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Forum > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > Adding a waistband?

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Adding a waistband?
stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
Posts: 3253
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Date: 5/4/12 1:34 PM

I'm making a pair of harem pants, and my pattern (OOP Simplicity 8311) is *very* basic: one pattern piece (leg). You fold down the top several inches to create an elastic casing.

I feel like I'd get nicer results if I had a proper waistband, although I haven't decided if I want to keep the elastic or go with a flat, interfaced band that closes with hooks and eyes (or Option 3...?). This seems like something that would be fairly simple and intuitive, but I'd love to hear tips and pointers, if anyone has them! (Like, would I simply trim off the excess for the existing casing, less seam allowances? Etc.)

FWIW, my fabric is a decent (but not great) wool blend crepe. Probably a little bulky for the folded-over casing treatment.

Thanks!!


-- Edited on 5/4/12 1:36 PM --

------
~Gem in the prairie

meanjean
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meanjean  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 5/4/05
Posts: 388
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Date: 5/5/12 7:56 AM

I've made waistbands using various construction techniques and it's fairly straightforward for someone of intermediate experience. I'd recommend getting a book like Claire Shaeffer's "The Complete Book of Sewing Short Cuts". She has a whole chapter on "Waistline Finishes" where she provides step-by-step instructions for making different types of waistbands. The book makes liberal use of drawings and the instructions are concise and very complete. I swear by this book. It's my #1 all-time go-to sewing book. This is not a book for beginners, but in true Claire Shaeffer form, she covers all the classic techniques. I imagine there are other books out there that similarly cover construction techniques.

As I mentioned in several other posts, I make all my own patterns from scratch (based off my slopers), so naturally they don't come with construction instructions. This book is where I go for my instructions on everything from attaching neckstands, collars, cuffs to different front opening treatments to linings to facings, etc. You get the idea.

I have no idea if this book is still in print. My copy is copyrighted 1981 and I bought a used hardcover edition from an Internet used book seller.

-- Edited on 5/5/12 8:04 AM --

------
Jean

"A woman of valor, who can find? ... She seeks out wool and linen, and her hands work willingly ..." Proverbs 3:13-18

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
Posts: 3253
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Date: 5/5/12 11:57 AM

Thanks, Jean! That sounds like a great reference; found a copy for 14 cents (!) on Amazon.I draft a lot of my own patterns, too--which sometimes means that *adjusting* existing patterns takes me a bit more to figure out.

------
~Gem in the prairie

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
Posts: 3253
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Date: 5/30/12 8:30 AM

Just wanted to bump this with an update on what I ended up doing! Thanks to the Claire Shaeffer book and a surprisingly flattering fit for the pants (seriously--who would guess that costume harem pants could look so great right out of the envelope?!), I decided to do a sort of "mock waistband."

Instead of folding the elastic casing to the inside, I reversed the stitching at the waistband and folded the casing to the *outside,* then topstitched it down. It now looks like an applied waistband, but without the work of cutting a different piece! (Although snipping through the seam allowances so you could turn and stitch the last couple inches WST was kind of nerve wracking! LOL) I also added some interfacing to the waistband section to give it a little more body/structure, and just for good measure put in a couple of sewn eyelets for a drawstring.

The tip for reversing the stitching is what I got from the Claire Shaeffer book. The actual waistband info wasn't that useful here, but while flipping through it, I stumbled on her instructions for sewing a turned-back cuff on a shirtsleeve (page 68). Worked a charm!

------
~Gem in the prairie

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