How to make an elasticated waistband

This post is on making the elasticated waistband. This is commonly seen in tights, gym, yoga, children’s and sleepwear clothes. It is also one of the easiest ways to make a waistband as it does not require a proper fit to be undertaken. Unlike like making a pair of jeans or tailored trousers. There one easily finishes making the garment much quicker than having to sew notches, zips, buttons and fitted waistbands.

There is a lot in making a pair of trousers and jeans look great. However, if you are new or short of time the best way to finish is with an elasticated waistband.

It is not necessary for the fabric to be stretch. If it’s not stretch fabric used to make an elasticated waistband make sure the garment is loose fitting. At least over the hips. Of course, if the fabric is made out of jersey or lightweight fabrics like cotton or linen it is great as well. Elasticated waistband tends to add bulk to the finished garment. Something to keep in mind, therefore, it is better to use in lightweight fabrics.

I have just recently made myself a pair of tights and pyjamas pants using an elasticated. The results are great easy to wear and a great fit.

To make an elasticated waistband

You will need a blunt needle with an eye. I just use a hairpin with an eye on it. I am sure there is some special sewing equipment for it but this what I have always used.

then some elastic band for garment making. I usually use a 1.5 cm width. How long of elastic you will need depends on how much tightness you want around the waist. Also how much the elastic would stretch as well.

To make the elastic band casing on the garment is normally comes with the pattern. If not you will have to create one. Otherwise, the will be no space or the waistband will sit on the lower waist. This will create a no so comfortable fit.

Then just fold over the fabric and sew it around the waist of the garment. When folding over the garment make sure the folds sit in one way especially inseams. Leave a gap before the start and finish fold. This so that you can thread the elastic thru the casing.

elasticated waistband

Thread thru using the hairpin thread with elastic. The only difficulty is when you come to the seams as the fabric is bulky and you will need to find the hollow end of the casing. The hairpin will guide it thru the casing as it’s stiff. If it doesn’t go thru easily give it a pull or start over again. Do this until you come to an end. Once you have done it make sure you hold on to the threaded end as it’s elastic it will spring back easily inside and it gets ‘lost’. If that happens to start over or undo the casing to look for the ‘lost’ elastic in the casing.

Once the eleastic is threaded thru stitch in place and tuck into the casing. Finish with a hand or machine slip stitch. I have got other post on dressmaking how to/ techniques. Here is a link to sewing with stretch fabric.

elasticated waistband


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