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Tips & Techniques > Elastic Contour Waistband

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Posted by: Liane M
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About Liane M star
Member since: 1/5/04
Reviews: 22 (tips: 2)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 11 people
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Posted on: 5/30/05 1:48 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 3 people   
This waist band starts with 6 pieces. 3 for the actual waistband and 3 for the waistband facing. The main piece is the front and there are two shorter pieces that make the back. After sewing the two back pieces to the front pieces of both the waistband and the facing. Stitch them together at the upper curved edge. Understitch the seam allowance to the facing side. Next attach the waistband to the pants. Then sew elastic (stretching slightly as you go) to the seam allowance where the waistband is attached to the pants. You can stitch anywhere in the seam allowance as this does not show on the finished pants. After finishing the ends, turn the facing to the inside. Apply steam-a-seam to the seam allowance and iron the facing down over the seam allowance. Stitch in the ditch on the right side the fabric. This technique yields a stretchy elastic waist that is concealed inside of the waistband.

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Rebecca D said... (5/31/05 6:01 AM) Reply
What length of elastic did you use? It sounds like it would be a bit less than a 1:1 ratio.
Liane M said... (5/31/05 4:48 AM) Reply
I guess that's why I was so happy with this. I have a tilted waist and a big difference in the wasit and hip.
elizajo said... (5/30/05 9:30 PM) Reply
Out of desperation last weekend I tried this on pants I am altering for my daughter, who sits in a wheelchair all day and needs the alterations now for drastically lowering the front waist and raising the back waist. The extreme slope needed to be taken in at the waist so it wouldn't gap, but if it's tight, she can't zip. I added 3/8" elastic to the top seam allowance of the back contoured waistband after it had already been applied and zipper inserted. A good rescue for a puzzling problem. She's happy with the fitted look and I'm glad I don't have to look at her gappy, droopy pants back. I didn't think about using the steam a seam. This is a great idea for anyone who makes alterations for a tilted waist or has a big difference between waist and hip.
Liane M said... (5/30/05 6:15 PM) Reply
I just use a straight stitch. I guess you could you the zig zag.
appleC said... (5/30/05 2:45 PM) Reply
Ah, your tip comes in the right time. Thanks. My current project uses a very stretchy fabric and I think I can eliminate the zipper and use your tip for a nicer finish. I don't like steam-a-seam though because the fabrics never stick together for me, but why? One question: when you stitch elastic to the the seam allowance, do you use zigzag stitches?
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