This week on the M7547 Sew-Along we’re at the point where we’re ready to add a waistband (if you’re sewing the pants version as I am), or the waistband and bib, if you’re making the overalls version as Amanda is. I’m actually going the no-waistband route. I tried on my pants after step 24 (the zipper), and I decided I like them without the waistband. [Note: Amanda will be posting this week about attaching the waistband and bib, so head over to her blog for those instructions.]
That meant I needed to create a waistband facing. Fortunately this is a really easy drafting task and even beginning sewers can do this. All you need is some tracing paper. Watch my how-to video (scroll down for it) or just follow these steps:
- Turn your pants inside out and lay them flat on a table, front side facing up.
- Cut a large rectangle from your tracing paper and place it on top of your pants at the waist. You’re going to trace off a facing that’s about two inches wide, more or less depending on how wide you like your facings to be.
- Trace around your pants, starting at the waist edges. On the side without a zipper, trace and include the seam allowance. On the zipper side, add and trace off a seam allowance of about two inches. This gives you some room to turn under the waistband seam allowance by the zipper, and it also gives you some extra fabric to play with in case you need it.
- Neaten up your new pattern pieces using a dressmaker’s ruler with a slight curve. Make sure your facing is an even two inches wide (if that’s the width you’re going with) all the way around. As a guide, I used a waistband facing pattern piece from a pattern I had in my stash. Check your stash because you probably have a pattern with a waistband facing as well.
- Scroll down to watch my video where I do a much better job of explaining this part.
That’s how to create your facing pieces. Mark “front” and “back” on each piece, and note the zipper side too. Then, when you cut out your waistband facing from your fashion fabric, be sure and flip the pattern pieces, since when you traced off your pants you were tracing the wrong side of your pants. But if you mess up on this step, as I did, don’t worry because the two facing pieces are practically interchangeable and who cares if you sew the back facing to the front of your pants (like I did).
Other steps in adding a waistband facing:
- Apply interfacing to both pieces.
- Sew the side seam
- Finish the lower edge of the facing. You can serge it, turn it under 1/4″ and stitch in place, or bias-bind it. I chose to bias-bind my facing.
- Pin facing in place, matching side seams. Sew 5/8″ seam around the waist.
- Before you trim your seam allowances, stop and try on your pants. I found that after I added my facing, the waist became a little baggy on me. I solved this by removing the back facing and then taking in the center-back seam near the waist. I reattached the back facing, moving the excess part of the facing to the zipper side, where I could easily trim it off (still leaving at least 5/8″ to fold to the inside of my pants).
- After you’re sure you like the fit, trim the seam and understitch. At the zipper opening, turn the facing ends to the inside. Press and hand-stitch in place.
Next week on the sew-along: Amanda discusses finishing touches. We are almost done! Don’t forget you can still join us on our M7547 Sew-Along Facebook group! We’re a small but friendly and helpful bunch.