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Conversational Threads

Zipper in waist with elastic

mommasew | Posted in Techniques on

Hello, working with a woven fabric to make very full drapey pair of pants. The original pattern called for knit fabric and elastic applied to waist and turned under – no waistband or casing. How can it be altered to add the zipper (for the woven garment to go over hips). I have seen RTW with elastic right up to a zipper – but that is many layers to sew through. Would it look odd to stop the elastic an inch or so from where zipper would be placed – at side or back seam? Any other suggestions? The top to be worn over this will be a fitted princess seamed one worn on the outside of pants – so do not want to add bulk at waist level of the pants.


  1. User avater
    kycatpurrson | | #1

    I have done this with a pair of purchased pants that had a zipper. The waist was not tight enough, so I inserted elastic in the waistband. I stitched it thru all layers about an inch on either side of the center front so it actually looks like part of the original construction. I always wear tops that cover the waistband and no one notices. Do it.

  2. mommasew | | #2

    Thank you for the suggestion!

  3. carolfresia | | #3

    Sandra Miller wrote an article on adding a zipper to elastic-waist pants to reduce bulk at the waistline. If you're an Insider, you can find that here:
    If you have back issues of Threads, this is in #180, Aug./Sept. 2015.
    It's a pretty slick technique, and it gives you the best of both worlds: a stretchy waistband and a smoother line around the waist and hips.
    Carol Fresia, Threads Senior Technical Editor

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