perfect corners on waistbands? yes you can!

for a long time i struggled with getting my waistband corners to turn out well. it seemed that nothing i tried would produce anything even close to a neatly squared off corner. i tried everything—trimming, pressing, taking a diagonal stitch, jabbing with anything sharp i could get my hands on… but finally, finally i came upon a fool-proof technique. no, really. you’re skeptical, and i understand, but trust me: this one actually works.


begin by sewing your waistband and waistband facing together at the top edge. sew all the way across, then press, grade, and under stitch all the way across.


attach the waistband to your pants/skirt. give it a good press, and double check that your fronts line up nicely at the waistband seam. if all looks good, grade the SA.


now we’ll sew up the short sides of the waistband. from the front, fold the waistband facing over the waistband (RST), making sure you grab the whole upper seam allowance. it has been under stitched, so just make sure everything is nicely lined up.


stitch up the short side, making sure that your stitching hits right next to the pant/skirt opening without catching it in your stitching.


trim the SA down to 3/8″—no smaller. no smaller you hear? the only bulk i remove is that little snip you see there.


get ready, here’s the cool part: fold the SA back and pinch it with your fingers right at at the corner. while pinching, pull the waistband right side out. then kind of take the seam and rub it in between your fingers to work that seam out.


if it doesn’t quite lay square yet, take your point turner and don’t just start poking willy nilly!!! place it between the layers of fabric to finish squaring out the corner.IMG_0909

here’s the finished corner before pressing. the whole key to this working is allowing the layers to be neatly folded up inside. keeping the SA’s strengthens the corner and encourages it to keep it’s shape. when you trim close to the corner as we’re all told, you weaken the seam and lose all that interior structure. then when you jab and jab to get that point out, you stretch out the fabric and just end up with a wad of fabric jammed into the corner. it will never lay nice and square that way.


you can even see the folding action from the outside. go grab one of your RTW pants and you’ll see the same thing.

moral of the story: fold, don’t jam. and finally enjoy those perfect corners you’ve always dreamed of.

—lisa g.