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May 2010
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How To Make a “Separate Band” Elastic Waistband

Last week we gave instructions on how to make a “self band” elastic waist band, and today we’re going to make a “separate” band for the elastic waist skirts and slacks.

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          This method is suitable only for knits with stretch, and is the method used by most of the expensive brands of women’s clothing.  Cut the waistband on the crosswise grain of the fabric (A), 4” wide and the same length as the garment waist measurement plus seam allowances.  Join the ends with a 5/8” seam.  Cut 1” wide elastic to fit the body waist snugly plus ½”.  Overlap ½” at the ends and stitch securely.  

          Pin mark the waistband (B), elastic and waistline into fourths.  Matching the pin marks and seams, pin the waistband to the garment with right sides together.  Stitch a 5/8” seam, stretching both pieces of fabric as you sew.  Press the seam as stitched.  

            Lap the elastic over the waistline seam allowance with the bottom edge of the elastic just above the first row of stitching (C).  Using a zig zag stitch, sew the elastic to the seam allowance, stretching it to fit between the pins as you stitch. 

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          Fold the waistband over the elastic to the inside of the garment (D).   Working from the outside, pin the waistband in place, inserting the pins just below the seamline so the excess width of the waistband, on the inside, is caught in the pinning.  Stitch from the right side in the seam groove, stretching the elastic so the waistband is flat.  Trim away the excess seam allowance from the lower edge of the waistband on the inside of the garment.

          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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