Sewing a waistband to a skirt may sound easy, however, sometimes we may find that the waistband that we cut from the pattern does not fit the waist girth of the skirt that we just sewed.  Sounds familiar?  The first thing we may point a finger at is the pattern.  Perhaps the pattern is not designed correctly.  Could it be true? Here are a few tips that may help in sewing waistband to a skirt.

Generally the patterns for the waistband and the skirt are drafted correctly if they are commercial patterns.  Chances are the following may have happened along the way.

Inaccurate Fabric Cutting

We did not cut the fabric correctly according to the pattern. We missed a few centimeters at the waistline.  If this is a simple two-panel skirt pattern with front and back, the error from cutting may not be such a problem.  Imagine if this is for a multi-panel skirt pattern, imagine 8 or 10 panels and we repeat the same errors 8 or 10 times.  Then the cutting “error” will also multiply by that much.

Inaccurate Fabric Sewing

We did not sew correctly at the seam allowance, making the skirt waistline a little wider.  Like the fabric cutting above, a sewing error may magnify for a multi-panel skirt pattern.

Stretchy Fabric

Stretchy fabric tends to stretch through handling.  Depending on the direction of the stretch, the skirt may lengthen or widen after sewing.



Staystitch the Curved Waistline

A sewing tip that is quite useful is to stay-stitch the fabric at the waistline so that it is more stabilized and prevent further stretching.  One can also use a thin strip of bias interfacing along the curved waistline of the skirt as an alternative.  This should work well for woven and knit fabrics.

Cut the Waistband Fabric Last

Don’t cut the waistband pattern yet.  Assemble the skirt panels.  Take a waistline measurement after the skirt panels are sewn.  Compare this measurement with the actual skirt waistline of the pattern.  If there is a noticeable discrepancy, adjust the waistband pattern to make it wider.  Then cut the waistband fabric.  That way, the waistband length will match the sewn skirt waistline, and no fabric is waisted.

Measure the Pattern

For accuracy, measure the waistline of the skirt pattern and add up the total waist girth.  Measure the waistband pattern length and compare that to the skirt pattern waistline.  They should be equal.  If they are, any errors from mismatching waistband and skirt waistline is on the cutting and/or sewing.


Other Sewing Tips

Cut Waistband on the Bias

Since we are trying to fit a straight waistband to a curved waistline, cutting the waistband on the bias will make fitting them easier.  However, cutting on a bias also means wasting quite a bit of fabric.

Sew with the Curved Waistline on Top

It is easier to match a curved waistline to a straight waistband if we place the skirt waistline on top when we stitch.



The following tutorials are available freely for download on how to sew fitted or elastic waistband to a skirt.


New 10-Panel Skirt Pattern

A Skirt pattern for 10-panels is available for purchase. It comes with an elastic waistband and two lengths: midi or maxi; and three size ranges: Girls 6-14, Women 6-18, Women 20-30; and two print formats: A4 or Letter.