I’ve talked about pouches, now I’m going to talk about what they attach to – the belt and the purse rig.
The belt is actually quite easy to sew, if rather tedious. I just attach the buckle at one end, then sew a vertical line attaching the nylon strap to the leather every 4cm, all the way around (plus a bit extra where I had to use a second piece of leather). The nylon strap should be as long as your belts, plus a bit for attaching the buckle; the leather should be a bit less than the narrowest you’d ever have the belt. The height of the leather piece is important too – you need a bit of a lip at the top, maybe 0.5-1cm, to protect against any scratchy bits on the pouches, and enough below that the belt grips your clothes and stays in place. Mine’s about 2 inches thick.
As for the buckle… The rough belt had d-rings, which are great for small adjustments but take a bit longer to get on and off. For the good belt, I picked a buckle with quick-release that also looked like one side could be adjustable. The quick release was great, but in practice the adjustable part was too loose. After the belt fell off a couple of times, I added a scrap of leather to the end so that it couldn’t slide out all the way. Now at worst, it ends up on my hips. Next time I might put in a separate adjustable bit, though.
Now, on to the purse rig. This was, as I said, basically three nylon straps sewn together every 4cm. Originally it was one strap folded at the ends, with d-rings in the folds, but I quickly discovered that the d-rings needed to be at the top, not the sides – if the forces don’t balance, the rig will bend and squish and be really annoying. On this one the d-rings are attached with fabric scraps, but next time I’d use some leftover ribbon. I did try just sewing them on, but the thread wore through pretty quickly – you need something that’ll resist abrasion and hold a decent weight. (More than the weight of the purse – I tend to rest my hand on my purse at times, and if the purse got caught on a backpack I wouldn’t want it breaking.)
As for the strap, I’m still using the one off another purse. All it needs is a clip at each end, and adjustable length. I like the narrow straps most purses come with – my purse is light enough for it, and it’s a great place to put buttons. :)
That’s all for now – hopefully I’ll have more to talk about next month, though. I’ve got plans for not just waterproofing, but also two new pouches… :)