Directions with Photos for Lingerie Style Protective Tube Management Belt

[EDITED TO ADD] I apologize for the huge watermarks covering many photos in this post. I had a software glitch, and watermarks that should stay hidden unless right clicked on (for copying) are now plastered all over many photos on my website.  It is a slow, tedious task to replace each photo (one by one)  and takes several steps to fix just one photo!  I will keep working at it, but it is going to take time.

It has been crazy here lately.  Company in, company gone, more company in… you get the idea.  So, it took a while to get this post together.

Even though I have a button type peg tube, I remember how much trouble I had managing my tube, for the short while I had a dangler in the beginning.

Not only was friction and pulling a problem, as far as comfort goes, but, I didn’t feel super duper feminine with a tube hanging out of me.

I’ve been working on, and finally succeeded in making a lightweight, very comfortable, protective and yet pretty tube management belt. This belt has been a dream to wear!  It stays in place (other than the center top bowing down a little) It was not difficult to make.

If this is not your first time reading this post, I edited it later to add a second cover version which has a pocket to store the tubing.

I’m posting the directions with photos, here.

There are a couple of caveats.  As I don’t  have a dangler, I did not attach straps to support the tube to the belt.  I think this is something you personally would have a better idea for how you want your tube to be contained.

I’ve seen pockets attached to belts to hold the length of the tube, but it never seemed like that would be so good, what with having to coil it up again after each use.  I think, if it were me, I’d rather just have straps that unsnap, to hold the tube on the outside of the belt, but, again, I’m not you…. Both of the previous posts on this subject, showed belts that had loops for the tubing, although I think velcro was used, and I would choose KAM snaps over hook and loop, but, again, its another subjective preference.  I will add a few photos of belts made by other people, for tube loop/strap reference, at the end of this post.

Another issue that keeps this from being a complete post, is I ran into a snag with what I used to stiffen the upper edge of the belt.  I wanted it to be comfortable, but did not want it to bend down while being worn throughout the day. I thought that using tubing sewn into a channel would give it enough support, but, I found that as the day wore on, the upper most part of the belt at the center did not hug my body  after I wore it for a while.

It might be enough stiffness for to be adequate for you.  If you used tubing, and purchased some made of silicone, it would be able to withstand the heat of a hot clothes dryer, be lightweight, etc. (I just used some tubing from an enteral feeding set.

I think the solution is to use steel spiral boning.  It is comfortable, but not washable, so it would need to be removed and then put back in after laundering.  Not a big deal, it is easy enough to slide boning in and out of a casing.  I have ordered some spiral boning online, and I will show this as part of this project soon.

Other than using steel spiral boning, I think you could use heavy duty plastic zip ties (cable ties) cut to fit the length.  This would be washable, and probably machine dryable, so long as the the heat wasn’t too high.  I have some zip ties here at home, but, because I thought using tubing was the answer, I did not show this option while I was photographing the process.

Using a zip tie would create a ridge, rather than a rounded curve, but, I honestly don’t think it would be a problem.

I’ve wondered if an underwire for  a bra could be used.  I’ve looked online at sizing (mine are in the big girl range, I already know they’re too wide).  I discovered there are plastic underwires!  The smallest I’ve found is for a 32B.  How that translates into using to support the top of this belt, I’m not clear on, but wanted to make mention if you feel adventurous.  I think if a bra underwire (plastic or metal) was used, the vertically placed plastic boning would be eliminated, and an upside down channel for the wire would be sufficient.

Below is a photo of  spiral boning (I don’t have a long enough piece, hence why I had to order some; also, photos of  a zip tie, and  the tubing I used.

heavy duty zip tie, (with spiral boning in the background)

the tubing I used for the demo

I also used Featherlite precovered plastic boning (image is below) as support on either side of opening at the front.  This part of the design had no problems. The purpose of all boning is to keep the belt from folding over.  Its not for “shapewear” and is not at all uncomfortable.  It allows one to use lightweight fabrics, instead of stiff heavy layers of fabric.

Before you start, and depending on how deep you want to get into making adaptive clothing, you could get some supplies together that will make the creative process more enjoyable.

Swedish tracing paper, a self healing cutting mat, and  a rotary circle cutter (I have an OLFA)  are all great items to have on hand.

One of the difficulties in explaining how to make a “universal” protective tube belt, is I don’t think you can have a universal fit, because people have their peg tubes placed on different areas of the abdomen.

For me, (as for many)  mine is quite high.  It is also only a little bit off to the side.

To make the belt, you will need to measure how far your peg tube is from your waist.  Tie a ribbon or string around your waist, and measure from there.

Every tube management belt I’ve seen, has the same width belt all the way around.  I personally would not want to always have a belt more than 4″ wrapped around me, especially in hot weather.

The belt I designed is only about 1″ around the back.  I used no-roll woven waistband elastic, covered it with the same fabric as is used for the inside of the entire belt, and use a swimsuit/bra hook to fasten it.

Before I begin with the directions, I’d like to emphasise that comfort is supreme!  Don’t sacrifice it for beauty.

Choosing a fabric that does not fray if edges are left unfinished, will make your life easier.

For the belt shown below, I used organic bamboo velour for the layer of fabric next to my skin. It has some stretch, is extremely soft to the touch, washes well, does not fray.

The top layer is a lace.  Because it is sheer, would show the support boning sewn to the inside of the belt, I used an underlayment of a sheer silk/rayon blend.

  • Fabric and notions needed:
    You can use either all the same fabric, or a fabric for the lining and another color or design for the outside of belt. The total amount will depend on how large your belt is.
  • Thread
  • A couple of heavy duty zip ties or spiral boning
  • A few inches of sew through boning or Featherlite pre-covered plastic boning.
  • “No roll” elastic (1 inch wide)
  • One 1” Swimsuit/bra hook

Here are the steps I used to make the belt.

  • Take waist measurement
  • Measure how high (or far) peg tube is from waist

You can see that the top of my peg, (with the button turned vertical) is just about 4″ from my natural waist.  So, I know my belt will need to be at least 4″ at its widest point.

  • Take half of your waist measurement and add 1 inch for seam allowance. This is how long the pattern piece will be.  It doesn’t need to be super exact as you will have elastic around the back part of the belt.
  • Cut out a pattern draft with the maximum width you will need, you learned this by measuring distance from string/ribbon tied around you waist.
  • The bottom of the belt will need to curve up slightly at the sides to accommodate the curve of your hips.
  • Mark the center of this pattern piece, and hold it up to your body where it would be worn.  Mark on the pattern where your peg tube hits.

(even though I’m using tracing paper, you can just use cloth if you want to)

  • Mark the center front, where your tube is in relation to the center, and where the supports will be sewn in.

  • Keep making adjustments until you’re satisfied, then make the same markings on the inside of the fabric that will go against your skin.  The markings will be sandwiched between the top and bottom layers of fabric, and won’t be seen once the belt is constructed.  You can tell from the photo below, I made more changes after I made the first markings on my fabric.
  • You will need to mark where your g-tube hits on the outside of the lining fabric.  This will be cut away, so it doesn’t matter what kind of pen you use, as that fabric will be gone.

You will create the channel the tubing/boning (or zip tie!)  goes through when you sew the layers of fabric together. The other boning, (Featherlite) that is sewn in vertically, is sewn directly to the inside of the lining fabric after the top edge of all layers of fabric are sewn together.

I needed  to use an underlayment of another fabric to hide inner support of the belt. The fabric for the underlayment is also quite sheer, and has a very soft hand.  I used a temporary tack (basting) spray to hold the two layers of fabric together before cutting all out, and stitching together. I actually don’t like this brand shown in the photo below, because if too much  is used, it will gum up the sewing machine needle, but its all I had on hand.  If you look for “quilters basting spray” some good brands are available.

this will go under the lace, sandwiched between the lace and the bamboo velour which is the lining.

The cut out lace is placed on top of the next layer of fabric, after that fabric was lightly sprayed with the basting spray. After smoothing it out, I cut the second fabric larger, but roughly the shape. After sewing it, I trimmed to exact size.

  • Photo below shows machine basting  these two layers together. If you’re not using a sheer fabric, you will not need to do this step.

I wanted to follow the lace scallop edge, so did not stitch this end together with the underlayment fabric.  I just ran a long basting stitch near the bottom.

  • Place  your lining fabric, and top layer(s) of fabric so that right sides are together, and stitch the top side of the belt front.  Make sure it is well stitched, with no gapes or missed stitches.

  • Turn it right side out.  Depending on the fabric you chose, you might need to lightly steam iron it.  I didn’t have to.
  • I placed the tubing where it would go along the top of the belt. Pinned it in place, and used a zipper foot attachment on my sewing machine to stitch as closely as possible.  If using the spiral steel boning, it would be inserted later.

  • Next, open up the belt from the bottom, and stitch the featherlite stays  to the inside of the lining fabric  as shown.Trim them so they are slightly shorter than the  width of belt where they are placed.  My sewing machine has enough power to stitch through the plastic, so, I go right over top of it at either end, you may need to avoid contact with your machine needle, depending on how temperamental it is.

Next, from the outside of top layer of fabric, create  a channel for the boning. Even though the Featherlite is already attached to the  inside of lining fabric, by sewing the fabric  together on either side of the boning, it reinforces the vertical structure of the belt … and it looks good.

  • Sew the layers together at the bottom. Because I used a lace fabric with scallop, I followed the scallop with sewing machine, then hand trimmed any excess afterward.

  • Now its time to make the cover for the yet to be created opening. Using a rotary circle cutter, create what will be the “door” that covers your peg tube.  I used the same fabrics, but you wouldn’t necessarily have to. Keep in mind that this cover will need to be larger in diameter than the actual opening in your belt.

cutting the circle out of the bamboo velour

I laid it on top of the belt where I thought it should go, to see how it looked proportionately. Then I cut out the other fabrics, following the same method of using the temporary tack spray for the two sheer fabrics.

  • Sew the edges of your cover piece fabrics together.  If you’ve chosen a fabric that does not fray, you will not need to finish the edges.

First time around, I sewed using the lining piece as a guide, waiting to cut the sheer fabric layers until after all were sewn together.

Trimmed, and turned to the top side, for another round of stitches.

  • Using the mark you made to the outside of the lining fabric which shows where your g-tube is,  Draw with a compass (or freehand it) a circle smaller than your “door” fabric piece is, and stay stitch in place with your sewing machine.  This just keeps the two (or more!) layers of fabric from coming apart from each other when you cut out the opening.

  • Using your rotary circle cutter, cut out a hole in the belt, centered over where your peg tube is.  The reason I chose the circular shape, is the tension remains equal all around the opening, and will gape and distort less than a rectangular or other shaped opening. You could make the “door” another shape other than circle, but the opening itself will work best if it is this shape.

  • Decide which side you want the cover to open from. Pin in place, and then machine stitch.  You may want to leave a gap to slide a tube through.  This is a design element that could be useful, depending on what type of adapter tip you have, if you have a dangler.

  • On the side of cover that is not stitched, use a KAM snap (or other fastener).

Using awl to make hole for snap installation

[EDITED TO ADD ANOTHER “DOOR” VERSION]

For an attempt to see how well it would work to store the tubing (for those with a dangler) inside a pocket flap, I removed the circle cover shown above (and in photos below as well) and tried another type.

I cut out a shape in the lace and other fabric  echoing the front center of the belt.

After machine basting the top two layers together, I trimmed it.  I cut out two rectangles of additional fabric, which will form a gathered storage pocket inside the flap.

Next, the gathers were drawn, and this was pinned to the right side of the “door”, and subsequently stitched with the sewing machine.

Next, with wrong sides together, the pink bamboo velour which is used elsewhere as the lining, was pinned, then sewn together with the fabric which faces out.  Remember, wrong sides together!   let the gathered fabric hang out like a little skirt.

Fold the gathered fabric up to the inside top, and stitch the top and sides. This creates a split pocket. (my gathers got over to one side more, so the opening for pocket is not the center, but would work fine, I think)

Sew to the belt, with the “hinge” at the bottom

I had to use long KAM snaps (size 16, the size 20 regulars might have been long enough) due to the thickness created by the gathered fabric.  Unfortunately, all I had on hand in 16 longs, is an ivory color,

 

 

  • To finish the belt, you will make the back band. Cut a length of one inch elastic (or another width of your choosing)
  • Cut out a strip of fabric to cover it with.  Stitch together the fabric, turn, and insert the elastic.

 

  • Stitch one end of the covered elastic to one side of the front part of belt.
  • Finish the raw edges of the other end of front part of belt with a method of your choosing.  (I used some of the lining fabric)
  • Slide the end of the back band through the hook, and stitch

 

  • Create a loop on the front side of the belt for the hook on elastic covered back band  to attach to.  You will want to do this by measuring and marking where it should go. Carrying the back band around to the front some will make it easier to fasten and unfasten, than having to reach to the side.

Here is the finished belt:

I don’t know why the snap photographed as green! Its a bronze/gold

Here’s a side view with me wearing it, showing the detail of how the belt fastens with the hook:

front view. closed

Notice the top bowing out. This is why I think it needs spiral boning (or a zip tie!) I also increased the diameter of opening a smidgen, but did not photograph afterward.

  • Decide where, and how many loops to add to manage your tube.  I think it would be good to sew one side of loop to the belt, and the other end attach with a KAM snap or Velcro.  Below are a couple of photos where  it might work to have a loop.

(I used a spare dangler tube from my emergency stash, to get a feel for how loops could be placed best.

Here is the second version, with the pocket to store the tube:

Here are examples of belts made by others, and where the loops are placed:

The  photo above shows an opening in the door pocket to reel up and keep the tube length when not in use.

 

I will update this after I try a similar design using zip ties or the spiral boning.

Some shopping resources will be posted soon(ish) as well.

Here is how the belt looks from the inside.  There is nothing but soft bamboo velour against the skin  The dark ink mark was where my peg hit before I altered the pattern piece.  It is a washable marker, so should disappear when I launder it.  In retrospect, I would have used a different color KAM snap for the inside of belt, matching it to the pink, instead of the bronze used for the outside of the belt.

I hope this is useful to you!  Please contact me if you have questions.  I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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