Today i’m going to show you how to sew the waistband and placket of the Matilda dress! I find this part of the dress construction to be the most exciting – it’s when we join the bodice and skirt together and it finally starts to look like a dress!
Ready to sew? Lets do it!
If you haven’t done so already, sew the side seams of the bodice, finish the raw edges and press the seams either open or to the back of the garment.
Don’t forget you should have two interfaced and two un-interfaced Front Waistband  pieces, as well as one interfaced and one un-interfaced Back Waistband  pieces. I forgot and only realised once everything was completely sewn together, so my waistband pieces are uninterfaced – giant whoops.
Place the two interfaced Front Waistband  pieces right sides together with the interfaced Back Waistband  and so that the side seams are aligned. Sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge along the side seams. Press the seams open.
Repeat for the un-interfaced front and back waistband pieces. You will now have one fully interfaced waistband and one un-interfaced waistband. The interfaced waistband will form the outer waistband and the un-interfaced waistband will form the inner waistband.
I used a contrast fabric for my inner waistband pieces so they should be easy to identify.
Place the outer interfaced waistband on the bodice with right sides together and so that the notches on the waistband line up with the seams on the bodice. Place the inner waistband on the inside of the bodice with the right side of the inner waistband facing the wrong side of the bodice. Again line up the notches on the inner waistband with the seams on the bodice. The bodice will now be sandwiched between the outer and inner waistband. Pin and place and sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge through all three layers of fabric to attach the waistband to the bodice.
Be very careful that you don’t attach the waistband upside down. Remember that this waistband curves downwards.
Fold the outer and inner waistbands down and away from the bodice enclosing the raw edges. Press the waist seam well.
As you can see i folded in the bottom edge of the inner waist by 5/8″ (1.5cm) and pressed. This will make it easier to enclose all the raw edges later.
Place the bodice over the skirt with right sides together. Line up notches and seams on the skirt with the notches and seams on the bottom edge of the outer waistband. Sew the skirt to the outer waistband only, 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge.
Don’t forget that you should not be sewing the inner waistband to the skirt at this stage.
Press the seams towards the waistband and away from the skirt.
Fold the inner waistband down, to enclose all the waistband seams. You can hand sew the waistband in place or topstitch on the right side of the garment. I like to topstitch both the top and bottom edge of the waistband at this stage to be more efficient. If you’re finding it hard to keep the inside waistband in place while doing your topstitching or worried your stitching isn’t catching it’s folded edge, you might prefer to first hand-baste it where it needs to sit, that way you know it’s not going anywhere while you’re not looking!
Now we are on to the placket! Before you begin sewing mark the future button and buttonhole place placement with a tailors tack, chalk or fabric pen. Also don’t forget that both placket pieces should be interfaced before sewing.
Fold the placket in half with wrong sides together and press.
Open the placket and fold one raw edge in by 5/8” (1.5cm) and press. This will be the raw edge opposite to the side with the button markings. Repeat for the second placket, ensuring that you fold in the opposite raw edge so that the plackets are mirror images.
Place the placket pieces on the dress with right sides together and so that the notches on the placket line up with the waistband seams on the dress.
Sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge to attach the placket to the dress.
Press the placket away from the dress.
Fold over the placket to enclose the raw edges, and topstitch or hand sew to close.
Repeat for both plackets.
Now your plackets are done and ready for buttons and button holes!
// LOOKING FOR MORE MATILDA POSTS? //
Here’s the full list of Matilda posts and tutorials:
- Tour of all the details in the Matilda dress
- Pattern tester roundup!
- Skirt and skirt pockets
- Bodice and breast pockets
- Front and back yoke
- Waistband and placket (covered in this tutorial)
- Collar and stand
- How to alter the pattern to add sleeves
- Hemming & sleeve band
- How to sew button holes without an automatic function