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Waistband for the apple shaped belly
Annette Wright
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Annette Wright
Kansas USA
Member since 10/22/08
Posts: 1198
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Date: 11/12/08 5:54 PM

I've been working on pants and I'm curious as to what other "apple-shaped" ladies find works well for a waistband?

There is not much difference in my hip and waist measurement, 42" for hip, 38.5" for waist (maybe even more, it grows a lot during the day." The pattern I'm using has 4 darts across the back, two in the front. I took the front ones out as I'm so flat across there, but the back definitely needs the curve at the so-called waist, though my butt's a bit flatter further down (my darts are stick puckier at that point.) I'm measuring approximately a size 18 overall, though a size 20 in the waist, minus the two front darts.

I don't even know where to measure my "natural" waist as I don't have one. I just used my belly button as a natural point, but it seems a bit high.

The pattern I'm using is McCalls 5239 which has a waistband that looks high on the model, so maybe that was not such a good choice.

For the most part the pants fit pretty well, heck, better than what I'd buy, but I'm so used to a waistband being tight, and now it isn't tight, but I'm curious how others wear their waistband when they don't have a nicely defined waist.

I'm most interested in a fitted pair of pants, no pleats or giant legs.

Does that make sense?

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Annette
http://needlesnails.blogspot.com/

lilyofthevalley
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lilyofthevalley
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In reply to Annette Wright


Date: 11/12/08 6:12 PM

Quote: Idunna
For the most part the pants fit pretty well, heck, better than what I'd buy, but I'm so used to a waistband being tight, and now it isn't tight, but I'm curious how others wear their waistband when they don't have a nicely defined waist.



Idunna,
I too have only a 4" difference between waist (34") and hips (38"). I find that I have no need of a tight waistband. I also use my bellybutton as an approximate waist location (it hardly matters when you have no real waist), and find that styles with a higher waist location work much better for me than lowered waist styles - because the lower the waist location, the more likely are my pants to simply slip down my hips and create a baggy 'clown' butt in the back.

Now I *do* put small fitting darts in the front of my pants, but if it works best for your body to eliminate them entirely, that's fine.

Sounds like you're on the right path to well fitting pants. The pattern photo you've shown looks like it has a natural waist location, not a particularly high waist location. It should work for you. --Lily

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Lily

ccris
ccris
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In reply to Annette Wright


Date: 11/12/08 6:58 PM

My measurements are similar to yours and it's why I only wear elastic waist pants (and only since menopause, I might add). Of course, I wear my shirts out, too. There's a style (I think it's called a Hollywood waist) whereas the waist is elastic, but there isn't a visible waistband or casing. In fact, you can't even tell the waist is elasticized. I think it's a nice looking treatment (if you can call it that) but I've never made them, not recently anyway. I might have a long time ago. I can't wear a non elastic waistband because I expand when I sit and I'm not comfortable. If I can find a pic of the waist, I'll post it, unless you already know what I'm talking about.

To find your true waist, bend to the side..................it's right where the crease forms in your skin. My navel is approximately 1-1/2 to 2" lower than my waist. The location of the belly button is different for different people, so it's not an accurate gauge for locating the waist, IMO.

ETA...........................Hollywood waist. Click on the grey color (easier to see) and then zoom in on the waist. When you wear pants like this the elastic stretches making it look smooth.............no bunching or gathering as you might have in pants with an elastic casing.
-- Edited on 11/12/08 7:10 PM --

Annette Wright
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Annette Wright
Kansas USA
Member since 10/22/08
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In reply to ccris


Date: 11/13/08 7:52 AM

I tried the "bending to the side" method of finding my waist but it's about 2" under my breasts, and that's not quite what I'm going for. The "old-man-with-his-pants-up-to-his-chest" isn't a good look for most women. Since I'm not satisfied with the waistband I made, I'm going to cut it off (it's too high I think) and try the curved bad from this Claire Shaeffer Vogue 7881 pattern I have.

I also have determined I'm not crazy about a back zipper. They are hard to manipulate.

I've wondered about elastic waistbands, at least partial one, but I don't want to just yet.

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Annette
http://needlesnails.blogspot.com/

JTink
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In reply to Annette Wright


Date: 11/13/08 8:36 AM

I'm not an apple, but I too have an undefined waistline. Mine generally sits high. I'm one of those who still actually wear their waistbands high. It's more comfortable for me and I don't look so wide. I always thought of that "style" as the '40's look. Nothing wrong with that. The way I find my "dent" is to stand in front of the mirror and hold my hands straight up over my head. WA LA! I have a waist line! I always have to give myself "growing room". I have the same problem with gravity and fluid as you do. What I can wear comfortably in the morning, I can't even get buttoned in the afternoon. Just not fair, is it?

Joan in NM

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In reply to ccris


Date: 11/13/08 12:09 PM

I have the same problem, so thank you Idunna for starting this thread. I have between 2 inches and 5 inches difference, depending on what I count as hips. For fitting pants and skirts, I actually use the measurement called high hip. This is about 4 inches below my belly button and it is the part of my lower abdomen that definitely sticks out. Just because it sticks out, though, doesn't mean that my pants will stay up!

Instead, I use my hipbone to hold up my pants. While you can't really see an indentation there, when I press in with my hand it is easy to find the hipbone. The Petite Plus pant pattern is designed to fit well there. The pic in this review shows what I am talking about, but my waist isn't nearly that tiny!!

Review of Petite Plus pants by MLT

I also take out front darts, usually all of them, and at the side seam I put in a curved dart at the top of the hip. If I do keep darts in the front, they are curved too, to follow the curve of my lower abdomen. A sewing teacher showed me this and it totally changed the way I make pants and skirts.

She also showed me that my waistline actually slopes from back to front which is why it is so hard to find my waistline. In the back, my waist is at about my belly button, but in the front it is about two inches lower. If I don't make an adjustment for the front being lower, that is where the waist will slide down. Rather than making the back higher it works better to remove some of the front by lowering the waistband in the front.

I have found that the best waistband for me is actually a narrow waistband with a bit of stretch. The elastic keeps it from cutting in too much when I sit down, and the narrowness combined with curved darts means that if my belly swells, there is room around the waistband for everything. This is also an easy waistband to modify if I gain or lose weight.

Joan

Joan in NM

Joan in NM  Friend of PR
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New Mexico USA
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In reply to ccris


Date: 11/13/08 12:15 PM

Here are two pants patterns with a waist that I think is what ccris means by a hollywood waist. They both have hidden elastic.

Lois Hinse European Pant

Textile Studio Soho Pant

Joan

Annette Wright
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Annette Wright
Kansas USA
Member since 10/22/08
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In reply to Joan in NM


Date: 11/13/08 1:05 PM

Quote: Joan in NM
She also showed me that my waistline actually slopes from back to front which is why it is so hard to find my waistline. In the back, my waist is at about my belly button, but in the front it is about two inches lower. If I don't make an adjustment for the front being lower, that is where the waist will slide down. Rather than making the back higher it works better to remove some of the front by lowering the waistband in the front.



Wow, that's exactly what I determined today myself. I'm still not sure if it's my backside pulling the front down, or just the shape of the front, but I did notice that. Plus when I attempted to measure crotch lengths (using the elastic around my belly button) I got 12" for a front depth and 17" for the back. Now mind you, my butt really isn't all that big. I'm sure learning a lot about my body.

For the most part, my pants fit great so far. I have to go out to get some hooks and do up the hem, but they fit me great compared to pants I've bought, and they don't bind in my waist.

I looked at that curved waistband in the other pattern I bought, and truthfully I don't think I have enough curve to do it. I may eventually try to make my own curved waistband, with just a flatter curve.

I'll check out all those other links too.
-- Edited on 11/13/08 1:06 PM --

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Annette
http://needlesnails.blogspot.com/

moushka

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Ontario CANADA
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In reply to Annette Wright


Date: 11/13/08 3:30 PM

Idunna,

A large difference in front and back crotch lengths isn't all that unusual, especially with a tilted waist. My lengths are front crotch length: 12.75in., back crotch length: 19.375in. I wear a size 18W or 20W in RTW pants, depending on the manufacturer.

I really recommend Loes Hinse's Cruise Pants pattern. I add 0.5in. to the front and back side seams of the XXL and 2in. to the back waist height (or back crotch length) tapering to nothing at the sideseams, to get perfectly fitting pants with an elastic waist. Ahhhh, comfort! I like it better than the McCall's patterns because there is more body depth, i.e., the distance through the body from front to back, in Loes's pattern, and the crotch shape is perfect. McCall's seems to cut for more slender bodies, rather than for us more robust apples. I know Loes's patterns are more expensive than McCall's bought on sale, but I've really found them worth the money. I struggled and struggled to get a well-fitting basic pants pattern until I tried this one. You may already have achieved your goal but if not, the Cruise Pant is so quick and easy I can make a pair, start to finish, in under two hours, and I'm s-l-o-w. HTH.

Sorry, I haven't reviewed the Cruise Pant yet (due to not having a picture )

Sue
-- Edited on 11/13/08 3:45 PM --

KathySews
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In reply to Joan in NM


Date: 11/13/08 7:12 PM

This is the waistband I have been looking for, but did not know what to call it. Are there any tutorials out there to add this hidden elastic to an existing pattern?

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