| Sewing Patterns for the Modern Woman - Blog Post: Jamie Jeans Sewalong Pt 9: Sew Waistband

Jamie Jeans Sewalong Pt 9: Sew Waistband

By Allie

Allie is the co-founder of Indiesew and creator of all things pretty on the site. Follow Allie and receive other Indiesew updates by subscribing to the blog.

The Jamie Jeans Sewalong Part 9: Sew Waistband |
Welcome back, folks! I think we're all breathing one big sigh of relief. Whew. Our Jamie Jean’s fly zip is finished and there are a few final steps before our jeans are ready for everyday wear. If you’ve followed along up to this point, give yourself a pat on the back! You’ve sewn the most advanced step of the pattern. The rest is smooth sailing.
The Jamie Jeans are mid-rise jeans, meaning they should sit just below your belly button and natural waist. The waistband is contoured (i.e. curved) to eliminate a gaping waist and/or plumber’s crack situation. 
So let’s attach this waistband, shall we?


Modify Waistband Pattern Pieces

If you’re using the baste and fit method, it’s likely that your waistband needs a few modifications. If you're sewing the Jamie Jeans straight form the pattern you can skip to the next section. If you remember from Part 5,  my waistband needed to be taken in about 1.5” on each side of the waist. Here’s my waistband, with the side seams basted.
Flatten waistband |
Sew and serge your basted seams so that you have a template for your new waistband.
Sew and serge your fitted waistband |
My new waistband had significantly more curve than the original pattern piece. This is a normal adjustment for wide hips and a narrow waist.
Your new shaped waistband |
Now, there are a few ways to proceed with your modified waistband. First, you can use your new waistband as a template to trace two new waistbands, cut as mirror images. If you have plenty of fabric, I encourage you to take that route. Don’t forget to transfer your pattern markings to the new waistband pattern pieces.
But, if like me, you hate to see even a tiny amount of fabric go to waste, you can use this modified waistband in your finished Jamie Jeans. Simply trace a new inner (mirror image) waistband pattern piece using your modified waistband as a template. Please note that your waistband will have side seams where it normally wouldn’t have. Press the side seams towards the front of the waistband.
Cut out your waistband interfacing, so that the buttonhole is on the right when the right side of the interfacing is facing you.


Attach Outer Waistband to Pants

Interface your outer waistband using a press cloth.
Add the interfacing to the waistband with press cloth |
Pin the waistband to your Jamie Jeans so that the outer curved (convex) edge is aligned with the raw edge of the pants, right sides together. Match notches and stretch the waistband so that the fabric is distributed evenly around the pants.
Pin the waistband to your jeans |
Sew the waistband to the pants with a 3/8” seam allowance and serge seams together.
Sew and serge the waistband to your pants |
Press that seam up towards the waistband.
Press the waistband seam up |
The attached outer waistband should look like this:
The Jamie Jeans finished waistband |


Sew Inner Waistband to Outer Waistband

Now it’s time to sew the inner waistband to the outer. Serge the outer curved (convex) edge of the inner waistband to finish the raw edge. Press the serged seam allowance towards the wrong side.
Serge the bottom edge of the waistband and press |
Pin the inner waistband to the outer waistband along the inner curved (concave) edge. Sew with a 3/8” seam allowance (there’s no need to serge this seam). Snip the seam allowance at the two waistband corners.
Sew the outer and inner waistbands together |
Flip the waistband right side out. Use a point turner to create sharp 90 degree points at both waistband corners. Then, press the seam you just sewed towards the inner waistband. Fold the waistband again, right sides together, and press the waistband along its entire length.
Press the waistband up and foldover |


Topstitch Waistband

Your waistband is attached, now it’s time to secure it down with some topstitching. Pin well along the bottom (convex) edge of the waistband, making sure to keep the inner waistband aligned with the outer. Both bottom edges of fabric should be pressed up towards the top of the waistband.
Pin the pressed waistband |
Start topstitching on the bottom right edge. Continue to topstitch along the entire length of the bottom waistband. Pivot at the waistband corners and topstitch the entire length of the top waistband.
Topstitch the waistband |


Sew Buttonhole

Almost done! The last two steps are sewing the buttonhole and attaching the jeans button. 
My sewing machine features a nifty automatic buttonhole setting. This allows me to place the button in the back of a special presser foot. The machine senses the diameter of the button and makes an accurately sized buttonhole. If your machine has this feature, I recommend playing around with it until you get it mastered.
If your machine doesn’t have a feature like this, it likely still has a buttonhole setting. Make sure to mark the width of your button and play with your machine’s buttonhole settings until you get it right. 
I practiced my buttonhole on a few scrap pieces of my denim through three layers of fabric to simulate the interfaced waistband.
Practice makes perfect! Make sure to practice the button hole before attempting the real thing |
Once you’ve perfected your buttonhole settings, sew the buttonhole onto your Jamie Jeans. After it's sewn, place a pin at each end of the button hole and use your seam ripper to open the buttonhole. Zip up your fly and overlap your waistband corners. Through the buttonhole mark where the button should go. If it’s slightly different than the pattern markings, that’s okay.
Rip the buttonhole and mark seam |


Attach Button

Using a pair of thread snips or an awl, poke a small hole through all layers of your waistband at your buttonhole marking. Insert the back of the button through the hole.
Poke a hole through the waistband for the button |
Now, the next few steps require some hammering against a hard surface. I always hammer my jeans buttons outside on an old stump table to ensure I don’t hammer any marks into my cutting table.
Grab a pair of needle nose pliers and a hammer or rubber mallet. If your jeans button has any decoration, is shiny, or is painted I recommend using a rubber mallet. My jeans buttons are pure brass with a matte finish, so I've found a hammer doesn’t damage them.
Place your button on top of the backing and hold it with some needle nose pliers. Give the button a few quick swings of the hammer just so that it’s snug on the backing, but not yet hammered all the way down.
Attach the button using pliers |
Remove the needle nose pliers and continue to hammer the button onto the backing until it’s secured and snug.
Hammer the button until it's secure |
Give yourself a pat on the back! Your Jamie Jeans now have a completed waistband. Try them on, button and unbutton the waistband a few times. Revel in the satisfaction that you have a 99% complete pair of jeans, made by you!
We’ll be back tomorrow with the last post and final steps of the Jamie Jeans Sewalong. We’ll be hemming our jeans and attaching optional belt loops! If you’ve been sewing along with us, don’t forget to tag your photos with #jamiejeanssewalong. Happy sewing!

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