M7547 Sew-Along: Waistband Facing Option for Pants

McCall's M7547 Sew-Along

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.IMG_3413
  • 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.
McCall's M7547 Sew-Along
This is a diagram from another pattern that shows the process of adding a waistband facing. In Fig. A you can see how the facing is stitched on at the waist, with the ends extending past the zipper opening. The inset shows understitching after the facing is attached. In Fig. B, the facing ends at the zipper opening are turned under and then stitched in place.
McCall's M7547 Sew-Along
My pants facing.

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.

Finishing Techniques For Knit Garments. Plus, Sneak Peek!

McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.

Happy Friday! Here’s a sneak peek of a new McCall’s pattern I just love. It’s a Plenty by Tracy Reese dress pattern and it will be available very soon, along with the rest of the new Fall collection for McCall’s. The reason I’m sharing it here is one, it’s really cute and flattering. Two, the torso is lined with power mesh (tricot)—love this idea!

Here’s the original designer dress turned inside out. The fabric is a textured knit jacquard that’s ivory and black on the right side and solid black on the wrong side. See how there’s a neck facing attached to the black power-mesh lining on the bodice?

Detail photo of McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.

I have several knit dresses planned for my fall sewing and I want to borrow this finishing idea. I’m gravitating to the thought that a power mesh lining could help smooth things out, like a layer of lightweight Spanx. And finishing the edges with facings makes me happy, because I’m never really pleased with the knit bands I make at the neck and arm hole (they’re lumpy). So I am definitely going to borrow these two finishing techniques for the knit dresses I have planned.

Have you been using facings and power mesh/tricot linings on your knit garments, and I’m just really late to the party? Do tell. I think this concept works better on more stable knits, like ponte and double knits. Speaking of fabric, I went to my local Jo-Ann’s this past weekend to buy some craft supplies and ended up leaving with three cuts of knit fashion fabric, including this gray textured knit. Very pleased with my purchase.

Here are some more photos of this Plenty by Tracy Reese dress, because we know you like these kinds of detail shots. Coming next week: the new fall collections video. Stay tuned!

Detail photo of McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.
The bodice and the lining are serged or stitched together as one to the flared skirt.
Detail photo of McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.
Want, want, want this textured jacquard knit the designer used.
McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.
Gotta love a v-neck for a flattering line. We feature this dress in the soon-to-be-released fall collections video. It’s even cuter worn in real life.