Oliver + S

Waistband/legband construction question

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    leandre @leandre


    I have a question about the logic behind a particular point of instruction in your patterns.

    (First, I have to admit to not having the pattern in front of me as I type, so forgive me if I misquote.)

    I have made several (7?) of the Storytime PJ bottoms and the Sandbox pants…the first several times I swore that the measurements for the waistband were off: I would iron and fold (as I thought) you instructed, but the bands were always more narrow than you indicated they should be. (For example, the waist on the Sandbox pants was never wide enough to allow for that extra line of aesthetic/comfort stitching you recommend in the pattern.)

    So, I started making the waistbands/leg binding wider when I cut them. This has worked well, but all of a sudden when I was making another pair of PJ bottoms, I realized that I had been reading your instructions incorrectly the whole time. When making the waistbands and leg bindings you instruct to iron the band in half, and then fold it down 1/2″ and iron again.

    All this time, I had been ironing the band in half, then folding one edge all the way to the middle line and ironing again. My question is this: it seems like using the first ironed line as a guide to folding the second time is a pretty foolproof way to get a straight line. This is so routine for me that i assumed all patterns were written this way. I wonder why you instruct to fold the band/binding only 1/2″ instead of to the line.

    Many thanks–I love your patterns!


    Liesl Gibson

    Hi Leandre,

    What a nice, thoughtful note this is! Thanks for writing. Yes, there is a logic to my method. You’re folding the equivalent of the seam allowance when you fold the 1/2″, so the inside and the outside bottom edges of the waistband meet up when the waistband is finished. If you folded the raw edge to meet the center fold line you would end up with a lot of extra bulk in the waistband. Does that make sense? If it helps, you can also baste a row of stitches 1/2″ from the raw edge to serve as a folding guide.

    Let me know if this didn’t answer your question. I’m running out the door for a meeting but will check back tonight and reply if I wasn’t clear or didn’t fully answer.



    leandre @leandre

    Hi Liesl,

    Thanks so much for your reply; that does make sense and I will try the basting stitches trick.

    Thanks again for all your great patterns and the time you devote to these forums.


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