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Waistband waved on jeans

surya | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi everybody,
Is the only thing that could make a waistband go a bit wavy in spots is that maybe I didn’t get the grain as straight as I thought? I was making jeans. It’s not too bad because it straightens out a lot when I button the jeans, but still it’s not the best.The problem is more pronounced in the front, which leads me to suspect off grain. As a precaution is good practice to interface the waistband on denim? I tore apart some levis once and they were not interfaced in the band. But I wonder if it could help prevent a wave if I missed the grain a little. And what is the easiest way to see the grain on denim? I did my best, but it was obviously still off.


  1. tmorris1 | | #1


    Hi again. Did you topstitch the upper edge of your waistband? This can help to stabilize it a lot without interfacing. Have you added belt loops? These can cut up the line of the waistband making it appear more straight. You can interface your denim waistband, it is not verbotten. It can be hard to find the grainline on denim because of the diagonal pattern that is developed in the weave. First check both sides of the fabric, sometimes the true grainline is evident on one side or the other. If that doesn't work, then use a see through protractor. The diagonal pattern runs at a 45 degree angle to the vertical grain.

    Edited 4/27/2007 2:07 am ET by tmorris1

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    A lot of things can make a straight band wavy; wavy means that one side is getting pulled tighter than the other.

    This can happen if you use too heavy a pressure foot tension combined with a too tight thread tension and/or you stitched the seam line in one direction and the topstitching in the opposite direction, or if you stitch one seam with the fashion side up and another with the lining side up ( because the feed dogs grab more fabric than the pressure foot does).

    On a long, straight band, stitching from the center to each end rather than from one end to the other helps; you don't get that pulling up along the edge.

    Although denim is a tough fabric, it doesn't require a tight, small stitch, and it's not very slippery, so you don't need heavy pressure foot tension. It does, however, have a lot of stretch for a woven fabric. Lighten and loosen everything, and lengthen the stitch, then test on another long, straight sample.

    1. MaryinColorado | | #3

      Thanks for the information, it is clear and very helpful even though I didn't pose the original question.  I'm glad someone did! There is always so much to learn here!  Mary

      1. Teaf5 | | #4

        Ooops! Sometimes I don't navigate the discussion very well...

        1. MaryinColorado | | #5

          Your navigation was right on.  I was just lurking here and thought you gave good information to her, that I also can make use of. 

           I haven't had the problem before, but am altering some pajama pants my son brought home from Korea.  The waistband is curved, so I anticipate problems.  I had to remove the sewn in elastic as they are too high waisted.  The fabric is so slippery, heavy, tightly woven, and frays to beat the band.  I already made a cut with the serger knife that created problems on the kimono robe sleeve.  I'm going to try elastic in the back and a drawstring in the front I think.  Thanks again.  Mary

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