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Different Styles of Waistbands for Your Sewing Business

Different Styles of Waistbands for Your Sewing Business

If you’re looking to enter the fashion industry, you’ll need to know the different styles of waistbands for your sewing business in order to make great pieces!

Moreover, understanding the many things you can do with waistbands can be a great tool when learning more about the industry.

Waistbands are made of a strip of material that encompasses the waist and creates a more comfortable fashion piece. Let’s look at a few different styles of waistbands that you can use in your sewing business.


Straight—also known as regular—waistbands are the fabric that sits on top of the material you’ve already created. It is typically used as an extension of your established material that encloses the elastic.

Straight waistbands have a classy appearance and make for great additions to fashion pieces like skirts and other fitted garments.


When sewing a straight waistband on a drafted skirt, it’s best to be careful with your method of fabric cutting, sewing, and working with more flexible straight waistband materials.

A great way to avoid the most common mistakes is to stay-stitch the curved waistline or use a strip of bias to stabilize the material.

You might also consider cutting the waistband pattern last once you’ve completed the proper measurement. This way, you’ll be able to notice any issues ahead of time and correct them before you prepare to cut the fabric.

Once you complete everything with your skirt such as pleats, tucks, and zippers, then you’re ready to attach the straight waistband.

Facing vs. Contoured

A facing waistband is essentially fabric that faces the inside of the piece. The main benefit of attaching a facing waistband to your garment is that it adds a clean finish to the area.

Some people prefer to display the waistband outwardly, while others enjoy a smoother edge. Try to create your facing band from a lightweight fabric to avoid the waist area looking pulled down or “heavy.”

Contoured waistbands, on the other hand, are placed on the outside of the material and are considered great features for many garments.

This type of waistband typically sits on the bias, contouring the wearer’s natural curvature and providing a more comfortable wear.

Both facing and contoured waistbands are made to fit at the waist and below to ensure the material hugs the wearer and allows maximum comfort.


A great example of a contoured waistband is a pair of leggings! Many people wear leggings when performing activities that require lots of movement, such as exercise or running.

Leggings often contain contoured waistbands so that the pants are snug on the waist and don’t run the risk of becoming loose or falling during wear.


Elastic fabric can be used for virtually any type of waistband to ensure comfortability, flexibility, and a clean appearance. There are three main types of elastic one may use for their business, including:

  • Braided: Braided elastic fabrics have ribs along the length of the material and become narrow when one stretches them. While braided elastic can be great for many garments, it might not be best for waistbands as they’re not made for sewing directly to the fabric due to its tendency to roll.
  • Knitted: Knitted elastic is known for keeping its width when stretched, which is why it’s a popular choice amongst professionals to use as fabric for waistbands. One might also suggest cutting the knitted elastic a bit shorter to ensure it can grip to the material correctly.
  • Woven: Woven elastic can also be a great choice for waistbands as it also maintains its width when stretched. This type of elastic tends to be more firm than other types of elastic, which is why you should cut it to the body measurement, no shorter. Additionally, this elastic does not roll like braided and knitted elastics do!

Maternity Jeans

When one thinks of “stretchy” pants, one might immediately think of maternity jeans due to their flexibility and comfortability for women who need a bit more room in their clothing.

If your sewing business decides to create maternity jeans for your clients, be sure to use comfortable fabric and elastic that won’t lose integrity when stretched.


Drawstring waistbands also allow maximum flexibility for the wearer. When creating a drawstring waistband, it’s always a good idea to provide a casing that will enable the drawstring cored to tighten and loosen the garments.

Additionally, you’ll want to cut out eyelets or buttonholes on the material to allow the drawstring cord to pass through efficiently. A few different cord choices include:

  • Polyester braided cord
  • Parachute cord
  • Leather/faux leather cord

Be sure to choose your drawstring cord wisely, as different materials can affect the overall quality and function of the garment.


Sweatpants can be quite easy and fun to make, but it’s essential to remember to make them from soft, breathable materials like cotton. Placing elastic on sweatpants can be an easy task if you make sure to put them in the proper casing to ensure the wearer can comfortably move around in the bottoms.

Furthermore, sweatpants are great for keeping one warm when the temperature is slightly colder than preferred. They can trap heat and warm up the muscles more efficiently than leggings or other thin materials.

Athletic Shorts

Athletic shorts are another excellent example of how you can utilize the drawstring waistband. While not many people actually utilize the drawstring feature on their athletic shorts, the main purpose of the cord is to keep the shorts snug on the waist while the wearer is performing rigorous activity.

It’s always a great idea to keep bulk elastic in your inventory to ensure you’re always prepared when creating garments for your sewing business. Having additional fabric on hand is critical to the completion of your projects and the success of your business.

Keep in mind that you’ll need different tools for each project, so be sure to build and grow your inventory as you grow in your business.

By utilizing these different styles of waistbands for your sewing business, you’re enabling yourself to explore various styles without compromising your style and stock.

Different Styles of Waistbands for Your Sewing Business
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