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May 2010
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How To Make Straight Waistbands



        The straight waistband is the most basic and the most popular of all waistband styles.  The waistband is cut with an extended (self) facing (A) which is then applied to the garment as a flat piece.  The ends are made and finished while it is being applied to the garment.  The length of the waistband should be placed on the lengthwise grain of the fabric for greatest stability.  Cut an apply the interfacing as indicated in the pattern.  Mark the foldline of the waistband by basting by hand through all thicknesses.


        Pin-mark the waistband and garment into sections, marking the waistband along the edge that will be sewn to the garment.   Place a pin at the beginning of the overlap (B), another at the beginning of the underlap.  Divide the remainder of the band into fourths and pin.  Pin the garment waistline also into four equal parts (C), using the zipper opening as the starting point.


          With the right sides together (D), pin the waistband to the garment, matching the pin marks and notches.  Stitch along the seamline.  Press the seam flat, then grade the seam allowances.  Press the waistband and seam to the upward position (E).  Next turn the 5/8” seam allowance on the long unstitched edge of the waistband to the wrong side and press. 

            Fold the waistband along the foldline so that the waistband is wrong side out, with the right sides together (F).  Fold the waistband ends in.  Pin at each end and stitch on the 5/8” seamline or press the seam down.  Trim the corners and turn the waistband right side out. 


         Pull the corners out so they are square (G).  Pin the turned under seam allowance to the garment.  Slipstitch the folded edge to the seamline, making certain that no stitches show through to the outside.  Attach suitable fasteners to the ends of the waistband.

        These “how to” tutorials are an excerpt from our book “Basic Clothing Construction”.   This book is a handy addition to have in your sewing room, so you can refer to the various sewing tips and tutorials at any time.

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Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author


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