Tutorial · Uncategorized · Waistbands

No Twist Elastic Waistband Tutorial

Right off the bat, if you’ve just made your way over here from the Simple Life website, you’ve already read a bunch and I know how the day goes. There’s not enough time to keep up. But you don’t want to miss out on a giveaway either! (GIVEAWAY CLOSED) So pin this for future reference, if need be, and know that you have till Friday, Jan 26, to enter the giveaway.

If you happened upon this first, I was just over on Simple Life’s blog sharing these makes and gave a tutorial for how to add binding to a neckline for shirts that are otherwise meant to be lined.


So! That was fun over there at the Simple Life house. I’m super honoured to have been given the opportunity to share my makes there. The pressure was on. Those girls over there are always short and to the point, have you noticed that? And I ramble. You should see the amount I delete from these posts before sharing with you. Almost embarrassing. But not. It’s me.

I saved a few tidbits about this pajama collection to share over here. Mostly some finishing details, but I want to share with you my favourite method for adding elastic to the waistband of leggings or, in this case, pajama shorts.


The pattern I used for these shorts is the Tammy Tulip and Ruffle Shorts. They are a super cute short for a pair of summer jammies. Let’s look a bit closer at some changes I made.

I use my serger/coverstitch when sewing knits, but don’t let that deter you if you don’t own one. All of this can be done on your sewing machines using stretch stitches with the exception of the rolled hem I will mention.

Knit Tutorial-1

Knit fabric hangs differently than woven so where this pattern calls for the ruffle to go all the way up to the waistband on the right, you’ll notice I stopped part ways up. Since one side will overlap the other, I didn’t want the lightweight knit to appear bulky and lay strange over the that spot. Especially without the extra weight of the lining, which I chose to omit.

Knit Tutorial-3

The ruffle itself is meant to be folded in half lengthwise. Instead, I cut it narrower and used the rolled hem stitch on my serger for the edges. I did the same on the flutter sleeve of the top to match and felt that this gave a more finished look.  Of course, this can be hemmed or even left raw. Just be sure when you’re cutting your ruffles, to cut the width that will suit your finishing choice.


Once the ruffle was sewn to the shorts, I flipped it to the right side and topstitched all the way around. You can do this with a coverstitch, twin needle or single line topstitch.

Then came the waistband. This pattern is designed with a casing style waistband where one would insert the elastic. I did not add the waistband so I added a bit of height to the top of the shorts instead. I didn’t have to. They would’ve been just fine without the added height. You will only loose the width of your elastic in height so you can make that call as you prefer.

Knit Tutorial-2

I measured a piece of elastic to fit my daughter’s waist and sewed the ends together well. I sectioned my elastic into four and then did the same for the shorts. You can see that the shorts were quite a bit wider so when I went around to pin the elastic I had to give each section a good stretch till the elastic matched the width of the shorts. Does that make sense? Once it was all spaced and pinned well I serged the top edge of the elastic to the top edge of the shorts. I make sure NOT to let my cutter hit the elastic. I don’t actually know if that matters, but I just picture it unraveling and somehow ruining the elastic.  I’m also careful to sew in small sections so I can properly stretch my elastic and get a nice finish. If you’re not stretching the elastic out properly you will get little folds in your fabric instead of the gathering that will happen when you let go.

Knit Tutorial-4

With the elastic now attached it’s time to fold it over to the inside nice and snug and then secure it in place.

Knit Tutorial-5

I topstitched around the waist catching the bottom of the elastic. Again, I’m stretching that elastic out so the fabric is smooth as I’m sewing. I used a long straight stitch, the same length I use for regular topstitching. You might be thinking I should be using a stretch stitch, but because I’m stretching this out as I sew, I know those stitches aren’t going to rip when these go over the hips. (Like my kid has hips.)

Knit Tutorial-6

Voila! There we have it! That elastic is NOT going to twist.

I tried getting this girl to NOT pose quite so “mature” and she kept doing this. Silly.

The one other little tip I wanted to share with you was on the housecoat. Pattern used (though it’s impossible to see) is the Braxton Blazer. See how the imagination can take you? To be fair, I did use other methods of designing as well on this. Especially the hood.


I do love my serger and that it gives a finished seam compared to raw edges. But this was not the place for serger stitches and maybe you don’t have one. AFTER I had already coverstitched the entire opening of the housecoat all the way around, I decided that I didn’t like that serger thread look. So I spent hours picking seams and ended up with a couple holes in that fabric which also means I ended up with a bad attitude. This was a real test on my sanity, this housecoat.

I used the same fabric as the ruffle that is around the hood to make bias binding about 1½” wide and used it to cover those certain seams that I thought were quite visible. Let’s see if I can show you.


You can see I ironed one side of my strip over about 1/4″. Then I pinned the other side to the seam I wanted to enclose, leaving about 3/4″ or so hanging over at each end. I stitched together at my regular seam allowance and then trimmed the SA down by about half.

Yikes! That is some hot pink! Sorry about the crazy colour on these pics, folks.

Next, lay everything flat and fold the binding over the seam keeping the ironed edge folded in nicely and pin lots all the way down. Make sure all your pieces are lying flat and taut as you pin.


On the ends where you left the 3/4″ longer, you will tuck that piece under BEFORE you fold the ironed edge and pin. Topstitch about 1/8″ from the edge to secure.


Here is the seam that attached the hood to the back intersected with the long piece that goes from bottom hem all the way up and over to the other bottom hem on the other side.

There you have it. Just a couple ways I choose to finish my makes.

Artboard 1

So! Ready for the good stuff? I’ve put together a package for you with the generosity of Little Feather Fabrics and Simple Life. I’ve spent two blog posts telling you all about Simple Life, but let me tell you that I have only good to say about Little Feather as well. As a Canadian who relies on the postal system for my fabric purchases, I need good, reliable people to order from and she has been that. Always eager to help out when I need an eye telling me if those fabrics I chose will match! Jessie has AMAZING sales and happens to carry my favourite fabric lines. Be sure to check out her store and you’ll also find her on FB where you’re sure to be kept in the loop about those sales and new fabrics coming. I hear she’s got a whole bunch coming!

I’m keeping this simple for you. All you need to do is comment below with what you would like to sew with your new pattern and fabric! That was easy! I’m going to pick a name early Saturday morning CST. Whenever I wake up!

Again, I hope you found this at least a little inspiring, even if you already know all this stuff. 🙂 Till next time!!

You can also find me on Instagram where I love to post my creations and be inspired by others doing the same. Or you can subscribe to this blog. I’m not super regular with posts, but I like sharing once in awhile. 🙂

Affiliate links are used throughout this post.

Fabric for this PJ collection as well as the Braxton Blazer pattern have been generously provided by Simple Life Pattern Company. All other patterns are part of my own growing collection.


82 thoughts on “No Twist Elastic Waistband Tutorial

  1. Yeah – so good! I love, love, love that way of attaching elastic waistbands too; great idea offering a tutorial! Hmmm……what would I sew???!?!? I think I’ve made a lot of dresses lately, I should do some tops instead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the tutorial. I’ve always wondered how to do the bias tape to enclose the seams. I’m going to try that on my next robe. I would sew something for my daughter’s trip to Disney world.


  2. Great posts Sherri!!

    It’s still all so intimidating but I think I could tackle that waistband with your instructions and it would turn out! (Though it’s more than sewing a straight line in flannel)

    Well Trisha had mentioned that these patterns are simple to sew so I spent my morning looking!!

    I think I want to try the tank (how bad can it go?!)

    Now I’m also thinking I should spend some money on a new machine!

    Miss you ladies!


    1. We’d love you here for our craft days again!!! For sure you can try these patterns. Either Trish or I will have suggestions for easy ones. There’s a FB page for this company as well with all sorts of inspiration and help.


  3. Love all the cute pictures and how you walked through the waistband. I really really want to make the new Aria dress from Simple Life patterns. Also love Jessie’s shop and her incredible customer service.


    1. I did the Aria test and loved it! Highly recommended. And, yes, Jessie is great! She made a real impression the first time I bought from her.


  4. Oh the Aria from simple life is on my list even though I am slightly afraid of sewing knits.. but so many cute knits in jessie’s Shop may just convince me!


  5. Thank you for such clear instructions, I still have a lot to learn ( knits and elastic)!!! I would use the material to try out one of Simple Life dress designs I have been eyeing.


  6. I LOVE those darling little shorts! Would
    Love to make them! I’m just getting comfy with knits. Reading everything I can!! Thanks for the tips


  7. Oh my goodness, where to begin? I am not sure I would make any jammies or nightgowns for now, but I NEED to make my daughter a fancy maxi. My parents’ 60th anniversary is this summer, and I’m pretty sure we’ll have a party, so I’d say maybe Cora.


  8. I’m on pins and needles for Aria to come out!! Love those bows but I’d love Isla too. I’m completely new to knit and there are so many I want to try with SLPco. I’m getting a lust for florals and many AGF are perfect. Wonderful Thing Aquarelle is on the way and I feel like that is such a feminine print – I just 💕 it!! Little Feather Fabrics – the selection and customer service are AMAZING!! This tutorial is marked for me – I ❤️❤️❤️ the detail!! Thank you


  9. Even though it’s January I live in the south and summer,I feel, is right around the corner. I would want to sew comfortable strappy summer dresses for my daughters.


  10. When you topstitch the elastic on the shorts, are you sewing through the elastic??? Just want to make sure before I try it out!! Thanks so much for these tutorials!! I think sewing some ‘fancy’ pajamas is an awesome idea, and would love to sew some out of flannel for my shop! How darling these are!!


  11. Your creations are stunning and Wonderful directions.
    The Aida pattern is one of my faves. I love SLP co patterns!
    I’d love some fabric to make my neices some more tops.


    1. Thank you so much! Would you believe I’ve never actually made the Ayda? I just use it to inspire other creations, but one of these days I should.


    1. I suggested to one of the designers that they should make a PJ line and she said, “Here, you do it!!” LOL And here you have them.


  12. It is so hard to find cute nightgowns, I love how you converted the dress to a nightgown pattern. My 9 year old would love this. I would for sure be sewing for her with all this goodness.


    1. I was actually glad for the push to try one with a SLPco pattern. The ruffles on the Jaimesyn were the closest to what I remembered loving as a little girl. And, thankfully, my 9 yr old is a girlie girl in no rush to grow up so ruffles worked for her.


  13. I love reading your post! I have a habit of writing the same way that I talk and I feel like we just had a nice talk. Your girls and jammies are beautiful. I really really want to try the Aria. I have fallen in love and can’t wait until I can buy the pattern. Hubby thinks I have enough and I’m on a pattern ban. Soo it would be absolutely wonderful if I could win one! That fabric is just perfect and brings it all together so nice. Thank you for the chance to win. Have a wonderful day!


    1. AHH! That is the biggest compliment ever! My friends tell me they can totally picture me when they read my posts and I always wonder how that translates to people who don’t know me. (I’m sure some shake their heads at me. LOL) Sorry about the pattern ban. But I get it. All the more reason to get inspired to switch up one you already have!!! Right? Good luck though!


  14. Fun ideas and helps for these patterns. I would like to sew some summer things for my granddaughters. The top and shorts are adorable.


  15. Wow, I love the way you finished the seams of the house coat and will definitely be using this trick in the future! As for what I would like to sew, I would say some tops! I sew lots of dresses and my girly definitely needs some new tops!


  16. I’m very new to sewing and I’m always on the look out for tutorials and yours was just great! I’ve never made any type of pants before so I would like to go ahead and make the same thing you just made for my little girl!! Thanks!


  17. I just discovered Little Feather, and of course I love Slpco. I’m tackling knits, so I think I’d add Paisley since I have most of the other awesome patterns! But there’s always room for cotton woven too!


  18. This post has some great tips! Glad I stumbled upon it. I’m thinking of sewing up an Aria for one of my little’s birthday party coming up next month!


  19. I would would be sewing up the Aria since its my daughter’s name or the Pearl dress…. both so cute and adorable… From the Little Feather’s… oh gosh… anything from her shop is amazing so it would be hard to choose but it would be something for my littlest one since her birthday is coming up!


  20. Oh my! I would absolutely love the new Arie dress. My 2 year old would love it as she is going through a “princess dress” phase and wants to wear all the twirly dresses.

    Thanks for your generosity!


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