not understand people who feel the need to criticize others. You are an adult and you know what is best for you and your feet. I really like your style and the way you put outfits together.

Margo said...

Nice job on the belt! I love the pops of orange with the green. Such a fresh and summery color combo, and you look great in it.

Definitely delete those nasty comments away!

Trisha said...

I wear comfy shoes too, and I think they are quite cute. I think being comfortable and pain-free is attractive--you will be able to go places and hang out with your friends, while others in the painful heels will be complaining about their feet.

sdBev said...

I don't even allow the anon commentator. In my experience they're either spammers or trolls. I don't have time for that.

Lynn said...

Love the belt! I want to try this on an upcoming project.

I rave about my Danskos all the time - they help my feet and my hips as well. I'm impressed with both your athleticism and your sewing!

Anonymous said...

Those vintage belt kits are a fun project. I used one to make a matching belt for a vintage 50s cocktail dress (which was my wedding dress).

High heels are beautiful, but impossible for anyone that has to be mobile at all. I had a foot injury (plantar fasciitis) that lasted for years after I wore some moderately high heels for job interview. Good brand, but that didn't matter.

And yes, delete the baddies. Had enough of mean girls in junior high school.

Anyway, thanks for the inspiration!

~Jen, NYC

(a frequent lurker)

T. Sedai said...

Thanks for the belt tutorial!

Also, it is funny because I always think you have such cute shoes! They always go with whatever new fabulousness you are showing off, and I often wish I was able to accessorize my wardrobe as well as you do. Ignore the annoying nit-pickers, there is nothing good to be gained from stressing over their criticisms.

Mrs. Micawber said...

Very nice work on the belt. I never thought of cutting the liner short at the buckle end - great idea.

P.S. Someone criticized your ironing?!?

P.P.S. Wear those Danskos! I work on my feet and if I don't wear the best possible (supportive and comfortable) shoes I can afford, I get plantar fasciitis - very painful. Health and comfort trump fashion almost any time in my book. It's a question of priorities.

Ripple Dandelion said...

I truly think that sewing/fashion bloggers who show themselves wearing realistic, healthy footwear are doing their readers a great service. We see so many images of lovely outfits worn with high heels that our eyes get used to that look only and nothing else looks right. And yet there is absolutely no question that wearing constricting shoes, or much of a heel at all, is hideous torture for our feet.

I just got some of the buckles to cover that you linked to (from A Fashionable Stitch) and they seem identical to the vintage ones to me.

Two workouts a day?!?!!!

Bratling said...

Good tutorial. :) And as someone who due to my lovely little disease (I have lymphedema in both legs) can't just go and buy shoes, I empathize. I own a grand total of one pair. My feet are perpetually swollen and thus the majority of the shoes out there don't fit. My one pair looks like Frankenstein shoes, but they fit. If I want cute shoes, I have to have them custom made, which costs over $1000 per pair and I have much more interesting things to spend that kind of money on! (As it is, my Frankenstein shoes cost around $500, but bare feet isn't an option... and I've been wearing my Frankenstein shoes since 2007. Good thing is that they're built to last!)

Anonymous said...

o.m.g. that is absurd. BTW, it is all your fault that i am now a danskos addict (was it YOU who outbid me on that one pair??...) as i too have suffered from back, knee, foot problems. When i saw you looking so cute, i thought, hey! she has these issues and yet look she's wearing such cute shoes, with a little heel even! soo much cuter than my typical clodhoppers. we'll have the last laugh: obviously anonymous hasn't tried danskos. yeay! more for us on ebay!

Samina said...

Not anonymous, but a rant nonetheless: why do people feel that they're allowed to say anything they want to, to anyone they want to? I can't believe some of the crap I come across, under the cloack of "that's my opinion & I'm entitled to share it"! What happened to saying nothing if you've got nothing nice to say?

FWIW, You & I can be buried in neighboring plots, since they'll be pulling my Danskos & Birks of my cold dead feet, too!

lhutch said...

I am so happy to know the belt kits are still manufactured. Thanks, I've been looking for years. And now I have to go Google Danskos and Eccos to see if there is something out there that would help me. Thanks again, love what I learn from you.

Sewfast said...

Here, Here! Love my Danskos and my dogs can't function without them. I think they are cute and get compliments all the time! You keep on wearing what pleases you and to hell with anonymous haters who can't even stand behind their criticisms!

Jody said...

I hope that the person who left the shoe comment feels appropriately superior for her "helpful" advice. Seriously, people's priorities can be so off base.

Gaylene said...

People can be extraordinarily crap can't they, but I think it shows up more on sewing posts, because the other 99.9% of comments tend to be really supportive. You always look so stylish, and pain free......hmmmm could this be why Victoria Beckam doesn't look very jolly?

birdmommy said...

I am filled with envy that you have such easy access to Danskos! I am longing for several pairs of Valeries - especially the Hawaiian print ones. But I can only find one distributor in Canada, and do they have any of the cool colours and cute prints? No, of course not!
Anyways, just wanted to say that I love your outfits, and your shoes!

Sassy T said...

Well said! I have dodgy feet but I walk everywhere so am always in walking, shoes or sandals and they are not pretty but who cares. Hate the way anonymous commenters leave nasty comments. If you don't have anything nice to say on a blog or constructive move along. Just block any nasty commenters, think you can do that. Great belt.

mjb said...

FWIW, since my husband and I got married, he's called me out on having one set of shoes that I like to look at and one that I actually wear. So I've made an effort to buy less shoes overall so I can buy better quality shoes (including Danskos) that I actually wear. He's also fully supportive of my shoes being good quality and not hurting my feet, since he'll have to hear the complaints in the long run if I wreck my back and legs from wearing the wrong thing! I don't walk to work or work out much, but it's still very important for fashion not to cause long term health effects.

Anonymous said...

I think it was you that suggested that I splurge on a set of Danskos that I thought were cute earlier this summer. I still haven't bought any, but I'm saving up for some. :-) 'Course if I don't like them, I'm totally blaming you! :-P

I helped cover a buckle for a dress for my SIL, and her adhesive was too dried out to be used, so we did stitch witchery--give it a shot of steam and tuck it in! :-) Your idea might be a bit better, but my MIL didn't have any spray adhesive anyway (I had the same idea), so we made it work with what she had. So thanks for letting me know that this will, in fact, work for next time.

Also, you can sew right through that belting--we did on my SIL's cheapie Brother machine and it didn't so much as blink. I'm not sure how it would have handled 2 layers of belting, but one didn't bother it at all. :-)

Anonymous said...

Good for you, re: comments! I've heard it said that the comments section on your own website is like your living room. If someone's being a jerk, you get to boot them/delete their comment, guilt- and anxiety-free. Simple as that. Your house, your rules.

I wish I could find the source for that, but I can't -- it was a very interesting discussion.

Jessie Johnson said...

It's YOUR blog, YOUR fashion style, YOUR life... I can't possibly imagine why anyone would feel the need to criticize/correct it. I say feel free to delete any and all comments for whatever reason you choose! BTW, love the belt AND the shoes.

ValHalla said...

Let the haters hate and all that--I thought it was amusing how the person thought they were being nice, but they just don't get it. I totally agree with Ripple Dandelion, women like us who do not subscribe to foot binding need to stand up for healthy feet and not stand for anyone trying to make us feel badly about it!

Andrea said...

I am going to have to give my pathetic feet a go in a pair of Dansko's - I live in my sneaks with orthotics.

I am happy to hear you will delete the unkind comments - why do people waste their energy being mean?

Don't recall if I mentioned it before, but I really love that dress. :)

Melissa said...

The belt is adorable. I got a kit recently at a thrift store too and was super happy to find it.

As for the Danskos, OMGosh, I'm in love! My sister and mom recently converted me and they have some really cute and styling shoes.

Trumbelina said...

Someone may have told you this already, but Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch sells belt kits:

I was going to make a belt for my most recent project, and I had a vintage buckle, but none of the other supplies. I might try it now though since seeing your great results.

Also, I love your shoes. I have flat feet too, and started working out barefoot (Turbofire at home on carpet). It has really, saved my knees and the strength in my calves has increased greatly. Do whatever works!

Summer said...

People who don't walk to get where they're going don't know what they're talking about. Feet shouldn't hurt. I don't even think so-called cute shoes are very cute!

Marie said...

Thanks for showing us how you made your belt. I actually thought it was bought.

I have actually started buying Danskos from reading your blog. They are so comfy.

Vicki said...

Heavens to Murgatroyd! Some people are rude and over opinionated. Very cute belt and outfit.

SheriNJ said...

You are my friend in my head! I am so happy to read that you will delete the negative stuff because I love to read comments, and when I read a negative one, it makes me feel bad! I read these blogs for fun, and mean spirited comments are not fun. Plus - you are too cute and smart!

Roxy said...

I know what you mean about people thinking they have the right to comment on your shoes and the expectation that you should be a slave to fashion. I live in flats and rarely wear heels. I use my feet and legs to get me places. High heels cause way too much damage and my knees are bad enough as is. That said I have a few mid heels I my collection. But they are all comfy!

I recently read a book by the mad men stylist who went on and on about how women should feel good about the way they are etc etc and then followed it up by insisting heels should be worn at all, absolutely all times because it made for a sexier figure and a wiggle when you walk. No wonder women are confused with messages like this.

Any way, wear what you like. An active lifestyle is way more fashionable than shoes.

I love the belt. That fabric is gorgeous. Where in Vietnam did you buy it?

liza jane said...

People are stupid. That's my conclusion. I've seen quite a bit of hate flying around the blogiverse lately and I don't like it. Being of the southern variety, I know that if I don't have anything nice to say I shouldn't say anything at all. But I rarely find myself not having something nice to say, except when people are ugly and critical.

And I wear Danskos all the time. I'm a teacher and I'm on my feet all day on concrete floors- they are all I can stand to wear.

Carol said...

What's wrong with your shoes? I like them, they match your outfit and you're comfortable in them! What is wrong with people? I wonder if the anonymity of the internet gives people permission to be rude. I wonder if this person would say the same thing to your face? Anyway, I'm pleased to see your detailed belt making entry and I have shied away from doing this several times now and sometimes a dress needs a matching belt!

Debbie Cook said...

First, thanks a bazillion for the self-belt pics. It is something that just entered my radar for a dress I'm making so very timely and helpful.

Second, your feet - your choice. (And besides, your fantastic legs make any shoe look cute.)

Third, I guess I have a thick skin, but I'm still always amazed/amused at the opinions I get in my blog comments about stuff I didn't even put out there. I'm plenty old enough now (gulp) that I don't feel any need to succumb to peer pressure. Good to see that you've learned it early on.

Lalie said...

I have horrible feet too. You've given me a lot of inspiration and ideas for how to dress nicely while still having comfortable feet. So thanks!


Claire S. said...

Man, it's YOUR space, why people think they can/should be rude is beyond me !

I don't have foot problems but I do walk and the shoes must be comfortable. If you don't walk, you don't get it, I suppose.

meli88a said...

What a great tutorial! I bought a bunch of belt kits but am too chicken to try it out.

prttynpnk said...

This is your forum to educate and create, to drop in and rain on your parade is crass and ugly. I hope it wont inhibit your postings, they are really enjoyable.

Sufiya said...

Well I scrolled down and looked at all your shoes-and they look FINE to ME. I hate this ridiculous high heel/platform trend being fobbed off on women by MALE designers, you will notice!: stupid and dangerous, plus you end up with grotesqueries on the ends of your legs. Toes going every which way, bunions, corns...just google "Victoria Beckham bunions" if you want to see the epitome of "HIDEOUS".No wonder she looks so sour all the time! Feel free to use the delete button without mercy on anyone who makes unwelcome criticisms.

Anonymous said...

I think this is only the 2nd time I've ever commented, but I wanted to say brava for comfortable shoes. At the moment I have a few very uncomfortable pairs and not one super-comfortable pair, and I have recently decided it's time for much more foot health and foot comfort in my life. I was thinking the other day how we think of high heels as a symbol of female power (among other things) but how they're most often practically crippling--what's powerful about not being able to run or even walk fast?

Anonymous said...

P.S. I just scrolled back through several of your previous posts, and I thought all your footwear was adorable.

marleen said...

Actually I like your shoes! Thanks for telling the brand name so I can find a pair!!

Melissa said...

This is a very timely post for me as I've been strugging with my feet and have been wondering which brand to try. After reading your post, I went to Zappos and immediately purchased a pair (in your honor!!)

Thank you for bringing this up. I really enjoy your blog and am a long time follower.


Allison @ House of Hepworths said...

Mean people suck! And I happen to like your shoes. ;)

I'm glad you stood up for yourself and said something. So many bloggers are afraid that they aren't "allowed" to stand up for themselves. Pppffft to them!

Anyway, love your blog. Love you! Glad to call you a friend and an "associate relative" ha! xoxo

Allison @ House of Hepworths

Skaapie said...

Hey Trena, I too am a walker/user of public transport and always look at you shoes with envy! They look perfect for the job.
I envy that you have such cool walking shoes and lament the fact that my part of the world has such poor selection!
Hugs, Frances-with-severe-shoe-envy!

jenables said...

Since the lurkers are coming out of the woodwork i will too. I commend you for being yourself and wouldn't dream of darkening your accomplishments with negativity. But to those who feel the blogosphere in regards to sewing is a negative place...I'm hoping and guessing those comments are generally few and far between, unlike ANYTHING on YouTube. Plus i sadly discovered the manosphere lately. Please do not google this unless you want to lose all hope for humanity. The posts and comments on those blogs make any negativity here seem like a party. Sigh...time to stop reading and sew something!! Please don't be deterred by jerks..not that you'd let jerks deter you, but keep up the good work!
PS I've been reading your blog for about a year, and i feel like your style gets better and better!! Kudos

Janine said...

Gosh, even if you didn`t have feet problems it is your business what shoes you wear and it is rude to pick on what others wear.
I was reading another sewing blog where the author was upset about a negative comment she received on pattern review but then this same author then had blog posts being rude about what others were wearing and was quite b####y about it so this also annoyed me.
You always look great and I love that your style is different .
And I find it hard to comprehend when people do wear uncomfortable shoes all for the shallow name of fashion.

velosewer said...

You should do and wear what you want. It's your life and your blog.

Thanks for the covered belt kit tute. I want to make one and you've shed more light on what I need to plan for.

Sew-4-Fun said...

Great tutorial about making your belt. I've never tried this before but when I do I'll be sure to refer back. Thanks!

I know all too well about some "comments". I will say great timing re mentioning your Danskos though. My teenage daughter recently started working retail so I bought her some Danskos. She screwed up her nose at first as teenagers do (LOL!), but now she is thanking me and recommending them to her friends. So yes I can understand why they will have to be peeled from your cold, dead feet. LOL!! I've been eyeing off a pair for myself. :)

Gauss said...

I think your shoes are fabulous and I completely agree about needing to be comfortable and healthy before "fashionable." If fashion consists of, I don't know, high-heel shoes that don't fit right, cost $1000 and you cannot walk in, then no thanks, I'll keep my Birkenstocks!

I love your blog, even though I don't comment often, and your posts are always thoughtful and entertaining. Thank you!

emadethis said...

Thanks for the eyelet tips! I will definitely search out a vintage kit the next belt--I try not to notice my moto jacket's sad Dritz eyelets.

I'm sorry about the ick feet comment. You gotta do what you gotta do with shoes. As for me, I hate heels...they hurt my feet and I don't care that I'm short--flats it'll be always. Dansko doesn't make shoes small enough for me, but I still have a pair because the saleslady told me that they're not supposed to come to the back of my foot...absurd. I can walk for a long time in those and they're my preferred travel shoe, but after a couple of days, the too big size starts messing with my arch and my calves. Sad. I don't know who makes a better walking shoe.

Ms. McCall said...

I'm another long time lurker, who just has to comment. I really like your sandals, and I just don't understand people walking around (or not being able to walk around) in heels or other annoying footwear.

I also heartily support your resolution to delete any and all comments that you care to. It's your blog, no one has a right to post what ever they'd like, they can make their own blog if they feel like they're being silenced.

In spite of all that, I actually think that the original offending commenter actually thought they were giving you a little piece of advice. I think they thought they were doing you a favour, and despite it not being at all helpful, I honestly don't think the commenter wishes you any foot pain, or even hurt feelings.

Anonymous said...

Oh stop making me laugh with your wonderful defense of comfortable shoes! The anonymity of the internet does lead folks to do and say things they wouldn't have the balls to say to your face, so good for you for saying this is my house with my rules and if you don't like it suck it.

I'm a flight attendant and stand up all day. I buy my shoes from the comfort section at Zappos and if someone doesn't like it, they can suck it.

Keep up the good work!

LinB said...

Oh, dear, now I am mentally running through all the comments I feel so free to make, on so many sewing blogs, and praying that I did not ever write something that was hurtful to the author. If I ever did, I heartily apologize -- it was not deliberate. You do not have to sit still and let poison people pour their vitriol onto you; no matter how insistent are the poison people that you must not only listen to them but also instantly obey them. Best to just drown them in sugar, I've found.

Clio said...

I'll never understand why people leave negative comments. I support your new policy - you've been too patient and accommodating thus far IMHO.

I'm going to have to check out Dansko. Like you, I don't have great feet (or joints) but am committed to my activities (running, yoga, walking a ton). I feel like you always hit that crossroads where cute meets comfy. And it goes really well with your style, which I see as being very happy and fun.

Lucia said...

Love your belt! Polka dots make me smile every time :-) Thanks for the info on Maxant. I might have to try them if I can't find a local source. And I especially love your strength and gumption to tell off that Anonymous who didn't like your shoes. Helpful spirit or not, I say Bravo! for your new policy!

Jan said...

Your shoes are cute, right now I'm wearing big white athletic shoes and would trade you. Your color sense is always great, and I like
the Knit Cowl Dress.

McVal said...

I'm going to have to try that belt! You make it look so easy!

And I'm sorry about whatever comments you received. There are some rude people out there that think their opinions have to be voiced no matter how hurtful.

I had an experience like that and had gotten flamed so badly, I just deleted the post entirely. Who knew garbage pickup was so controversial!!!
So I know exactly how you feel.

jenables said...

Birdmommy - you said you live in Canada but could only find one dansko retailer but I live in Vancouver, and the dansko site tells me there are fourteen authorized dealers within five miles (how many km is that, 8?) Of where i am. So try using their store locator! :-)

Summer Flies said...

Hmm... I find that totally amusing in that funny strange not funny haha, way. I've made comments on your shoes before but in that "I want those shoes" way. I LOVE nearly every pair of shoes you wear. I'm in awe of your shoe fabulousness. Having said that - in summer I live in Birkenstock and in winter two pairs of Merrel, a pair of boots and some nice shoes for special outings. Keep your great shoes up. Must check what Dansko's are!

Dilly said...

That belt is super cute! And it looks pretty neat to me, especially for a first try. It's interesting seeing it from the back and how it actually "works", I'd always sort of assumed the fabric cover was all sewn on, which seemed so hideously fiddly to me and put me off - I think I might have a go now I've seen what actually goes on!

Re. the shoes, two points. Firstly, I like pretty much all the shoes you wear, and the sandals in the last post were definitely included in this, I think they are super cute!

Secondly, there have been things you've worn that I'm not so keen on, or don't think particularly suit you, but I see this on all the blogs I read, as well as with people in the real world, and I'm sure people have the same opinion of some of the outfits I post on my blog. However, I see this as a primarily sewing blog so, for me, commenting on whether your shoes etc suit you or not isn't terribly helpful or appropriate. Constructive criticism on fit or sewing techniques, yes, but just saying something like "I don't like your shoes" (or whatever the other commenter had said), no. I wouldn't go up to a random in the street and say that! I guess (as someone else said above) you can sort of spin it into a compliment - people who read your blog feel like they are "friends" with you, and can therefore give the sort of advice friends might do, forgetting that you actually don't know each other. Coupled with the lack of tone of voice and body language as it's written down, and bingo you have offensive comments!

Anyway, that went on a bit (wanted to make sure I was making myself clear ;) - this is your blog, it's effectively a personal diary, so definitely delete comments that upset you, no need to keep bad feelings hanging around!

PS I'd never heard of Dansko, but I looked up their website, and am now coveting these...

Valerie said...

I'm right with you on the comfortable shoes thing, and love my Danskos. Pricey, but so worth it be able to walk for as long as you want to. BTW, there are pretty good bargains on Danskos on Not affiliated, just a friendly psa.

Love your blog and your sewing!

Anonymous said...

You can already see how much support you have! I enjoy your blog and am a loyal reader too. I never understand why people feel they can be so rude. Actually, I am going to get a pair of Danskos myself as I too have very difficult and painful feet. Just hope they are available in the UK!

Mary said...

I have two things to say:
1. thank you VERY much for the belt tutorial. I have been slowing down my sewing in order to concentrate on design details and oh! the learning curve is terrifically high.
2. Your spirit and enthusiasm for what you do is inspirational to me. I appreciate that you responded to the shoe comment by making a decision and just posting your reasons for that decision. End of discussion. :-)

oh, and I love the belt. It looks fresh with your outfit.

Margaret said...

Oh wow, sorry for the rude comment! Funny thing is. . .I've always loved your shoes! :) Danskos are wonderful ~ in feel, in appearance. I've never commented on your blog before, but I just felt compelled to let you know that I think you look fine in your shoes (and I find it astounding that anyone thinks it okay to criticize a private blog). :)

Denise A. Menchaca, Ph.D. said...

I LOVE your Danskos! In fact, it's almost all I wear, too. I have degenerative disk disease in my back and healthy shoes are a must! Besides, Danskos are cute.:)

Anonymous said...

hahahahaha Seriously though why do you even have anonymous commenting enabled? Only spineless losers leave negative anonymous comments. The rest are trolls (which I often find quite amusing) but they really should put their identity where their mouth is, methinks.

On a related note, please install disqus so I can have a conversation with you without losing my eyes and mind to recaptcha Disqus handles spam blocking for you (it uses Akismet, the same algorithm that's built into Wordpress) and enables cross platform commenting while keeping tabs on comments, responses, pings and trackbacks. This means people from wordpress, typepad, livejournal, overblog etc can keep track of responses without having to get a Google ID.

Goodbye Valentino said...

It looks great but when I read that Meg from Mood Sewciety Blog sends hers off to a lady in California, I may have to pass on making my own.
You are amazing!

kathy said...

Love the belt.

Good for you for setting the comment bar higher.

Noile said...

Eh, let the pointy-toed crowd suffer.

My reward (and yours, too, presumably) for wearing comfortable, sometimes dorky, shoes all my life is incredibly happy, functional feet.

I'm going to be striding into old age on these puppies, without any mobility problems, as a result. Talk about pay-off!

As a weird aside, my feet are the only part of my body that shows no sign of aging -- thank you, lifetime of comfy shoes!

theperfectnose, I can't comment on your blog because you use Disquis, though I'd like to, and enjoy it very much.

Without the option to leave my choice of name/URL (which, in Blogger, only comes with enabling the Anonymous function), I wouldn't comment at all, since I write several blogs, and comment, each time, under the appropriate interest-related identity.

I'm not interested in adding yet another ID and associated password by using Disquis, or in being confined to a single ID when commenting. I have too many varied interests for that.

It's a privacy issue, for me, too. I don't want all of my comments trackable through a single commenting system. Many perfectly decent people prefer anonymity, and value it, on the Internet. Using a single commenting system aids the aggregation of individual data in ways many people find highly offensive and invasive.

I moderate comments on my own WP blogs, and that works fine. I see all comments, but they never show up on my blogs, since it's easy to push the "spam" button.

pella said...

Definitely delete inappropriate comments, and wear what shoes you like! I haven't seen a belt kit for years, wonder if they're available here?

Jean S said...

Love the belt!

Re: the shoe slam, someone up ahead of me mentioned the "you wouldn't go into someone's living room and criticize their sofa" discussion. That was on the Yarn Harlot blog, and my take on it was, "Well, actually I know people like that, one of whom is a sister-in-law."

But here in blogland, one can hit the delete button! Rock on!!

Joy said...

The belt is awesome (do people say that anymore)? I hope you find plenty of things to wear it with.

I always wear "comfy" shoes, too, due to super high arches (therefore high bone on top of foot) and huge bunions. Lovely word picture, I know.

I suppose it attests to your large readership that you're pulling some comments from the dregs.

StephC said...

Bahahah! Haters gonna hate. I love your rebuttal, thanks for helping to keep the online sewing world a civil and constructive place. :)

Your belt looks AWESOME.

StephC said...

...And I'm all for leaving up obnoxious comments, it only shows the commentator in a negative light.

Anonymous said...

I scrolled down, expecting to see my big, black, Dansko clogs. What you are wearing can hardly be classified in the same shoe-niverse.

There are times and places where suffering for an hour might be worth the beauty, but suffering every day is not worth it. Especially when there are stylish AND healthful options available.

Gorgeous Things said...

I moderate comments on my blog, thanks to cowardly anonymous trolls. That stops them dead in their tracks, and I think that when they realize they won't get beyond the moderation gate, they don't bother to post the nastiness.

I'm with you on comfortable shoes. I have terrible feet, and so-called fabulous shoes kill me after a very short amount of time. Wear what makes YOU feel good, and to heck with the haters.

I agree with StephC that leaving the comment up lets the world know what a rotten person the commenter is. But I would take it down to, because why be subjected to that every time you look at the post?

Cennetta said...

I moderate comments to my blog to eliminate the possibility of negative comments being posted to my blog. You should not have to justify why you wear a certain shoe or anything else. It's your choice.

Trena, I enjoy reading your blog. It is a great source of inspiration. Please continue. BTW- Super cute belt.

Anonymous said...


You go girl!

I'm another lurker who has your SBA bookmarked, and regularly drops by to see what lovely patterns you have sewn up.

Love your blog and love your sense of humor.

Shoes - Sanita is my joy, they made the original Dansko line.

Birkenstock, Dromedaris, and Spring Step fill in most of the rest of my shoe closet. I will also be dying in comfy shoes, because I'm not interested in pain.


Mimi Jackson said...

Okay, so someone criticized your shoes. No, it wasn't a helpful comment, and all it is a fact. They don;t like them. You do. The shoes are yours, not theirs. The end. Be happy, and just don't publish irrelevant comments, I say. Sew on!

Alexandra said...

Cute shoes are fun but not practical. In my profession which involves standing in one place for long periods of time, I see a whole host of flats (incl. dansko) with formal wear and I say go for it. If you have to stand for long periods of time or walk distances, wearing dumb shoes is just that - dumb. What are you, Trena, supposed to do, buy special shoes just for your photographs?

Bring on the Danskos, I say. Our obsession with 'a pretty (or perfect) picture' over 'reality' in our culture is ridiculous. Thanks for keeping it real.

Beckie said...

I always think you wear fun & quirky shoes...they seem very well-suited to the personality you project here =)

Birkenstock-wearing lurker

Nina said...

Anonymous is a fool. I love your shoes!

Kelly said...

The internet is filled with cowards that lurk behind their computers and engage in cyber-bullying that they don't have the guts to do in person.

I've been viewing your blog for about 2.5 years now and I love the fact that:
1. you sew ALOT!
2. you have a small bust like I do
3. you have a fun/quirky style that always makes me happier once I've seen your final garment
4. you have detailed pictures that I can use to work from.

So those of us that keep coming back are here for a reason. Who cares what Anonymous thinks? I most certainly do not.