Since I started down the rabbit-hole of pull-on pants in my post about my Sasha trousers, let’s just go whole-hog on this, shall we?
I’ve been planning this post for a while, inspired by my me-made and RTW wardrobe. I love pants with a stretchy waistband, but there are a surprisingly variety of ways to accomplish this goal!
1. Elastic in a casing
This is the classic method for pyjama pants. You sew a casing first, then thread your elastic through. This is great because you can try it on and adjust it, but less great because it is prone to twisting. I wouldn’t use this on everyday trousers, but Helen from Helen’s Closet did a Winslow Culotte hack using this method and seems to have had no problems! This combines well with a drawstring, but then you loose some of the stretch.
2. Elastic attached to a casing
This is my go-to method! I have a basic tutorial here, but I’m going to repost my more in-depth tutorial from the Curvy Sewing Collective here on my own blog soon. I like this method because the elastic is zig-zagged to the fabric casing before the casing is sewn on, so the elastic never twists. On the down side, it’s not adjustable once the waistband is attached.
3. Elastic back, stable front
This is a nice method if you like tucking in your top, and your waistband might be seen. The front is made like a traditional waistband, but the back has elastic. Handily, Helen did a tutorial for this method too! I have one pair of RTW pants like this, and I personally find that the front waistband digs in when I sit, but I do carry most of my floof in the front!
4. Adjustable buttonhole elastic
I’ve only seen this used in the Hosh Pants pattern for children, but it’s brilliant! The front is a stable waistband, and the back has a channel for elastic. What makes it unique is that it is designed for buttonhole elastic, which has little button holes pre-made into it. The elastic is attached to each side of the channel on the inside of the pants, so that it can be loosened or tightened by simply buttoning it on a different hole! For adult sized pants, you’d need to have several lengths of elastic to get a firm firm, but it would be great if you have dramatically fluctuating weight.
5. Visible wide elastic
I’ve never made pants this way, but it’s a classic finish for skirts and men’s underwear, and surely could be applied to loose trouser! The elastic is topstitched onto the garment so that it shows. My local fabric sore carries all sorts of cool multicoloured and patterned elastics now, and this is a nice finish if you like the belt-like effect of a defined waist!
6. Wide panels with no elastic
This is a RTW classic! The waist is made with a curved yoke that is at least 3-4″ deep, made with a double layer of fabric. I have one pair that seems to also have a layer of power mesh inside as well. This is nice if you want a smoother fit under tight tops, although because it is more stable, I find I get a bit of muffin top when I sit. You win some and lose some!
7. Yoga waistband
A loungewear classic! A yoga waistband is just a super tall fabric band, which can be worn flipped up or rolled down. Super comfy and quite casual. (I made these Laura Lounge pants in 2013, and I am still wearing both pairs!)
8. Maternity pants
Look, this isn’t a genre I know anything about, but I thought it would be rude to leave it out. And now that I’ve googled Maternity Pants, Google is sure to think I’m pregnant. Honestly, the things I do for this blog! 😉
If you are looking for pull-on trouser patterns, Style Arc is the place to shop. They offer a bunch of different types of waistbands, and have a huge size range. Pretty much any trouser pattern can be hacked to have a pull-on waistband though, as long as your fabric has stretch or you are making a roomy style. I have an 11″ difference between my waist and hips, and it works just fine on me!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on stretchy waistbands and pull-on trousers! What styles do you prefer to buy or sew? Have I missed any great styles?