Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Wedding Dress -- Waistbands

So THIS blog is primarily for my DD -- but you can read it too. I spoke on the phone with DD yesterday afternoon and mentioned that we needed to decide on what kind of waistband we needed for the bridal skirt. DD commented that she didn't know what I meant. So, this blog will explain to her different types of non-elastic waistbands. Elastic waistbands are rarely used (if at all) in couture. They are more a staple in casual clothing and allow clothing to be pulled on without any fastenings. I am sure that there may be more types of waistbands than shown here, but these are the types that I am familiar with and that were available in my closet!

A common waistband is a fold over with a tab. Often used on suit pants and skirts, this waistband is strong and good looking. It is made by cutting a strip of fabric and folding it in half lengthwise. The front of the waistband is sewn to the skirt and the back is sewn to the lining of the skirt. This means that you don't have to hide any stitches in the seam allowance and there is less chance that a catch stitch will come through the fashion fabric. Sometimes this type of waistband has two buttons as shown, sometimes there is a hook and loop with a button. In the case of DD's wedding dress, a button closure would create more bulk than we would want to have. Snaps and hook and loops might work, but perhaps there are better options.

Another popular waistband is really band-less. This waistband is smooth and usually has a interface made of the fashion fabric so that you never see a change in color/fabric when worn with a tucked in blouse. Note that the interface is cut on the bias. It is also cut in two pieces -- one for the front of the skirt and one for the back of the skirt. This helps maintain the natural curve from the waist to the hip. This zip closure is on the side, if you had the closure in the back, you would want a 3 piece interface -- one piece in the front and two in the back. The zipper goes all the way to the top edge of the skirt, unlike the folded over waistband.

This third waistband has a sewn on folded over waistband as in the first option, but there is no tab and the zipper goes all the way to the top edge of the skirt. I see it as a combination of the two types above. The folded over waistband creates its own fashion fabric interface.

And, just as an aside, this is my favorite skirt. It was also the inspiration for the idea of DD's ruffled overskirt having a different fabric for the hem.

I'll let everyone know what waistband the DD picks for her dress and then, when the time comes to create it, maybe we can walk through it together.

Happy Sewing!

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