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May 2010
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How To Make An Elastic Waistband (Self Band)

There are actually two types of elastic waistbands – a “self” band and a “separate” band.  Today we’re going to cover the steps in making the “self” band type elastic waistband.


          The self band elastic waistband can only be made when the garment has not been dart-fitted at the waistline.  Cut the garment with an extension above the waistline (A) that is twice the width of the elastic plus 3/8”.  Mark the waistline with a basting thread.  Cut a length of elastic to fit snugly around the waist plus ½”.


          Edge stitch, overlock or press the upper edge of the waist area (A).  Fold the casing at the fold line to the inside of the garment.  Stitch the waistband casing down at the original basted waistline, leaving about 2” not sewn at one side seam 

          To insert the elastic, attach a safety pin at one end of the elastic (C), and tunnel the elastic through the casing starting at the unsewn casing area and pushing the closed safety pin/elastic through the casing.  Push the pin/elastic around through the casing to the same opening, being careful to keep the other end of the elastic outside of the casing. 

          Overlap the elastic ends (D) and machine stitch the ends securely.  Evenly space the waistline fullness (E) and stitch through each seam allowance at the casing to stop elastic from twisting later when worn or washed.  Then stitch the opening closed.

         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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