3-Piece, Talia, WaistBand Collection

3-Piece Waistband from the Talia

Finished and attached:

Style Arc’s Talia pant pattern has interesting details beyond the fit. One being the 3 piece waistband.  I’m calling it “3 Piece” but it has only 2 pattern pieces.  A shapely front piece and a long wide rectangle for the back.  Here’s the pieces from my first Talia shorts, cut and with the fronts interfaced.

Also needed is 1.25-1.5″ wide elastic in a suitable length.  So far that length for me has been between 16-18″.  Depends upon the stretch.

Note:  I like the idea of this waistband but I’m not entirely satisfied with the finished product. In an attempt to improve the finished waistband, I’ve already begun slightly altering Style Arc’s instructions.  I expect to further alter the instructions and even the pattern pieces as needed until I can produce a waistband of which I am proud. I know you may say “Why so an@l?” After all, my waistbands are seldom seen because they are covered by my blouses. Well, even if you can’t see it, I would know.

The front and back waistband pieces are cut  the same length as the top of the front and back of the pants respectively. Being the same length makes it really easy to sew the waistband to the pant. Fit is assured due to the elastic.

I interface both front pieces because my tummy would cause the front to compress and fold.   I also use a weft interfacing trying to stiffen and further support the front waistband.  Most waistbands I would also interface the back.  This waistband will always have elastic inserted.  Elastic is a far better at support than interfacing .

Next I prep the back. On the inside, I draw horizontal line dividing the width evenly.

I use a ‘purple pen’ the disappearing ink kind. It not only divides the width in half, but I can see it when placing my elastic. With the recommended elastic width,  I want multiple rows of stitching to attach the elastic to the waistband. That gets a little dicey for me since the stitched areas want to roll and fold differently from the unstitched.  I start by aligning my elastic along that purple line and then making a vertical line of stitching at the center and both ends.

This first stitching attaches the elastic to one half of the waistband. You can see the elastic pulls and folds the waistband.  Next step for me, is to fold the waistband wrong-sides and lengthwise edges together.  Then I baste the long raw edges together before stitching however many rows of stitching I desire.

At this point, it can look a bit wonky.  I steam it, allowing it to draw up which often also causes it straighten and lie flat.  I may still need to trim the short ends (potential side seams), which I will do, to ensure they are neat, even and flat. The back waistband will never look better than it does now. If it’s a loser now, proceeding will ruin the garment. Trimming a bit from the ends is a small price to pay to assure a nice finished waist.

I trim any excess interfacing from the front pieces

and, RST, stitch  the long, top edges.

I confess, I don’t remember exactly Style Arc’s instructions. Up till this pair of shorts, I trimmed top seam allowance to 1/4″ and ran it through the serger. I pressed flat and then to one side before understitching. But I kept getting jogs where the front and back waistband is joined and decided I needed to do something different.  One time, I top stitched a scant 1/8″ from the edge which I think makes a nice, sharp professional finish all the way up to the nasty jog at the side seam. So, no more top stitching the waistband.

Instead of serging, I stitched RST and 1/4″ from the edge before carefully pressing that seam flat; open;

and finally WST. At that point, I carefully placed together the back and front side seams

before folding and pinning the front waistband over the back waistband. I made sure the top edges of the front and back were snugged as close together as possible.

I stitched a 3/8″ side seam; opened up carefully and discovered yet another nasty jog.

WB is upside down

OK that didn’t work, how about leaving the last 1/4″ of the top waistband open and inserting the back waistband into the seam

Eh, No

usually I grade the corners and seams after the seam is stitched. How about trimming the corner before stitching?

… Jogged again!

WB is upside down.


Yeeeeesh. Apparently, there’s something I basically don’t understand about constructing this waistband; or maybe this construction will always have a jog at the side seam? The only thing I know for sure is that I have yet to achieve a nice smooth top edge at the side seam with this 3-Piece Waistband.


Temporarily defeated, I serge finish the entire raw edge. Stitched the pant legs together and attached the waistband by aligning RST of waist band and legs before straight stitching at the sewing machine.

If I could just conquer the jog at the side seams, this would be an incredibly nice waistband. It’s also fabric conserving as it can be cut from a largish scrap. The back could be pieced (attaching the elastic would completely hide the piecing!) The front’s curve is a nice fitting touch also contributes to avoiding that folding and scrunching previously alluded to and for which interfacing was added.


I’m sure I will be updating these instructions. I’m not sure if I will replace this post with a new post or if I will keep this for historical pieces. Sometimes it’s good to know what you did even if it didn’t work. That at least tells you not to do that again.


WaistBand Collection

the WaistBand Collection

I don’t do very much with pants. Style wise, I mean. That’s because I am and have always been very conscious of my pear shape.  Yes, even as a pre-teen I thought I had big hips.  So I’ve always looked for ways to minimize the hips.  A very good method is keeping the clothes on my bottom half very plain; even stream lined. So I don’t do much, style wise, with pants, yet making the same exact pattern over and over would be boring sewing.  For that reason, I’m always looking for slightly different pockets and waistband and the occasional … um… refreshing hem treatment that doesn’t shout “look at my big rear end” but is interesting. Or at least different.

I want/need  an easy reference and instructions I can understand. Sort of a place where I can ask “What can I do different this time?”; browse quickly and pick something.  I do have one book Waists and Waistbands  however it’s far from a complete  wiki. I thought I was lucky to have purchased  on sale (thereby not wasting much money) because I didn’t see anything new or interesting (to me YMMV). I’ve decided to start a Category here, my pants blog, to collect Waistband treatments.  I’ll also add pocket and hem collections but not necessarily on this blog. Nor will you see them in the immediate future. Making blog posts takes time.  Including instructional texts and pictures, even longer.

Like my Cover Stitch Blog, I think there will be many waist band posts initially. Then number of posts will taper off and probably be rare within a year. But by then, I’ll have a nice collection to refer to when I need another pair of pants but can’t bear to make the same ol’ same ol’.


Talia Shorts

I have a few groupings of odd colored fabrics. Odd in that I don’t normally purchase these particular colors. Since buying on-line has become my major source of fabrics, more of these odd colors make it into the stash. If I acquire enough of any particular color, I can make Collections. Otherwise these will become my muslin stash.  I’m working with a fabric today that I purchased in a store (so I have no excuse for color mis-choice)  fully intended that it be summer pants. I had two other fabrics that worked with it well. I made a sleeveless, button front blouse 2 years ago.  Last year I made a pullover trapeze blouse (also sleeveless) but the pants fabric went back on the shelf with a note ‘not enough for slacks’.  At the time only PP113 fit nicely but wouldn’t work with this fabric because the fabric shrank in the wash. I had 1-3/4 yard instead of the 2-1/4 purchased and a width limitation (44″).  It is a 100% cotton, so I expected some shrinkage… just not this much. I love this particular type fabric for summer pants. It’s like a light weight duck fabric. It’s a plain weave, with visible threads. The threads are soft. Between the feel and the absorbancy of cotton, it’s just wonderful for summer wear.

I decided to use the Talia because, well I know it fits, but also it has a slimmer leg which translates to a smaller foot print when I lay out the pattern pieces. The two pattern-piece waistband can fit on any large scrap. Have you noticed garment sewing tends to create large scraps that aren’t large enough to make another garment but not good for quilting either?   I opted to cut ankle length pants and folded up the pattern-legs 3″.  After that, I had a little excess — 2-3″– instead of definite shortage.

Taking my own advice, I put the waistband together first. Unfortunately, I stitched with all-purpose thread instead of water-soluble. Unfortunate because the waistband was too loose.  Well the real culprit here is the new elastic.  I purchased 1.25 and 1.5″  sports elastic from Wawak.  It, like CLD’s elastic, is too soft. It doesn’t hold it’s length but easily relaxes. That’s fine when you don’t mind your WB sliding down an inch or so.  In my case it is important that the waistband stay in place. Otherwise the combination of high-low crotch anomaly and high protruding seat will pull the back of the pant downward until it puddles between buttock and knee. I was loath, I say l-o-a-t-h to rip the waistband apart. We’re talking the two side seams and 4 lines of stitching through elastic. I opted to stitch the side seams at 7/8″ instead of 3/8″. Which was a gross mistake.  I thought I would be easing a mere 1/2″ each quadrant of pant to each quadrant of waistband. Nope, I had inches to ease in each quadrant that didn’t want to ease. I ran a gathering line and gathered the waistband to the pant which is pathetic. You make an elastic waistband so that the waistband does all the gathering and easing for you. But it’s what I had to do.  The first try on completely stunned me. As in “I thought I had this fit???”

I had big, back X wrinkles:

Front hip poofs

and I’m at a total loss of words for the side view:

I don’t remember these issues in previous versions of the Talia. So, do I admit defeat and toss these?  It would be easy to say the wrong elastic ruined the fit and be done with it.  But I do have 2 maybe 3 blouses that coordinate nicely. 3 blouses plus this pair of pants and I have a small summer collection.

I opted for shorts.  I’ve noticed in the past that most of the back wrinkles simply disappear when I make a pant  pattern is made into shorts; and it worked this time.

OK there is still one V back there.  I’ve scooped the crotch 1/4″ and need to scoop it again because the perfectly even hem is lopsided. It is being pulled upwards by the crotch which is also trying to snuggle between my buns.

I  trimmed 3/4″ from the top of the front leg while keeping the same length at CF and CB. Think of my waistline as a roller coaster track instead of hula hoop circle.  I’m surprised the pattern doesn’t already reflect my roller-coaster shape. So I could could have a pattern issue that the previous fabric and elastic were able to overcome.  Currently, the side does look slightly better

but I’m not sure about the front

My right side drops nicely into place with only a little upward twitch of the inseam hem. No idea what the left side is doing. I removed the waistband; aligned the top edges of the pants (front with front, back with back) and pinned into place before drawing and trimming a measured line along the top.  The curve I created is the same on both fronts and both backs.  I have not attempted to compensate for a higher hip because I’m not sure that’s one of my issues.  I often see a hint in the back of blouses which disappears when I compensate for my right, lower shoulder. I know have a lower shoulder issue, I’m not sure I have a hip issue as well.  This is  one of those times when I’m grateful for the blouse lengths I prefer because the planned blouses make this short look good

Ignore face. This was at the end of a frustrating sewing session.

I realize I won’t be wearing these shorts for long anyway. The second blouse I planned to wear was made 2 years ago and has shrunk

Ok so it’s my donuts-to-dancing ratio that’s off and the blouse didn’t shrink I grew. Either case, I won’t be wearing the blouse especially after seeing the back view



Kinda of sad about that because this blouse contained beautiful cutwork I did with the embroidery machine. Even with the machine to help, cut work is a delicate, lengthy process. Trimming those little openings will make you cross eyed if not blind. This blouse is ‘me’; the romantic, feminine me.  I hate to see it go. But I have a policy of wearing what I love and what looks best on me. When something becomes too large or too small, I donate.  I tell myself, “I’ll have the pleasure of making something new if I get to that size again.”

I have a 3rd possible blouse

… which is too tight just above my elbow. Apparently Zumba and Cize do nothing for that area of the arm.  It’s 100% rayon crepe and I’m pretty sure it is shrinking rather than me growing.  I rarely wear my rayons more than 2 years. Between pilling an shrinking they just don’t last.  I was surprised that this blouse looks as nicely as it does. I expect a stripe and a print to clash badly. It looks better IRL — do keep in mind this is at the end of the day and a frustrating sewing session.

So my Talia shorts aren’t completely done but you won’t see any updates.  I need to scoop the crotch another 1/4″ and I need to make the pants shorter. This isn’t the best length for me especially with my preferred blouse length. I determined short length on-the-fly. I’m not sure what to do with the Talia pattern itself. I do think I’ve gotten the crotch too short. The snuggle-between-the-buns look has been going on (but much lesser) for several Talia’s. BUT I have the wrong elastic. Walmart’s elastic is better for me because it is stiff and stays where I want — except I never find 1.25 or 1.5″ widths. So far all the elastics I’ve tried have been soft and intended for pants that would slide downward on the body–something I don’t want.  I want to know that when I put my pants on the waist will be in the same place every day, all day. Not getting there with these ‘better’ elastics.