Adding a waistband with a zipper

This was one of those things that had me baffled me for years. What order do you attach it in? Do you sew the zipper onto the skirt first or add the waistband then the zipper? Many frustrating nights in the sewing room later, I finally have it figured out.

Waistband with zipper


*Before you start:

  1. Stay stitch waistband of all pieces at 1/4” (2.0 stitch length)
  1. Construct base of garment
    1. sew front and back pieces together at sides
    2. finish seams
  2. Construct waistband
    1. interface pieces, if necessary
    2. sew sides together of each waistband piece
    3. sew waistband pieces together at top
    4. stay stitch seam allowance to waistband

Adding the zipper and waistband

  1. Sew interfaced side of waistband to top of body pieces, matching at the side seams.
  2. Measure zipper length from top of one waistband piece and mark. Sew and finish seam from mark down.
  3. From end of zipper mark up, baste to top of one waistband piece at seam allowance (5.0 stitch length).
  4. Pin or hand baste zipper into place, starting it from the top of one waistband piece. Sew into place (2.5 stitch length) then remove basting.
  5. Press ~ 1/8” less than your seam allowance under along bottom edge of unattached waistband piece. Fold over, and press waistband into place.
  6. Stitch in the ditch around waistband seam.
  7. Sew back opening at top of zipper by hand.

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