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!

Posted in sewing techniques, Tutorial | Tagged | 4 Comments
My Favorite Tween Pattern @ Sew Cool For The Tween Scene

A bunch of bloggers have been showing their favorite tween patterns for a fun series to celebrate the first anniversary of Sew Cool For The Tween Scene!

Rock & Republic Big Girl Briefs by SewsNBows

Here’s a sneak peek of mine:) You can read about my favorite tween pattern at Sew Cool For The Tween Scene.

Posted in Sewing | 5 Comments
Butterick 5845 | A Formal Dress For Sofie

Last week I showed you my first time sewing fishing wire hems to make a curly cupcake skirt. Today I’m showing a formal dress for Sofie!

Butterick 5845 Formal Dress

I used inexpensive poly-satin for this dress. I’m not ready to risk good fabric with my limited experience, and this was stuff I had in the stash. I was really turned off by fabrics like satin, charmeuse, and silk because I had some near death experiences with them on my old (cheap) sewing machine. As in…the sewing machine almost choked to death. But the machine I’m on now handles them just fine. And I feel drunk with power.

Coral & lavender formal toddler dress | SewsNBows

I used Butterick 5845 * to make this dress. Once the bodice was cut and put together, I realized it was enormous for my niece. I had to chop off about 8 inches; which was pretty much both center back panels.

Coral + Lavender Satin Dress with Rhinestones | SewsNBows

Did I read the size chart? No. Did I make a muslin? Uh-uh. But it’s still Butterick’s fault for always making their patterns run so huge & not putting a disclaimer on the front cover. Right? Because I always forget that they run HUGE.

Coral Satin Dress with Lavender Accents | SewsNBows

The bodice fit wasn’t the worst of my issues. After chopping so much off the bodice; the high low skirt just wasn’t going to fit. I gathered the hell out of it. When I realized the gathers were an inch thick and it still wouldn’t fit into the bodice, I had to make it work.

Coral + Lavender Satin Dress with Rhinestones

I chopped the huge, skirt of all skirts into a smaller, more manageable skirt. Gone was the elegant southern ballgown I envisioned, and in it’s place stood a 90’s prom dress.

Girls Satin Formal Dress, Butterick 5845 | SewsNBows

Don’t think I’m trashing the 90s either. I’d go back and do that decade again if I could. I LOVE THIS DRESS.

Girls Formal Dress Butterick 5845 | SewsNBows

So does she:)

Coral Dress with Rhinestone Bow | SewsNBows

When I saw her wear it the other day, I almost fell over. She had put on her bitty sized leather jacket and combat boots- it reminded me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (The movie, not the series.) It was pretty dang cute.

Rhinestone Bow Dress Detail | SewsNBows

I’m getting pretty heavy handed with Swarovski crystals* lately. You apply them with a tiny heat tool.  Everything I see, I ask myself: “Would this be better bedazzled?” The answer is always yes.

Butterick 5845 | SewsNBows

This week I’m sewing for Bella, my 9 year old. She’s designing her clothes again, uh-oh. I’m a little scared because last time she designed a retro dots dress that was 17 kinds of crazy. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

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Posted in Bows, Costumes, Formalwear, Girls Clothing, Pattern Review | Tagged , | 9 Comments
Sewing Fishing Wire Hems : My First Time

Sewing Fishing Wire Hems | SewsNBows

Last week I worked on a little pageant dress in some charmeuse I had in the stash. I showed a few progress pictures on my Instagram and G+ Page, and some of you were wondering how that went.

Sewing Fishing Wire Hems

I definitely can’t call myself an expert on sewing fishing wire hems; or even sewing with formal type fabrics. But I did want to share my first try with this technique.  I’m hoping to make million dollar, title winning pageant dresses in no time. If that doesn’t work out, they will make dandy Halloween costumes and dress up clothes! This post isn’t a how-to. Just my experience so far.

Corset & Cupcake Skirt | Sewing Fishing Wire Hems

So this is the corset and cupcake skirt. I have used boning in all the corset seams to help it keep it’s shape. I haven’t added grommets yet; and really…I’m scared to. I used a light interfacing, which I suspect isn’t strong enough to hold metal grommets. Since this dress was “practice”, I’ll be keeping it around to try different hem techniques and design experiments.

Corset & Cupcake Skirt | SewsNBows

Below, a close up of the skirt. (Sorry for the hasty phone pics!) Fishing wire is fed into the rolled hem, creating the curly effect. I will write more about that process when get it right. I learned from this skirt that 40 lb fishing wire is great for catching fish, but for seriously curvy hems you need 100 lb weight wire. There isn’t much online about sewing fishing wire hems; but I have read that you can boil or microwave the wire to get an extreme coil. I tried both with 40 lb, and it didn’t really work in either case. I think heavier wire and letting it “set” longer will get me the desired effect.

Rolled hem issues | Sewing With Fishing Wire

I had lots of hemming issues. The rolled hems on the white fabric are all crazy. I’m going to dig for my rolled hem foot and play with it. I’ve never tried it before! The hems on the blue charmeuse are wack-tastic too. I’m considering rolled hems or bias tape next time I hem a curve. I was taught that rolled hems were wrong except for sheers and delicates, but I’ve seen very nice, professional looking rolled hems on pageant dresses. I found a great tutorial at Sew Can She: How To Use A Rolled Hem Foot.

A dress I'm working on | SewsNBows

Now I’m working on another formal dress. I’m going to try my hand at stoning a gown with crystals. I can’t wait to learn everything and bring you some tips!

Posted in Costumes, Formalwear, sewing techniques | Tagged , , | 9 Comments
Fabulous PDF Pattern Designers Showcase

I can’t wait to tell you a little bit about our designers for the Fall PDF Pattern Giveaway at SewsNBows & Diana Rambles!



Fall Sewing Giveaway: 9 Pattern Prize Pack

9 designers have teamed up to giveaway a PDF pattern package to one lucky winner; to jump start your fall sewing. I wanted to tell you a little about each designer, and show you what’s up for grabs! Feel free to browse around the shops and blogs who are generously sponsoring this giveaway. 



Blaverry is an up and coming pattern shop with edgy, professional grade patterns. Here are some deals for you, good through Sunday. You won’t see deep discounts like this again!

ILoveBlaverry40 – 40% OFF of $14.95 (one regular priced pattern)
ILoveBlaverry45 – 45% OFF of $29.90 (2 regular priced pattern)
ILoveBlaverry50 – 50% OFF for any purchase of $44.85 or more (3 or more regular priced items)
All valid through this Sunday August 31st.

Blaverry Nautical Line

You can see the entire nautical line at the Blaverry shop. Christie is currently designing her second line, which will include boy specific patterns, and new sizing up to 16! Hint: the aesthetic is very upscale and rocker cool.

Greenstyle Creations

Angie from Greenstyle is another of my favorite pattern designers. I’m excited about the new Shawl Collar Pullover pattern, available this week in the boys Bundle Up Sale. But my all time favorite Greenstyle pattern is…

Walbrook Boxer Briefs pattern from Greenstyle

Walbrook Boxer Briefs! (And not just because the cover dude is smokin’.) You can buy this pattern in men or boys sizes. I could’ve shown the boys pattern cover, But I figured a hot guy would lower my bounce rate. Pause and admire! See all Greenstyle patterns here.


Serger Pepper

Serger Pepper is releasing a brand new pattern August 30th, the Everyday Tank Top & Dress. The tank length is the perfect for underwear, matched with Big Girl Briefs, & midi dress length can be paired with Basic Leggings for a fashionable Fall look.

Everyday Tank & Dress pattern by Serger Pepper

SewsNBows readers get a special 30% discount on any SergerPepper patterns through September 4th: use promo code AMY30.


Shaffer Sisters

The Shaffer Sisters are competing in this seasons Project Run & Play. I’m so excited that I want to slap somebody’s grandma. I’d never actually slap a grandma, how did that phrase become a thing?! Anyways, I heard rumors of a new pattern in the works, but that’s going to be on pause for a moment while those girls are kicking butt in the competition. I’m rooting for ya, ladies!!

Betty Skirt pattern from Shaffer Sisters

The Betty Skirt is their debut pattern, and it has a ton of options. Big pleats, little pleats, gathers or button placket. There’s even a doll sized version, aw!



Chelsea from Get Your Crap Together writes the coolest blog, full of recipes, organizing ideas, crafty projects, printables, and sewing tutorials. She also has lots of fun patterns in the GYCT Pattern Shop.

Jean & Jamey Pajamas by GYCT Designs

I love the Jean & Jamey Pajamas. A super basic knit pajama pattern that is sure to be a staple in your pattern collection!


Ginger Baby Patterns

Ginger Baby Patterns writes some of the most user friendly PDF patterns I’ve ever worked with. It’s like buying a pattern and a sewing class at the same time. Plus, Shelly is about as sweet as pie. Maybe sweeter.

Active Classics: Everyday Knit Pants & Shorts pattern by Ginger Baby Patterns

The shop is full of adorable girls dresses that will make you go ape. But my favorite pattern is still the Active Classics Everyday Knit Pants & Shorts. It has such a nice finished look; and the fit is dead perfect. My daughter & nephew wear theirs at least once a week, so I keep making them:)


Muse Of The Morning

Aside from sewing patterns, you can buy crafty kits and hand dyed wool felt at Muse of the Morning. It’s a fun blog with lots of sewing tutorials & children’s craft ideas. There’s something for everyone there!

Practically Perfect Girls Tee Shirt pattern from Muse Of The Morning

My pattern pick is the Practically Perfect Girls Tee Shirt, which is semi-long & fitted with 4 sleeve options. Chrissy has a little bit of everything in her pattern line, including toys, bags, women’s, and home decor.


Sew Straight & Gather

Sew Straight Patterns recently released their first pattern, the Uptown/Downtown Dress. I love all the test versions (including mine!)

Uptown/Downtown Dress by Sew Straight Patterns

Sew Straight & Gather is one of my favorite blogs; and I’m dying a little bit to see what comes next. Terri also has a fun group on G+ called The PDF Pattern Place. Check it out!



I almost won’t buy a pattern until the girls at OUASM have sewn it. I trust them to keep me up on all the latest patterns, and tell me what the tricky parts are.

Jumper pattern from OUASM (soon to be released!)

Rachel & Donna have several free patterns; and released their Ruffled PJ’s pattern last year. But I’m showing you a sneak peek of the soon to be released Button Up Jumper pattern! Visit the Once Upon A Sewing Machine Shop to see patterns, handmade sewing and crochet items, or even request a custom order.

I can’t wait to see who wins this giveaway! It’s open until September 1st, so go enter if you haven’t yet: Fall PDF Pattern Giveaway From 9 Designers.

Posted in Patterns | Tagged , | 5 Comments