Mini tutorial Sew techniques

Easy tutorial to Sew a wide elasticted waistband to a skirt.

My mission is Helping you sew high quality costumes and every day clothes the super easy way. Sewing should NOT be stressful! 

First measure your waist. The elastic wants to be snug, not loose not over tight. you need to pull on over your hips, or over your head with ease. I am using 75mm (3 inch) wide black elastic. Change width as you want but I think works best with min of 50mm (2 inch) This makes a super fast and comfortable waistband – particularly good for wearing under a corset, or a long costume under skirt. 

Some elastics have a really obvious inside and out, some don’t. Mark right side if needs be and sew ends right sides together like the picture, one end longer than the other. Join ends with a flat fell seam, basically you are going to overlap one end to conceal raw edge of the other and topstitch.

Showing the elastic folding over. Topstitch down and turn around and repeat for strength. 

The fell seam is usually set at the centre back. fold the elastic double and pin so you are marking centre front point, fold other way and pin the quarter marks. Once ready to sew to skirt finish the raw edge of skirt fabric how ever you wish, serger / overlocker or pinking shears. Now position onto skirt right sides together starting at the centre front.

I use this sort of waist band for alsorts of skirts, mainly where the waistband is concealed by top skirts, or other clothes, but it can be made into a feature too as a wide waist defining band. The rule for the type of skirt is it has to have enough fullness to pass over your hips without need for a zip or placket opening. 

So any costume skirt that has gathers, fullness in the  back or all way around, a circle skirt with inside aperture cut to fit over waist, a gored skirt with some fullness. As long as the top raw edge of your skirt is wide enough to pull up over the hips you are good to go.  

In the video you will see me attaching these waistbands to different skirts, above picture has flat skirt front and fullness in back tension while sewing is everything, basting with washaway thread for beginners can really improve the finish.  You need to hold the fabric balanced back and front so it feeds through sewing machine equally and puts no stress on sewing needle. Yes it takes a bit of practice! having the elastic marked into quarters should give you an instant idea how much gathering on the waistband there is to do, excess fabric can be pleated, just remember the ONLY RULE is  that the skirt has to fit over the hips Before you start to add the elastic. 

Picture showing skirt with equal fullness. Use pins and sew slow, keeping edges aligned and waistband pulled under tension and skirt fabric at ease. This can feel like juggling eels first time you try it! so if you wanted to sew small dash seams in washable thread like in my video it may help you. I have done so many of these over the years I whizz around in one, but I have also made some ugly bunched up messes too! washaway thread is your best friend here, buy some you will not regret it! 

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