Crescent Sew-Along #18: Attaching the Waistband

Happy Monday, everyone! Today we’ll attach the waistband to the skirt, getting us one step closer to finishing our Crescent Skirts.

We’ll pin the waistband to the skirt, adjust the gathers to fit, sew the seam, and trim and press.

Need to catch up? Here are all the previous posts!

Let’s get started! Bring out your skirt piece and your assembled waistband piece, like so:

With the skirt piece right side up, turn the waistband wrong side up, as shown below. The top of the waistband should be closest to you, pointy side upwards.

Now let’s start pinning the waistband to the skirt. What we’ll do is pin the waistband together at key points, and then adjust the gathers in between these matching points. Sound good? Let’s do it!

Start at the outer edges first, pinning the waistband to the skirt.Now pin the pieces together at the sideseams. I like to pin both sides of the pressed-open seam so they stay in place when we sew over them.

At centre front, spread the slashed part as shown, so that each side of the skirt lines up with the waistband and there’s a ‘V’ between the two sides. That’s hard to put into words, so let’s look at the picture! I’ve flipped it over so that the skirt is facing us.

Now, the main matching points have been pinned, so let’s adjust the gathers to fit the waistband.

Before you start gathering, pin all of the flat, non-gathered parts together so the only parts not pinned are between the gathering points.

My gathered parts are too large for the waistband sections, so I’m going to unwind the thread tails at one end, and pull them up tighter so the skirt fits the waistband.

Pin gathers to waistband once they have been adjusted to fit. Repeat with each gathered section, until the whole waistband is pinned to the skirt.

One last thing – look at your centre front. I think the Crescent Skirt looks better when there are more gathers at centre front. Look at the photo below – the right side is the good side, the left side is not gathered enough to give us a nice look at centre front.

Now, let’s sew the waistband to the skirt!

You may wonder, should I baste this first and then sew it together? That’s up to you! If you baste, you have a chance to look it over and un-pick any unevenly gathered sections, or sections with tucks and folded-over bits of fabric, or correct the sideseams if they don’t line up.

I didn’t baste, but I will check over my work before trimming the seam allowances.

Sew the waistband to the skirt. If your gathering stitch lines are straight, you’ll be able to sew just on the outside of the gathering and not need to unpick it! (If not, that’s all right, you’ll just have to check your work and remove any visible basting stitches.)

When you get to centre front, leave the needle down at centre, lift your presser foot, and pivot the skirt to sew down the other side of the V. (See why accurate stitching is so important? If we stitched our reinforcing stitching at 1/2″ (1.3mm) then our seam allowance of 5/8″ (1.5mm) is just on the outside and the reinforcing stitches won’t show!)

Backstitch at both ends – unless you’re basting! If you’re basting, wait until you sew the real seam to backstitch.

Here’s what it looks like, before pressing:

So cute! Now, at the centre front point, we’re going to trim off the extra so we can press the point flat. Trim straight across the point as shown.

Check over your seamline. Make sure you’re happy with it before trimming! Look for puckers, uneven gathered spots, and check that your sideseam lines up. Trim any long threads poking through the seam.

If there’s anything you want to unpick and fix, do it now! If you’re ready to trim, trim the seam allowance in half.

Press the waistband seam with the seam allowance facing up. That’s it for today!

One time, I’m going to try sewing this waistband-to-skirt seam using a lapped seam. I think it might give us a nicer, more pointy V-shape at centre front. If you’re feeling adventurous and do try sewing the pieces together with a lapped seam, I’d love to see it!

Any questions? Leave me a comment below. Have a great day, everyone!


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11 Responses to Crescent Sew-Along #18: Attaching the Waistband

  1. Caroline May 16, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    Ooh what’s a lapped seam? Im learning an awful lot from this sew-along!

  2. Tasia May 16, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    @Caroline: Hi Caroline! A lapped seam is when you fold under the seam allowance on one side, and then topstitch it to the other side.

    So in this case, I’d fold under the seam allowance on the waistband, making a nice point at centre front, and then edgestitch/topstitch it on top of the skirt sections. You end up with visible stitching, but it does let you create nicer shaped seams on the top layer.

    When I do it, I’ll post about it so you can see it in action! :)

  3. ladykatza May 16, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    I’m not sewing this skirt right now, but I’ve been casually reading along. You’re method of gathering is just a brilliant idea to me. OMG, I never would have thought of doing it that way.

  4. Caroline May 16, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Brilliant! Thanks Tasia, you’re directions are always nice and clear. I wish you’d reminded us (probably just me) to ensure your fabric is the right way up before cutting… I had a bit of a disaster with my first attempt. *sighs* Still, you learn from your mistakes right?! :)

  5. Tasia May 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    @Caroline: Oh no! You’re absolutely right, you definitely learn from your mistakes. It’s the worst way to learn, but the best way to make sure you don’t do the same thing wrong twice!

  6. Caroline C. May 18, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    Har har, I am up late tonight after a flurry of sewing. The skirt is sooooo cute Tasia! GREAT design, even for a non-pear shape like myself it’s an excellently drafted and flattering skirt. I added lace to the seams using your other tutorial and it worked perfectly! No weird looking seams on the curved seams at all.

    Looking forward to sewing the facing and zipper! You make excellent tutorials, picture heavy posts are the best, even if my internet iconnection s not fast enough to load it all immediately, it’s well worth the wait.

  7. Kim May 31, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    Hi..I ordered and just received the Minoru Jacket pattern. I really love this jacket, but I just realized that these patterns are made for pear shaped women which I am not. Unfortunately, I am an apple. Will these patterns still work for someone who isn’t pear shaped with alterations in the hip and/or stomach area? I am a beginner sewer but figured I could try this jacket because there are instructions in the sewalong.


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