Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Alternative Waistband Construction

Most Apple Dumpling Gear patterns require a knit with lycra for the waistband. This ensures there is enough return stretch to hold up the pants. I wanted to post some instructions on what to do if your waistband material doesn't have any lycra in it (for example with 100% wool interlock). All you need to do is add some braided elastic in the waistband and prest-o-change-o...the pants stay up!
Here is how to do it:

1) Before cutting your waistband piece decide how big you want it. The pattern piece that the ADG pattern comes with is designed for a knit with a lot of stretch, if your knit has a ton of stretch (for example if it is a rib knit or even an interlock) you can probably leave the pattern piece the same size. If you are working with a less stretchy knit, such as a sweatshirt fleece, you might need to make the waistband piece longer so it can stretch over the diaper bum. For example, I made this pair of pants out of sweatshirt fleece and I used the size large waistband instead of the medium.

Note: If the fabric you are using for the legs also has very little stretch, you may consider sizing up to allow for greater ease of movement an easier time taking the longies on and off. For example: I used a size large for the width but the size medium for the rise and inseam - more on how to do this in a late blog post.

2) Choose a piece of braided elastic to go inside the waistband. The waist band has a finished height of 2" (after it is folded and sewn) so I used an elastic with a width of 1 3/4". This fits nicely inside the casing. You could use a smaller width but it might shift a bit. You definitely want to choose and non-roll elastic or the elastic will get all scrunched up after a while.

3) Choose the the length of elastic based on your child's waist. Shiloh has a waist that is 20" around so I cut my elastic to 18 1/2". This is tight enough to keep the pants on but large enough for some growing room.

4) Butt the ends of the elastic together and sew a wide zig zag up and down the raw edges thereby attaching the ends and making a loop.

5) Place your waistband right sides together and sew the short edge with a stretch stitch as directed in the pattern.

6) Fold the waistband in half lengthwise and place the elastic inside the "casing" this creates. Pin the raw edges together.

7) Zig zag all the way around the raw edges to baste them together.

8) Sew your waistband into your pants as directed in the instructions.

9) Enjoy your new pants!! Admire how they stay up:)


Amber said...

Would this work the same if you are using 100% wool interlock? I keep thinking about the way elastic waistbands sort of bunch up and am wondering if something as thick as wool would cause uncomfortable bulk.

Green Mommy said...

It should work the same. I have done it using a smaller waistband with 100% wool interlock on trainers I used to make. Make sure you use non-roll elastic and you shouldn't have a problem with bunching. I'd love to hear how it works out for you!