Have you ever wondered how to make a knit waistband? It’s easier than you think!
Hate elastic casings? Just about any knit shorts, pants, or skirt pattern can be modified with a knit waistband. It works well for refashioning existing garments too!
Before we start, I suggest choosing a knit fabric with plenty of stretch recovery. You want it to be able to stretch over the widest part of your hips; but still retain it’s shape in order to hug your waist. I’m using a jersey knit from L’Ouseau; they have the best quality knits I’ve touched.
Construct the main part of your garment according to instructions. I started with the Bubble Pocket Shorts pattern from Elegance & Elephants. (I omitted center seams & pockets, in case you’re wondering!)
To make your waistband, measure the circumference of the waist opening on your garment. You’ll want your finished waistband length to be an inch or two smaller than the waist opening. Use your judgement, because the type of fabric you use will vary the measurements. Remember, you want your waistband to fit as snugly as possible without losing the ability to pull over your hips.
For the width, you’ll double your desired finished waistband size. I pressed a crease in mine, to help me see what the finished waistband would look like.
Cut 2 equal sized waistband pieces for the front and back. Above, I’ve stitched my front and back together, which makes 2 side seams.
Press your seams open, then press your waistband down, wrong sides together.
Match your waistband front, back, and side seams to the quadrants of your garment. Here I’ve pinned my waistband to make it easier to match.
Since the waistband is slightly smaller than the garment, you’ll need to stretch the waistband as you pin it. Stitch the waistband to the garment using a zigzag stitch. This is important, because a straight stitch won’t allow the fabric to stretch. As you sew, pull the fabric taut, but don’t stretch.
I’m sewing my waistband in one step. You can unfold the waistband, stitch rst, then press a hem and stitch the underside if you prefer. It eliminates a visible seam and provides a clean nice finish. If that didn’t make sense, ignore me! You’ll know what I’m talking about after you’ve done a couple of these, I promise:)
Here’s my waistband, all attached. Inside is a seam that you can leave raw, zigzag, or serge.
You can even fold it over for a cute “yoga” style waistband! If you have any questions, find me over at SewsNBows and I’ll do my best to help you out. Check out my some of my awesome boards on Pinterest for lots more sewing ideas!
Thanks for having me Diana! It’s always a pleasure to be here:)