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The Queen of Sew
Makes an Elastic Waistband

By Shirley Cunningham, For the Fit of It

(The Queen of Sew is a fictional character created by Shirley Cunningham. She calls upon the Court Fitter  to provide answers to her sewing problems. If you would like the court fitter to address your particular sewing or fitting problem, contact For the Fit of It.)

Once upon a time, the Queen of Sew wished to make a skirt and pair of pants really fast. She searched the pattern catalogues and selected an easy elasticized design. Both the skirt and pant had only two pattern pieces, what could be faster and easier? She bought the appropriate size and checked the pattern making sure that the finished fit through the hip line included 3 to 4 inches of ease.

She cut and stitched, pressed and hemmed, all seemed well. When they were finished she held them up and admired her work. All truly was well. Then she tried them on. Oh, no! The waist and hips were right, just as she had planned but why did neither hang right? "Elastic was supposed to solve everything, What did I do wrong?"   Of course, she blamed herself, but she called for the Court Fitter.

QUEEN OF SEW'S PROBLEM -- "Why does my skirt hike up in the back and hang low in the front. Why has the elasticized waist on both the skirt and pant not solved my problem?  What did I do wrong?"

COURT FITTER'S ANSWER --  Before cutting, tie a string around your waistline.  **Have someone measure from the location of the string to the floor at the center back, front and sides. Make a note of these measurements.

On the front pattern, measure from the waistline mark up to the fold line of the casing and note the amount. At the side of the pattern, measure down from the fold line of the casing and place a cross mark the noted amount. Draw a line on the pattern connecting the side cross mark to the center pattern marking.

Determine the difference between the center front to floor  and your longest side to floor measurement, if your two side measurements are not  the same. If the center front to floor measurement is longer than the side measurement, correct the pattern by RAISING the original pattern marking at the center the amount of the difference. If the center front to floor is shorter than the side measurement, LOWER the center pattern marking the amount of the difference. Redraw the waistline curve from side to altered center. This line represents the new front waistline stitching line. Add the appropriate seam allowance above this line. Repeat the procedure for the back.

For the waistline casing, measure the stitching line from side to center on both front and back pattern pieces. Double and add these measurements together. Cut a strip of fabric to equal this amount plus 1 inch for a joining 1/2 seam allowance. The width of this casing strip should equal twice the width of the elastic, plus 1/2, plus double the waistline seam allowance. Sew to the top of the skirt or pant to from and attached casing.

** For those sewing using the "For the Fit of It" system these measurements can be found on your Body Measurement Chart.

Copyright Shirl C. Inc.

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