How To Make A Knit Waistband : Tutorial

How To Make A Knit Waistband : Tutorial

Have you ever wondered how to make a knit waistband? It’s easier than you think!

How To Make a Knit Waistband | SewsNBows

This post was originally published at Diana Rambles

Hate elastic casings? Just about any knit shorts, pants, or skirt pattern can be modified with a knit waistband. It works well for refashioning existing garments too!

Before we start, I suggest choosing a knit fabric with plenty of stretch recovery. You want it to be able to stretch over the widest part of your hips; but still retain it’s shape in order to hug your waist. I’m using a jersey knit from L’Ouseau; they have the best quality knits I’ve touched.

How to Make a Knit Waistband | SewsNBows

Construct the main part of your garment according to instructions. I started with the Bubble Pocket Shorts pattern from Elegance & Elephants. (I omitted center seams & pockets, in case you’re wondering!)

How To Make a Knit Waistband | SewsNBows

To make your waistband, measure the circumference of the waist opening on your garment. You’ll want your finished waistband length to be an inch or two smaller than the waist opening. Use your judgement, because the type of fabric you use will vary the measurements. Remember, you want your waistband to fit as snugly as possible without losing the ability to pull over your hips.

For the width, you’ll double your desired finished waistband size. I pressed a crease in mine, to help me see what the finished waistband would look like.

Cut 2 equal sized waistband pieces for the front and back. Above, I’ve stitched my front and back together, which makes 2 side seams.

How to Make a Knit Waistband | SewsNBows

Press your seams open, then press your waistband down, wrong sides together.

How to Make a Knit Waistband | SewsNBows

Match your waistband front, back, and side seams to the quadrants of your garment. Here I’ve pinned my waistband to make it easier to match.

Since the waistband is slightly smaller than the garment, you’ll need to stretch the waistband as you pin it. Stitch the waistband to the garment using a zigzag stitch. This is important, because a straight stitch won’t  allow the fabric to stretch. As you sew, pull the fabric taut, but don’t stretch.

How To Make a Knit Waistband |SewsNBows

Here’s my finished waistband, all attached. Inside is a seam that you can leave raw, zigzag, or serge.

How To Make A Knit Waistband | SewsNBows

You can even fold it over for a cute “yoga” style waistband!

Check out my some of my awesome boards on Pinterest for lots more sewing ideas!

About The Author

Amy Mayen

Hello. I'm Amy and I'm addicted to sewing. I borderline-hoard fabric, buttons, & patterns. Sometimes I wish I could pile my fabric up on the floor and just roll in it!


  1. Mel

    I tried this on knit pants for Madeleine, nothing ever fits her tiny waist it was perfect. Great tutorial Amy.
    Mel recently posted…DIY 3 tier standMy Profile

  2. Gina

    cute!! that is something i want to give a try! thanks for the easy to follow tute!!!
    Gina recently posted…Make Modern Blog HopMy Profile


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