I decided to finally make something for myself. I have a dress that I love. It's a nice causal dress, but can also be dressed up. I wanted to wear a belt with it, but it like and ones I had. I needed something a little lighter, more delicate looking. I got a new crochet stitch book awhile back and found this shell stitch that I've been wanting to use for something. So why not a belt?
First, here is the basic pattern. Then I'll go into how I made the belt.
Size 3 Crochet Thread
Clasp of some sort (will delve into that later)
ch - chain
sk - skip
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
ch a multiple of 12 + 1, plus 3 for the foundation chain
R1 - 2dc in 4th ch from hook, *sk 2, sc in next ch, ch 5, sk 5, sc in next ch, sk 2, 5dc in next ch* repeat to end, working 3dc in last ch, turn
R2 - ch 1, sc in first dc, *ch 5, sc in next ch 5 arch, ch 5, sc in 3rd dc of cluster* repeat to end, sc in 3rd ch of ch 3, turn
R3 - *ch 5, sc in next ch 5 arch, 5dc in sc, sc in next arch* repeat to last arch, ch 2, dc in last sc, turn
R4 - ch 1, sc in first dc, *ch 5, sc in 3rd dc of cluster, ch 5, sc in next arch* repeat to end, turn
R5 - ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2dc in first sc, * sc in next arch, ch 5, sc in next arch, 5dc in sc* repeat to end, working 3dc in last sc, turn
Repeat R2-5 until desired width/height. You can stop at any row. If you want some symmetry at top and bottom it is best to stop after a row of only arches, so R2 or R4
Now, what I did with this pattern.
I knew I wanted my shells to be stacked up which meant I needed a long chain to start. But how to know how long? So first I made a little sample swatch of 24 + 1 (start chain of 28) and stitched the first 5 rows.
Then I measured it. Mine was 2.5 inches. Next I measured my waist where I wanted to wear the belt, about 28 inches. Make sure to measure over your clothes since that's how you wear your belt. Now pick up your calculator or pull out your higher math skills. 28/2.5 = 11.2. That's how many chains of 24 you need. So I rounded down to 11 to account for space for the clasp. 11 x 24 = 264. Remember add 4 more for the foundation chain. Also remember that you need a multiple of 12. Substitute your numbers in.
So after all that I started with a chain of 268. I placed a marker every 48 stitches to help me keep track. This also helped with R1 in making sure I didn't miss count (you should end sets of 12 with a 5dc cluster). Have you ever got to the end of your first row of a long chain and realized something went wrong somewhere along the way? Then you have to unravel. Ugh.
Follow the pattern from here. I did a total of 12 rows. It gave the belt a width of a little over 2.5 inches.
Now for the clasp. This is something you can personalize. I choose to do a large hook and eye. I ended up making my own using 16 gauge copper wire. I made a version of a design I found at Art Bead Scene. It was my first attempt at using wire so it isn't perfect but I like it.
I attached it to the ends with crochet thread in the middle and around the second loop on each end.
And ta-da, a belt.
It ended up a little big since the clasp made a bigger gap between the ends than I accounted for. I originally was going for a type of clasp that would have had the ends touching but couldn't find what I had in mind. I do like how this one turned out though.