Custom belts and buttons. Better than a tie belt!

I am nothing if not an instant gratification girl. I will spend two days researching how to order something online, rather than driving to the nearest store to do it the slow way. So it was a huge step for me to accept that if I want a nice, custom, fabric covered belt for my Lady Grey coat, I was going to have to do things the old-fashioned, snail mail way. I got my packet from Pat’s Custom Buttons and Belt’s in the mail and I’m so glad I decided slower was better!IMG_2257

[the order form]

Here’s an overview of how to get the ordering materials, what’s in the catalog and general pricing. Hopefully this will be helpful to any other instant-gratification types like me out there who have been putting off calling for a catalog from this most excellent resource.

First off, I’m sure there are other sources for custom made belts and buckles out there, but from my slapdash internet search, all roads pointed to Pat’s company, a mail-order one woman business based out of Lodi, California. I called her last week and she answered after a couple of rings – we had a nice conversation in which she let me know that she’d send the catalog (a $5.00 charge applies to the catalog, which is to be included in the first order) and that normal turnaround for a fabric covered belt is around one week.

I called on a Thursday and the following Monday** I got my nice yellow padded envelope in the mail! It was more exciting than a new issue of Threads! Here’s what was in the envelope…

**I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for anyone curious about mail times.IMG_2255

[clockwise from top – the yellow pre-addressed return envelope, an order form, the invoice for the catalog and the catalog]

A nice touch was the inclusion of six order forms and return envelopes… and after looking through the catalog, I’m starting to think I might make use of all six order forms and have to request more!IMG_2258

[the table of contents]

The first section of the book is an overview of the button styles available. There are too many options to outline. Two pages of button styles, available in round sizes ranging from one third inch to one and a half inches four square size options. There are various backing options – cloth, lined, French covered backs, upholstery backs, loop eye backs. There’s a rhinestone insert, ivory rim options and hand stitching detail. There’s even an option to get your buttons made into earrings!

Prices range from $.65 per button for a size 12 half ball button to $4.25 per button for the very cool, very fancy buttons with hand stitched detail. A coat-worthy size 60 (1.5”) half ball button with no other extras runs $1.65 – and I’m betting it won’t fall apart the way my self-covered, made at home from a kit buttons do! There’s a minimum charge of $5.00 per button order.IMG_2259 

[some of the button styles available]


Read more

As much as I love the button options, what I’m really excited about are the belt options. As with the buttons, the combination of styles, widths and other details are a little bit overwhelming. Unlike the buttons, there isn’t an easy at-home option. Belting material is mail order, grommet colors are limited and the self-fabric belt buckle kits aren’t the easiest to find, and even if they’re available, are usually in narrower widths. And I am a lover of wide belts – admonishments that full-busted, short waisted types should stay away from wide belts can go fly a kite!

The covered buckle options range from 6 different half-inch styles to three basic 3 inch styles. There’s a huge variety in the more common sizes – 21 three quarter inch styles and 24 one-inch styles! There are also seven hook and eye clasp buckles, a bunch of wire buckle styles, a full bow belt style (no buckles, all made from fabric and belting material), a grosgrain belt (wire buckle and belting covered with grosgrain ribbon) and an eyelet belt.

The standard covered belt and buckle has five eyelets spaced 3/4” apart, with the middle eyelet being the waist measurement. The amount of material required for a standard is double the finished width and eight inches longer than the waist measurement plus a bit more for the buckle and loop.

Prices run from $16.00 for a standard 1/2” belt and buckle to $20.00 for a 2 1/2 or 3 inch belt and buckle or a bow belt. There are upcharges for fully lined belts, covered buckle backs, belts for over 35” waists ($1.50 upcharge for that) and rush orders.IMG_2261

[belt styles]

What an excellent resource! The pricing is reasonable, the quality has been reviewed as very high (I’ll report on that soon!) and the hands-on, talk to a real, live person approach is a pleasure!

Contact information

Pat Mahoney

P.O. Box 335

Lodi, California 95241


Current projects needing custom belts and buckles…

A belt for the Lady Grey, of course. A tie belt is not a good look for me! A simple 3” standard belt with a square buckle is just the thing. No covered buttons – I’m using snaps.ladygrey


Simplicity 2812. Not only will I want covered buttons for this one, but a nice belt for the waist, perhaps 2” wide. And I’d love to get some mini-belts made, around 3/4” with little buckles in the same shape as the waist belt, for the cuffs.2812

And finally, I’ve got that chartreuse and chocolate brown toile, diverted from the Lady Grey project, that I’m plotting on a nice full circle skirt dress. Perhaps a version of Vogue 2902. With sleeves. And without the silly contrast band.



  1. Alexandra Mason says:

    Can't wait to see your dress, Hope you are having a great week!

  2. Mrs. Exeter says:

    You a clever – like you, I don't really care for the dressing-gowny look of a tie belt, it's not flattering on me. A customised belt will look so much more chic.

  3. LAP says:

    And so my daydreams of fabric covered combination buttons begin….

  4. ladykatza says:

    I totally have the catalog too! I'm sending off for the Lady Grey (which I'm procrastinating BIG TIME on) buttons. I also think I'm gonna be doing a matching bow-belt for a 40's long sleeve swing dress I have planned… after the Halloween costumes.

  5. Psycho Sue- Sew Misunderstood says:

    Cant wait to see the dress!

  6. Tilly says:

    A phone call and a catalogue? What are those?! I'm so used to the impersonalness of ebay that what you've done sounds so lovely! Those handstitched buttons are so cute – I might have to try making them (although they're bound to turn out wonky). That bow belt is a bit like the one I've done a tutorial for:

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