How to sew a waistband with zipper : 3 ways

Here are different ways to attach zippers to the skirt waistband.
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insert a zipper on waistband

A skirt can have many types of openings. But the best one is the kind with zippers. You can attach the zippers to the skirt in many ways. Here are the ones I know. 

3 ways to  sew a waistband with zipper

Method 1 With the waistband and invisible zipper

In this method an invisible zipper is attached to the skirt from the waistband to the hip level. 

Step  1 Complete the skirt body.

Sew the side seams of the skirt

Keep the 2 pieces of the skirt (back and front pattern pieces of the skirt) right sides together and stitch the side seams. The red lines in the picture is the stitching line. 7 inch is left un-stitched on the top edge of one side seam to insert invisible zipper

Turn the skirt right side out.

Step 2 Attach the waistband piece to skirt

Cut out the waistband first – you need a piece measuring the top edge of your skirt. I have taken a width of 3 3/4 inch for a waist band – the final width of the waistband will be 1 1/2 inch.

sew waistband fabric

Keep the waistband piece on top of the top of the skirt, right side down on the right side up skirt. The top edge is joined together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. 

sew the fabric waistband

Step 3 Invisible zipper

You need to cut the invisible zipper to measure 11 inches long. Do not forget to close the bottom end of the zipper with stitches across the zipper teeth- or they will come open.

insert a zipper on waistband

Step 4 Attach invisible zipper

Keep the zipper open. Align the zipper face down on one open edge. The zipper should be kept 1/2 inch up from the waistband seam.As you keep the zipper remember to fold the short edge to the outside as in the picture .Baste stitch in place . 

turn the end of the zipper to the outside

Do so for the other side as well

baste stitch the zipper in place

The seam allowance inside should be turned up as you baste stitch.

Keep the seam allowance up

On the first edge, just use an invisible zipper foot to stitch the invisible zipper very close to the teeth. 

bring the facing down on the zipper

Step 5 Fold the top of the waistband down. Still the skirt is face up, allright?

Stitch along the seam allowance joining the waistband

sew a long the side of the zipper

Use a zipper foot for this. 

insert a zipper on waistband with a ordinary zipper foot

Now just flip the waistband inside out and your waist band is almost ready

baste stitch the zipper on waistband

Step 6 Top stitch the zipper edge

You have to stitch the zipper from the top along the zipper teeth so that everything is finished well. You can hand stitch as well.

The zipper is attached

Step 7 Finish the waistband

Fold the back edge to the inside and pin in place. Stitch in the ditch from the front or hand sew in place from the back.

stitch in the ditch

You can find the full skirt made here in this post on making an Aline skirt.

sew Aline skirt

Method 2. With facing 

The other alternative is to sew the skirt with a facing in place of waistband – Here you will attach the zipper to the skirt body and then finish the top edge with a facing. 

The facing is cut in the shape of the top edge of the skirt.

cut facing as per the skirt top edge
add the zipper to the skirt

Join the facing pieces for the front and the back.

finish the edges of the facing
facing finished

Attach the facing to the top edge of the skirt.

add the facing to the upper edge of the skirt

Flip to the back of the skirt and then stitch it here. Hand sewing is preferred for this.

facing turned to the inside

You can read more about this in this post on making a mini skirt here.

mini skirt pattern

Method 3. With waistband and buckle 

This involves a waistband with one end overlapping the other end of the waistband and then closing the opening with a buckle. The zipper is attached to the skirt and not to the waistband.

waistband with buckles and zipper

You will be sewing a simple zipper insertion here.

keep the zipper facedown on the seam and stitch in place

The waistband is made and joined to the skirt. 

You can read more about this in this post on making a Pencil skirt

Or in this post on sewing a waistband for a Skirt.

how to sew a waistband of skirt

Related posts : How to sew different types of skirts; How to sew an easy gathered skirt with pockets; How to sew A-line skirts.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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