How to sew a waistband on your overlocker


Last week I showed you how you could use your Basics Collection pattern to whip up some trackies for your kiddos, this week I want to show you how to sew a waistband using your overlocker.

1. Cut your 20mm (3/4”) elastic to the length required.  Butt the ends together so they sit flush against each other (not overlapped on top of each other) and sew them together using a wide zig zag stitch.  Back tack once or twice at the start and finish to ensure a secure finish.

how to sew a knit waistband


2. With the pants the right side out, lay them on a flat surface and pull the front down so you are looking at the inside of the back waist.  Leaving a seam allowance at the top of 1cm (3/8”), lay the elastic waistband down.

sew enclosed waistband


3. Holding the elastic in place, turn the top of the band down – the fabric and the elastic.  Your waistband should now folded in half with the elastic enclosed inside and a seam allowance of 1cm (3/8”) at the bottom.  Pin the waistband in place the whole way around.  You’ll know you’ve left enough seam allowance when the elastic loop can move freely inside the casing.

fold band over


4. Now pinch the front and the back of the waistband together with the elastic secured inside the casing and transfer the pins you just placed so they now go through the back layer also.  There will be 3 layers of fabric to pin through.

pinch top layer and bottom layer


5. Carefully overlock all the way around the waistband, ensuring to maintain a narrow, steady 6mm (1/4”) seam.  If you go too close to the elastic you’ll stitch through it and it will no longer move freely in the waistband.  We want it to be able to move and not be sewn down as this will give your pants a nice evenly gathered finish.

overlocking a waistband


how to overlock a waistband

Seriously, too easy!  You will spend longer reading this blog post than you will overlocking your waistband.  True story!  Love yas.

10 thoughts on “How to sew a waistband on your overlocker

  1. Another great time saving tip. You are very clever – thanks for sharing your sewing knowledge with the world!

    1. You’re adorable! x

  2. That’s an awesome trick! So clever, I’ve shared your post on my fb page. Right, get me some knit, I need to sew some trackies!

    1. Oh thanks Shell! Finding a good quality AND nice knit is hard! Let me know what you come up with. x

  3. Brilliant K. Just brilliant! I normally overlock it on and the turn it and sew down. But that doesn’t form a casing, just overlocked on.
    Oh and is my one stop shop for knits. You will never be disappointed with choice or quality!

  4. Kathryn – Thank you for this post. A couple of clarifying questions: Which overlock stitch did you use to close the waistband? And it appears you disengaged the cutting blade, correct?

    1. Kay, so sorry! I’ve missed this til now. I used the same stitch I used on the rest – typically just 1 needle, and no I didn’t disengage the cutting blade, I just make sure that the elastic stays on the right side of it! 😉 I usually fold the waistband over and run it through so the fold (on the bottom, the wrong side of the fabric will be visible) and the raw edge of the casing (on the top and right side of fabric visible), just skim through past it. Hope that helps! xx

  5. I am a beginner at sewing. Would this method work for cotton and flannelette fabric. Would it stretch enough?

    1. Hi Rachel,
      Yeah, it sure would! In fact, I think you’d find it much easier with a woven fabric like flannelette or a quilting cotton if you’re fairly new to sewing. The trick is you don’t want it to stretch and you want the elastic to do all that work. If you’re using a woven fabric I’d press the casing first and then pin it. I hope that helps, and good luck!! xx

      1. Thank you so much 🙂

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