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.