Sunday, September 18, 2011


This draft has a grown on waistband but you need a pattern for the interfacing or waistband canvas.
When I first started sewing for the theatre, I was often handed an oversize piece of waistband interfacing that didn't seem to make much sense to me. It was slightly curved and there was a process of sewing it in that was very time consuming and it seemed to waste a lot of materials.

I needed to know why it was that shape, and to streamline the process, so this is how I make my waistband interfacing pattern.
First, trace out the front waistband section onto a new piece of paper.

Lay the side seams together, as they would be sewn- remember there are seam allowances included in the pattern and you don't want to include seam allowances in your pattern for the interfacing, because it will be too big.
Trace over as far as the dart.

Move the pattern over, laying the dart seam to dart seam (closing the dart) and trace off the rest of the waist from the trouser pattern.
This is a good exercise to check the accuracy of your pattern.
Here you can see that the dart legs are not the same length and need to be corrected on the trouser pattern. This is something that should be done before you get to this point, so walk the seam lines of your patterns and make sure it is accurate.
I don't particularly like the shape I've drawn for the "fishtail" so I would probably draw something more pleasing rather than leave it the way it is.
I was trying to just follow the draft as written to see how it turned out, I would normally correct things as I go, and you should too. If it looks wrong or ugly it probably is. It does take time to develop an eye, but also confidence to act on it.

Draw in the waistline, curving it slightly as shown, connecting it to the front waistline.
Now, when you cut your waistband canvas (interfacing) you want to be able to catch it to the waist stitching, so you will need to add 1/4 inch to the bottom of the interfacing pattern. You will also add 2" to the CF of the pattern to allow for interfacing to go into the fly extension on the right hand side of the trousers.
The other thing to remember is that this pattern likely has 1/4" seam allowance on the top edge too, so that needs to be removed from your waistband pattern.

The waistband pattern will of course change if you have a smaller dart take up or two back darts, so the same shape doesn't work on all patterns. I make a separate pattern for every pair of trousers.

These trousers should sit well up into the hollow of the back, and when sewing up the CB, I would sew only up about as far as 1/2 inch past the waist line allowing the waistband to splay above that point. If in a fitting you want to or can close it then go ahead but I would guess it needs to splay.


  1. I came upon your website today as I was looking for a tailcoat. I must say that your clothing is exceptional! I am so impressed. My mother sews. So I really like getting a lot of my garments made.

    I wanted to know how much you would charge to make a red tail coat?

    My email is

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. I don't often take on private clients.
    There is a huge disconnect in the general population regarding clothing.
    Most people are unaware of the labour and therefore, the cost of custom or bespoke clothing.
    Please take no offense, but I am not able to make bespoke clothing at RTW / store prices, and that is what most people who contact me are hoping for.
    A tailcoat would be a minimum of $ 2,800.00.
    A fair bit of time gets invested in sourcing cloth, ordering, fitting and building. It also has to fit into my schedule which is often booked in advance, so people who want something in a short turnaround can be disappointed.
    That in a nutshell is why I take on very few private clients.

  3. Thanks so much for at least taking time to reply. My of my suits are custom or bespoke so I do understand the process and all that it entails. Thanks so much.

    Rashon aka Mr. Goodwill Hunting