I am constantly finding such cute vintage dresses at thrift shops that are a bit too wide and shapeless. The colors, patterns, and fabrics make it out of the question to leave them on the rack, so the natural fix is to belt them. I have a few braided jersey belts that I have purchased for much too much at American Apparel, and thought it would be an easy project to make myself. With some thrifted men's tees, a scissors and some untangling help from a friend, it was like making a gigantic friendship bracelet with Ladybird.
Tee-shirts in the colors you want your belts to be
1. Use a belt that fits for a guideline as to how long to make your fabric strips. The braiding process makes it a little shorter than what you start with by about 3-4 inches.
2. Cut the bottom hem from the tee and discard. Cut a strip about an inch thick at a slight angle, so that when you get to your starting point you can keep going, making a coil-like pattern of one long strip.
3. Once you have a very long strip, cut three strips the length of your original belt + extra 3-4 inches, plus room to tie in a knot or a bow (another 8-10 inches). It is easier to make it shorter if it is too long, and not possible to lengthen it if it is too short, so keep this in mind when you cut your strips.
4. Tie a knot on one end and braid tightly until you get to the other end, securing the knot as you go with a friend, a foot, or some strong tape. It will braid itself on both ends, which was the trickiest part, so make sure to untangle as you go so you don't end up with a web of knots.
5. Tie a knot on the other end and cut the loose strings evenly on each end.
6. Belt your dress and admire your natural waist!
-Twill (and Ladybird)