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Straight vs curved waistbands

Straight and curved waistband


What's the difference between a straight and curved waistband?

A straight waistband is exactly what it says on the tin! The straight strip is the same measurement on the top and the bottom. Sometimes you can use a straight waistband without gaping at the top edge; this may also apply if it's sitting on your hips or as a panel feature on the pattern's hem.

However, for lots of people, they find that that a curved waistband fits better. This is usually when the body curves in at the waist so the measurement where the top and bottom of the waistband sit is different. If this is the case, a curved waistband allows the bottom measurement to stay the same (as the straight waistband would) and sew to the skirt or pants. While the waistband's top edge gets smaller, preventing it from gaping!

Pink skirt with waistband and curved seam


For both patterns, you'll create a straight waistband (video 1) to ensure you're using the correct measurements and then you can overlap the top edge to turn it into a curved waistband (video 2).

Creating a straight waistband

Creating a curved waistband

(Follows on from a straight waistband)

You can also use the video above for fitting waistbands that are gaping.


How to decide which style is best for you

If you are unsure which waistband style is best for you, you could create a straight waistband first and hold the pattern around your body in paper to test. If it appears to have excess space at the top, try creating a curved waistband.

If you're still unsure, toile the pattern with a straight waistband and then pinch out any excess fabric if you find it's gaping. You can use the toile as a reference when adjusting the pattern.


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