How to Sew a Waistband

Waistbands are an essential part of many clothing items, and are actually quite simple to sew. Here you will find both the instructions and step-by-step photographs to help you create the waistband you want.


  1. Image titled SewWaistbandMeasureWaist.JPG
    Calculate the size. Some factors that must be considered are your waist measurement, fastening/overlapping fabric, and seam allowances. The format used here is shown below. You may alter it and adjust measurements accordingly.
    • Seam allowance - 1/4"
    • Lengthwise measurement - waist measurement + fastening space (2-3", depending on the skirt) + seam allowance x 2 + growth room (optional)
    • Widthwise measurement - desired result width + seam allowance
  2. Image titled SewWaistbandIronFabric
    Iron the fabric you'll be using if it's wrinkly. Also consider washing the fabric beforehand so it won't shrink.
  3. Image titled SewWaistbandCutFabric.JPG
    Cut according to the calculated dimensions on the selvage. Shown here is cutting using a mat, ruler, and rotary cutters, but you may use any preferred method.
  4. Image titled SewWaistbandFoldIronLengthwise.JPG
    Iron right-sides together lengthwise.
  5. Image titled SewWaistbandSewLengthwiseSeam.JPG
    Sew a 1/4" seam along the not-folded long edge and one of the short edges. Do not sew the remaining short edge.
    • It helps to have the sewing machine on needle-down setting so you can easily maneuver the corner.
      Image titled SewWaistbandNeedleDownSetting.JPG
  6. Image titled SewWaistbandPressSeamOpen.JPG
    Press the lengthwise seam open.
  7. Image titled SewWaistbandPullThrough
    Pull the fabric through itself (as shown) until completely right-side out.
    • It may help prod out the corners using the end of a dull pencil.
      Image titled SewWaistbandPencil.JPG
  8. Image titled SewWaistbandFoldShortEdgeIn.JPG
    Press the unsewn short edge in a 14 inch (0.6 cm).
  9. Image titled SewWaistbandPressFlat.JPG
    Press the band flat so the long seam is directly on the edge (as shown).
  10. Image titled SewWaistbandSewAroundPerimeter.JPG
    Sew very closely around the perimeter of the waistband, sewing all four sides consecutively.
    • Again, it may prove useful to have the machine on needle-down setting.
      Image titled SewWaistbandNeedleDownSetting.JPG
  11. Image titled SewWaistbandFinished.JPG

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric (depending on the amount needed)
    • See the first step for some ideas on how much fabric you'll need!
  • Mat and ruler
  • Rotary cutter
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron and ironing board

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