Friday, 28 February 2014

How to adjust waistband

Hi there.

This is going to be the first "official" post of my blog and I decided to start it off with a bang. I know a lot of people who are "bootylicious" and have a narrow waist, which means that most of their pants and skirts don't fit them right in the waist area. In order for the garment to fit them around the hips, they get a lot of extra space in the waist as a reward. It happens a lot to those with pear or hourglass body shape.

I'm familiar with the method of pulling in the excess fabric with an elastic strip(see example here), but that creates a problem with thick materials(for example some jeans) or creates a lot of puckering with very light fabrics. To avoid this problem there's a way that's a bit more time consuming, but it's more rewarding in the end. So let's get to work.

First you'll want to try on the pants and you'll see where you'll need to take in the waistband. If you have a gaping spot in the back, you are in luck. But if it's too loose on the sides and there's no "hole" in the back then you just have to double the work.

Mark with pins how much you have to take in(make sure that you do it on both sides if you have to take in from the sides), also mark with pins below the waistband. The rule of thumb is that if you take in the waistband, you also have to take in a bit below the waistband(even if it seems like you don't.) In this case the pants were too loose on cheeks and the fabric told me that the seamline needed to go in quite a lot. But usually I gradually take in until 10cm(about 4inches).

 Now mark the pin lines with chalk on the inside(wrong side) and turn the garment inside out. I like to pull one leg into the other so that there's less stuff in my way and it's more compact. Comfort is the best Fort :P
And then I pick up my friend seam ripper and get to work

 Now I've taken off the label and the belt loop and dismantled the waistband. Don't take off the waistband entirely, just enough that you can sew it comfortably. Make sure to mark the center line of the waistband. The center is the line where the back seam meets the waistband. I usually use a pin instead of chalk for this because it's easier.(Like this). Leave the seam that connects the back pieces of the trousers intact for now(as it's easier to sew if it's still in piece)

Now mark the sewing lines. The seam in the waistband should be wider at the top and narrower in the bottom. If your waistband is in one piece and not in two, like mine, make sure that the seam allowance in the fold line is wider than at the bottoms. Make sure that you take in the most at the top of the waistband and that you take in exactly the same amount in the bottom of the waistband and the top of the back seam. I needed to take in 2,5cm at the top and 2cm at the bottom of the waistband. Which means I also took in 2cm where the waistband meets the pants. Once you've marked your lines, go to your friend the sewing machine.

Now I've sewn the waistband and the center seam, taken apart the old center seam and steamed/ironed the seam allowance apart. Originally the seam allowance for this seam was evenly 1cm, but traditionally for trousers the seam allowance gets wider at the top(until 3cm), so I decided to leave it like that. But you can use your serger and just trim it back.

Also trim the new seam allowance in the waistband and iron it into two sides(like this)

 Now sew the waistband into the pants waistline(if you had the belt loop, don't forget to put it into the seam that connects the waistband with the pants), connect the waistband at the top(if it was in two pieces).

Sew back the label if you want to(as the trousers aren't mine, I had to) and then topstitch the inner side of the waistband in place. Also if needed, topstitch the one side of the beltloop in place as well.

Steam or iron your garment and cut off any treads that might be poking out somewhere.

Enjoy your work!

PS. This was an instruction for how to take in the back part.But for sides, just do this on sides and make sure you divide the amount you need to take in equally on two sides.

Phew. I feel like I am horrible at explaining and teaching things to others, so right now I feel like I've ran a marathon and I need a nap. Anyways. I hope this has been helpful and I've explained everything well enough.

Au revoir! Fooniks

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