A popular trend these past few years has been the wide knit elastic belt on top of skirts and dresses. It's a fun look for enhancing your waistline and for skirts paired with tucked-in blouses.
But did you know how easy it is to attach your own elastic belt to a skirt?
This is my favorite way to finish the waistline of skirts. Unlike a belt, this elastic is sewn to the skirt and will never slip out of place! It also eliminates the need for sewing tricky zippers.
- 2 inch wide Knit Elastic
- Unfinished skirt or skirt that is too big
- Ruler, scissors, thread, sewing machine, pins, etc.
2 inch wide Knit Elastic can be found at most fabric stores in both white and black. I get mine at Joann's and usually use my 50% off coupons that come in the mail. You can use knit elastic that is less wide for smaller children's clothing.
It is important that you use KNIT elastic. Other types of elastic twist and shrink when being stretched. On the other hand, knit elastic stays stiff and equal in width when stretched.
The skirt that you are attaching the elastic waistband to needs to be big enough to slip on and off when you wear it. If you are making a skirt, be sure that it is big enough before you sew the elastic on. If you do not want to sew a skirt, you can re-purpose another skirt that is too big for you.
The purpose of the elastic waistband is to scrunch the skirt small at the waist, but also allow the waistline to stretch when putting the skirt on or taking it off.
Ready? Here we go:
1. Measure your knit elastic to 1 inch less than your waist measurement. Taking off an inch will help the belt to slightly squeeze your waist so that it does not slip and stays in place.
Ex) The smallest part of my waist is 28 inches. I cut my elastic to 27 inches.
2. Fold the length of elastic in half. Match up the ends. Sew the ends of the elastic together using thread that is the same color. Use a seam allowance about 1/4 inch wide.
Unfold the ends of the belt. Press the flaps down and place under the foot of your sewing machine.
3. Using a medium zig-zag stitch, sew back and forth over the seam multiple times.
Stop when you've created a thick layer of stitching. Remove and cut strings.
Now the fun part: attaching the elastic band to the top of a skirt!
To distribute the length of the skirt around the elastic band, divide both the band and skirt into 4 or 8 equal segments.
4. Lay the band in half, flat. Mark the half-way points with pins.
Next match those pins to each other, and mark the halves again
Usually 4 is good, but you can keep splitting it into 8 if desired.
5. Do the same to the top of your skirt.
Divide into the same number of sections as on the elastic band.
Match the pins on the skirt and the pin on the elastic to each other.
Pin the skirt to the elastic at this point, placing the edge of the skirt about halfway up the width of the band.
When all the pins have been matched, it should look like this:
There should be more skirt than there is elastic belt. There should be excess fabric from the skirt drooping between the pins.
6. Turn the skirt inside out. Place it under the sewing foot and sew a stay stitch at one of the pins.
Place one hand at the next pin, and hold the fabric and band tightly.
Place the other hand at the first pin and grip the fabric and band.
Pull your hands apart, stretching the elastic belt. Pull until the fabric is taunt with the band, and laying flat.
Hold the elastic stretched out as you sew along the top of the skirt.
When you let go, and the elastic relaxes, the fabric will be scrunched up
Continue this pattern of holding at two pins, stretching, and sewing. When you've made it all the way around the skirt, stay stitch, remove, and cut strings.
Turn the skirt right side out.
Now your skirt has a gathered top, and a fun belt that will never slip out of place!