Adding a Knit Waistband to Any Dress

I love the way a waistband separates the bodice from the skirt on a dress.  Since I sew mainly with knit fabrics, I wanted this options for my knit dress too.   In just a few quick steps you can make a knit waistband too.

For this dress I am using the Lil’ Lady dress. But,you can use almost any dress you’d like. But this one has a great fit and will need little adjustment for the waistband.

Once you have your bodice constructed, measure your finished waist and side seam.  After you have those measurements, you can cut your waistband.  Subtract 2″ from the total waist measurement and keep your side seam the same.
Here is my math:
22″ (waist) -2 = 20″
side seam 5″
I am going to cut my waist band 20″ x 5″.

If  you want to add a bow to the waistband, simply cut a small piece 3″ x 3/4 the side seam length.  My Rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat make this go super quick!

Now, fold your band in half and sew the short ends together.  For the bow center, sew the long ends together.

Now, fold up your waistband, wrong sides together, and mark quarters.  Also quarter your bodice.  The placement of the bow center is up to you.  I like mine on the side.  For me I divide one of the front quarters in half and place my bow center there.  Once you have both your bodice and waistband quartered, pin or clip them together.  Matching up all the quarter marks.

For the bow center, make sure you flip it over the waistband and  pin it in place.

Now, add your skirt as the pattern suggests.  Be sure you only stretch the waistband to fit as you sew.  If you stretch your bodice or skirt you will get a lot of waves and it will not look as nice or lay flat.

How easy was that!  Super quick and easy way to add a little extra fun to your next dress.

Want this full look?
Drafting a Vintage Collar
Faux Snap or Button Placket
How to Make a Fabric Bow

Like my Fabric?
Bodice and skirt fabric are from Vintage Lace Prints
Faux sparkle is from Pink Zeppelin Fabric

Need more help?
Join me in my facebook group.

Comment and let me know how you like my tutorial.  If you use my tutorial or sewing tips and share them, please link back to me or use the hashtags  #LittleRagamuffinTutorial #LittleRagamuffinTip


    • Hi Chantal,
      After you pin the waistband to the bodice, you will sew the skirt (or bottom part of your garment) to the bodice. After adding the waistband there will be three layers of fabric at the bottom of the bodice before adding your skirt, so make sure to sew through all of these layers and nothing slips out of place while sewing.

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