Infinity Dress Sewalong 5: Waistband

Infinity Dress Sewalong 5: Waistband

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In part 5 of the Infinity Dress Sewalong, we’ll assemble the waistband and attach the straps. Gather your pleated straps, front and back waistband and waistband lining pieces, coordinating thread, pins, scissors, and of course sewing machine. A serger is optional. We’re using a contrast thread throughout this Infinity Dress Sewalong for visibility purposes, but we advise you to use coordinating thread for your dress. We’ll walk you through Steps 5-14 of the instructions.

Step 5: Sew waistbands

Sew the Front Waistband to the Back Waistband along the short sides to make a Waistband. The front is slightly larger than the back, and has two notches halfway instead of one. Press the seams open. Repeat to make a Waistband Lining.

Infinity Dress Sewalong 5: Waistband

Step 6: Pin straps

Turn the waistband (not the lining) right side out and pin the straps to the top of the front waistband, right sides together. The notch of the back waistband should  later match the skirt center back, so make sure it is on the bottom of the back waistband and not the top. The center front of the straps should match the center front notch of the waistband. The straps overlap to both sides of the center front. The sides of your straps will align with the side seams of the waistband.

Infinity Dress Sewalong 5: Waistband

Step 7: Baste in place

Baste the straps in place just inside the 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance.

Infinity Dress Sewalong 5: Waistband

Step 8: Waistband lining

Place the waistband lining over the waistband and straps, right sides together. Match the side seams and the center front notch. Sew the waistband to the waistband lining along the top, all the way around. This will sandwich the straps in between the waistband and waistband lining. Take out the strap and pleat basting stitches.

Infinity Dress Sewalong 5: Waistband

From here you can choose the prettier but tricker Hidden Elastic construction or the easier Elastic Casing construction.

For Hidden Elastic: Step 9 & 10: Press & baste

From the inside of the waistband, with the wrong sides of the fabric facing you, press the waistband away from the waistband lining, and press the seam allowances toward the waistband lining. Baste the seam allowances in place.

Infinity Dress Sewalong 5: Waistband

Step 11: Cut elastic

Cut a piece of elastic according to your size chart and mark 1″ (2,5 cm) in from either end. These marks will line up with the side seams once the elastic is stretched and sewn. Elastic lengths are:

Size 0-2: 10″ (25 cm)
Size 4-6: 11″ (28 cm)
Size 8-10: 12″ (30 cm)
Size 12-14: 13.5″ (34 cm)
Size 16-18: 15″ (38 cm)
Size 20-22: 17″ (43 cm)
Size 24: 20″ (51 cm)

Infinity Dress Sewalong 5: Waistband

Step 12: Pin elastic

Pin the elastic to the back waistband lining with the edge of the elastic just below the seam line (over the basting line). The elastic should extend 1″ (2,5 cm) beyond the side seam. The elastic is shorter than the waistband so that it gathers the waistband when we sew them together.

Infinity Dress Sewalong 5: Waistband

Step 13: Sew elastic

Sew the full length of the elastic to the waistband close to the top of the elastic with a large zig-zag stitch. Don’t stretch the elastic for the 1″ (2,5 cm) that extends into the front waistband.

Secure your elastic by stitching in place at the mark at the side seam, then stretch the elastic to match the fabric below and start sewing. You may need to pull the elastic ever so slightly behind the presser foot too to prevent it from slipping underneath the foot as you stretch the elastic in front. PLEASE NOTE: The next two photos are not complete! The stitching should extend along the whole length of the elastic like in the unfortunately-out-focus leopard print example (so the stitching continues into the front waistband lining by the 1″ extension).

Infinity Dress Sewalong 5: Waistband

If you feel like your elastic has stretched out from sewing, you can hover over it (don’t press) with your iron while blasting steam. This will shrink the elastic back a little and make the gathers of the back waistband shape evenly, as shown below.

Infinity Dress Sewalong 5: Waistband

Step 14: Baste waistband

Fold the waistband back down as it will be when it’s worn. Baste the bottom edges of the waistband and waistband lining together just inside the 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance.

Infinity Dress Sewalong 5: Waistband

For Elastic Casing: Step 15: Sew Casing

With your bodice waistband in place like it will be when you wear it (lining on the inside), sew a line of stitching along the Back Waistband that is just barely wider than the width of your elastic so that you create a channel you can slide your elastic into. For example, if you’re using 1″ elastic, sew the stitching a needle’s width wider than 1″ from the top of the back of the waistband.

Step 16: Cut elastic

Cut a piece of elastic according to your size chart and mark 1″ (2,5 cm) in from either end. These marks will line up with the side seams once the elastic is stretched and sewn. Elastic lengths are:

Size 0-2: 10″ (25 cm)
Size 4-6: 11″ (28 cm)
Size 8-10: 12″ (30 cm)
Size 12-14: 13.5″ (34 cm)
Size 16-18: 15″ (38 cm)
Size 20-22: 17″ (43 cm)
Size 24: 20″ (51 cm)

Step 17: Insert elastic

Thread the elastic into the channel you made in the back waistband. I like to use a large safety pin on the end of the elastic to help with threading the elastic. Pull it through so that 1″ of the elastic extends beyond the side seam on either side.


Step 18: Secure the elastic

Secure the elastic in place by stitching a line or two of stitching along the side seam. We used a contrast thread so you can see it easily, but it will blend in if you use a matching thread.

Step 19: Baste the bottom of the waistband

Baste the bottom of the waistband together all the way around to make it easier to sew to the skirt in the next steps.

That’s it for today, your waistband and straps are now ready to attach to the skirt.

Find all the Infinity Dress Sewalong posts here.

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