Tutorial: Faced waistband


After a long blogging break I could not think of a better way to treat you than posting a tutorial. The faced waistband is one my favourite and most used couture techniques. This time I used it for a pleated tweed skirt (I will showcase in a separate post). I am proud to say that this tweed is a remnant piece from my stash - it was bought in New York six years ago. The tweed has subtle sparkle, which is unfortunately not visible on the images. I really like this play of conservative color, classic style and little sparkle, which makes a versatile piece - especially during the holiday season.

The waistband is lined with silk crepe-de-chine and interfaced with hair canvas. Constructing a waistband this way reduces bulk and maximizes the comfort.

There are couple of tutorials on constructing the faced waistband, all by Claire Shaeffer (I indicated the sources below). I made my own, small adjustments and now sharing the process of making the faced waistband for this skirt.

STEP 1: Choosing interfacing

There are couple of different options available for interfacing the waistband: grosgrain ribbon (petersham) or hair canvas. The choise depends really on the style of the skirt and fabric characteristics. For my pleated skirt I chose wool tweed and decided to have a 1 1/2 in. wide waistband - a narrower waistband looked disproportionate with the width of the pleats. This eliminated grosgrain ribbon as an option since I had only 1 in. wide grosgrain available at home. In addition, grosgrain felt too soft for the style. I wanted stronger support for the pleats.

STEP 2: Preparing interfacing

I cut two bands of hair canvas, each 1 1/2 in. wide. The length is 1 1/2 in. longer than the waist measurement on the skirt. Then, I marked zigzag pattern on one of the bands and pinned them together, with the marked band on top. 

Using wide-stitch setting, I stitched the waistband interfacing layers along the marked lines.

STEP 3: Preparing the waistband

I decided to underline the tweed after testing all three layers - interfacing, organza underlining and tweed. Hardly noticeable, but organza gave a smoother appearance and feel to tweed. Both, underlining and tweed, are cut with appr. 5/8 in. seam allowance around the interfacing. I like to give a wider allowance along the short edges: appr. 3/4 in.

I basted the tweed and organza layers together, pinned the interfacing to the underlined waistband and cross-stitched the interfacing to the waistband seam allowance, picking only the hair canvas layer on the interfacing, and the silk organza layer just along the edge of the interfacing.

STEP 4: Attaching the waistband to the skirt

Next, the waistband is pinned to the skirt, basted and then machine-stitched. All the basting is removed and waistline seam allowances graded and trimmed where necessary. Now the waistband seam allowances are turned over the interfacing and cross-stitched to it. The waistband corners need to be carefully mitered by hand using fell stitches.

STEP 5: Lining the waistband 

Lining is the final step before completing the waistband. I decided to use contrasting blue silk crepe-de-chine to line the waistband - it was a small remnant piece from my stash and it matched the ribbon I used to finish the skirt hem.

The lining is cut about an inch wider and longer than the finished waistband (allowing 1/2 in. for seams). One of the long edges is pressed under 1/2 in. This edge is then aligned with the top edge of the waistband (wrong side to wrong side), pinned and fell-stitched along the fold.

The remaining edges of the waistband are folded under by hand, pinned and fell-stitched.

STEP 6: Finishing

Finally I attach hook & eye to the waistband using buttonhole stitch. When attaching hook & eye, especially the hook that is sewn to the lining,  it is important to catch some of the interfacing layer, otherwise the hook will pull the lining, which won't provide a tight closure and will tear the silk after a while. 


I haven't lined the skirt, mostly because of the pleats. Instead I finished the seams with silk organza bias binding. The hem is simply turned over and catch-stitched to the underlining. I used a blue ribbon to cover the raw catch-stitched edge and attached it to underlining and turned over hem with an uneven basting stitch: tiny stitches on the face, and longer ones inside.

Here you can see how the hem looks on the outside.

I hope you will find my tutorial useful. The faced waistband portion is adapted from Claire Shaeffer's instructions, in

Claire B. Shaeffer, The Couture Skirt: More sewing secrets from a Chanel collector, 2014
Claire B. Shaeffer, Couture Sewing Techniques: Revised and Updated, 2011

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  1. Thank you for the very detailed tutorial.
    Hope all is well with you and your family. Happy Christmas Marina.

  2. Wonderful tute! Great to have you back in the blogosphere!

  3. Thank you for such a clear and detailed tutorial, It will definitely help me with some of my my future projects :)

  4. Thank you this tutorial is really helpful and a keeper.

  5. Hi Marina! So good to hear from you. And your tutorial Comes in quite Handy as I plan to make a skirt in the near future. Would you use the same method in case the skirt is lined?

    1. Thanks :) This method works great with lined skirts. I sew the lining just above the waistline seam with small running stitch before lining the waistband (step 5). Then I line the waistband (step 6), fell-stitching through the skirt lining to catch the layer underneath. This way the skirt lining will be quite secure.

  6. Thanks for the helpful tutorial. One question: Was there a reason you didn't sew the bias strip to the hem at 1/4 inch and slipstitch the other end to the shell fabric?

    1. I actually wanted to use hem lace first, but then I didn't like how the color I had looked with this skirt. With the hem already cross-stitched to the underlining I decided to hand stitch a ribbon over it to conceal the raw edge. In addition, having cross stitches under the ribbon gives the hem more hold, since it is under stress when I sit in the skirt - it hits above the knee. I hope I could answer your question.

  7. Welcome back! This is lovely, as always. Hope that all is well for you and your family.

    1. Thanks, Nancy! All is well :) Miss seeing you all though ;)

  8. With the hem already cross-stitched to the underlining I decided to hand stitch a Grosgrain Ribbon over it to conceal the raw edge.

  9. Your tutorials are beautifully worded and illustrated. Always love to see what you are doing. The wool floral blouse is just edgy enough to look fabulous with your tailored skirts.


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