Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Waistband construction

Thank you all who commented on my previous post asking how to change a straight waistband to a shaped waistband. It’s been very, very helpful. This time I used an existing pattern (Vogue 1066, a Badgley Mischka suit) but now also know how to do it from scratch.

I placed the sideseam notch on my pattern pieces and adapted to the length of the pattern. 

The fabric was bought at the Antwerpen fabric market during PR weekend. It’s a bit heavy and has a lot of drape. Also the waistband (which is partially on the bias from being so shaped/curved) tends to stretch a lot. My solution to remove the stretch from the waistband was inspired by a technique in the book "Couture sewing techniques” that I wrote about earlier. It’s not a technique from the book, but only inspired by.


The fusible interfacing that will be ironed to the front band is cut with the center front on the grain. The center back is almost on the bias. I’ve cut another interfacing piece from silk organze, but with the center back on the grain. This I stitched with rows of small stitches to the fusible part of interfacing (on the non fusible side!). Only then I ironed it to the waistband. Almost no stretch in the waistband any more. Both the fusible interfacing and the silk organza were cut without seam allowances.

To complete it, I cut a strip of silk organza straight of grain and sewed that in the upper seam when  sewing front and back waistband together. This I’ve seen before, mostly done with a selvage edge from a lining fabric, which works perfect as well, only I already had the silk organza on my table.


Powerderpuff asked for some pictures to see the difference between a shaped and a straight waistband. Thought that’s a good idea, and since one of my recent disappointments was a pair of trousers with a straight waistband here they are:

The grey is the shaped waistband, the brown to the right straight, with a very firm interfacing. You can see that it gapes.


In the back, my daughter didn’t quite get the message and didn’t see that the waistband is not completely visible, but I think you’ll get the idea. On the right is the gaping of center back in the straight waistband. In the shaped waistband there is a steep angle in my pattern. Somewhat like this:



Well, I’ve only to hem the trousers and make a buttonhole + attach the button. Should be finished tomorrow.


  1. The curved waistband does make a difference! Great fit

  2. I need very curved waistbands, and often have trouble with them stretching and pouching - I am very keen to try your alternative grain cut interfacing technique. Thank you!

  3. Great fit. I love your adaptation of Maynard's technique and you solved the bias issue that tends to make this kind of waistband stretch out. Brava!

  4. Great post - when you think about it - it's odd that designers think that a rectangle can fit around one the curviest parts of our bodies ... but then again, on a man not so!

  5. Wow, what a difference! The curved waist band is so much better. Thanks for sharing with us.

  6. The curved waistband is a much nicer fit, especially for those of us who are curvy through the waist/hip. What you've done is smart regarding the interfacing.

  7. Thank you for the explanation and photos I can see that the effort is worth it because the fit is so much better

  8. I never would have thought to stitch silk organza to interfacing before fusing. Great tip!