Pyjama Party 6 – Attaching The Waistband

Folded Over Seam

Having made our buttonholes, we can now attach the waistband to the main shell. First, press over a 1cm seam on the long edge that doesn’t have the buttonholes near it. I do like to have a tape measure to hand as eyeballing it doesn’t really work for me. (Oh, how I lie! I’m always eyeballing stuff! Do as I say, not as I do.)

Now, sew the short side seam, right sides together, and press open. I have no idea why one of my seams is pinked and the other isn’t.


Now we pin the raw, unpressed edge of the waistband to our pants, matching up those notches and ensuring that your buttonholes sit neatly above your centre front. As ever, the instruction’s illustrations really help.

Pin Matching Notches

Take your work to the sewing machine and sew the waistband to your pants along these pinned edges. You want a nice smooth finish. No little tucks or ripples. Perfection. Oh dear…


When I took my work off the machine I spotted this little tuck. Oh, no one will notice, I told myself. It doesn’t matter. Then I gave myself a good shake, unpicked the few stitches around this tuck, smoothed the fabric out and resewed that 1 cm stretch. It took two minutes to address this – two minutes! Perfection is usually elusive, I find, but we can at least dream and aspire.

Next, we trim those raw seams on the inside of the waistband attachment.

Trim Seam

Press your seams up towards the waistband. You want your fabric to be nice and flat and behaving itself for the next stage. Fold over the waistband and pin in place along the seam. Accuracy is important here, as we are prepping our waistband for ‘stitching in the ditch’. (You’ll learn all about this in the next blog post.) You want to be really sure that your folded edge is lying over the seam you’ve just sewn. I find it easiest to pin thus:

Pinning Waistband

As I work, I’ll turn my waistband over to be extra sure that those pins are piercing the seam line. Yep! My placement is accurate. Can you see the shaft of the pins travelling along the seam line? That’s what we want.

Rear of Pins

For extra confidence, Sewaholic suggests hand basting this work in place once you’ve done all you’re pinning. I concur! I find stitching in the ditch to be a less than elegant process, if I’m honest, and I want to do everything I can to make sure I don’t foul up. So out come my beautiful basting threads. (You don’t need special basting thread if you don’t have it – this is just a particular weakness of mine.)

Basting ThreadsAnd I stitch loose stitches along the waistband, removing my pins as I go.


Okay. Now we’re ready to stitch in the ditch, insert our elastic, hem the legs to our chosen length and then … we’re done! And not a moment too soon.

I told you I’m a deadline fiend.

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12 Responses to Pyjama Party 6 – Attaching The Waistband

  1. sarah davies says:

    I just can’t wait to get home from work and do this, even though I know they are going to look terrible and won’t fit. It’s never a goal directed behaviour for me. And I am so excited to be about to tear down the veil of ignorance over “stitch in the ditch”.

  2. Just a quick question: I’m on vacation with no real internet access on Sunday. I’m photographing my pyjamas today and will schedule the post to be posted on the right time, but I won’t be able to physically post a link to it… How do you think I should enter the party?

    I will join on Friday night though, see you then!

  3. lovelucie1 says:

    I sew wish I’d had some time each week to sew along with you. Will have to file this one away for the future. ;(

  4. Gjeometry says:

    So, you did not trim the piping out of the fabric casing in order to insert it into the waistband? I thought that it might leave a hefty bump if I did not do this.

    • That is a REALLY good point. I didn’t – mine is very fine – but I’ve heard that’s a good thing to do with piping around seams. Thanks for bringing it up!

      • Gjeometry says:

        No problem! I actually had to tweet out to my sewing friends to find out how to stop the “bulging” and they suggested to cut out the piping, but still keep the fabric overlay inserted into the seam. It seemed that it would be most noticeable on the hem, so will do it there, for sure! I’ve had to trackback and get your last few posts for sewing the crotch seam and doing the buttonholes, but will finish and post by Sunday! Yay! Then, I can relax in my brand new Pajamas. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Pyjama Party with Karen @ Did You Make That? | enchantedbybooks

  6. Catherine says:

    Hi Karen
    I’m a bit late on this, but didn’t know about it at the time. I made my pyjamas today and wanted to say thanks to you. I wasn’t doing the same pattern, it was a pattern drafted for me by a friend and I didn’t know where to start! It’s very generous of you to have this stuff freely available for beginners like me. I’m proudly wearing my new pyjamas now!

  7. Katie says:

    Just wanted to thank you for these posts on constructing the Tofinos! I’m a newbie and was struggling with the waistband. Your posts really helped me through it and I’m quite pleased with the result. Many thanks!

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