How are everyone’s Ash jeans coming along? We’re getting down to details now – you’ll be finished in no time! I’ve used the Ash jeans in this tutorial, but the steps for the Dawn jeans are exactly the same so you can follow along with both patterns. Today I’ll cover how to attach the waistband and belt loops. Two things that get a lot of wear and tear – I mean, you know you pull your pants up by the belt loops HA! So we want to take extra care to make them sturdy and secure.
For these steps, you actually start out with the belt loops, then switch to the waistband, and then finish off with the belt loops again last. Follow along below to see what I mean…
Oh, and as usual, you’ll need to switch between regular thread ad topstitching thread. I’ll let you know in each step what to use.
Let’s make some belt loops! Start by finishing one go of the long edges of your belt loop piece.
Fold the unfinished edge in, and then fold the finished edge over the top of that. So that the raw edge is encased.
Flip it over to the right side and put topstitching thread in your machine.
Stitch two lines of topstitching 1/4” apart.
Cut the long piece into five 3 1/2” long pieces. These are your belt loops.
The five spots that you will be placing your belt loops are: on the front – right next to the topstitching of both pockets, directly on top of the centre back topstitching, and the other two on the back – 1” from the side seams.
Place each belt loop in its spot right side down and pin. With regular thread, stitch in place 1” from the raw edge of the waist.
Now we’re going to move onto the waistband, and come back to the belt loops at the end.
Cut out 4 small 1” patches of fusible interfacing. Attach them to the wrong sides of the two waistband pieces, where the buttonholes and buttons will be.
With right sides together, place one of your waistband pieces on top of your jeans. Line up the waistline, matching up the notches. The waistband will extend 5/8” beyond both sides of the jeans (fly and fly extension.
With regular thread, stitch together 5/8” from the top edge.
Note: if your zipper teeth extend up that high, be careful when stitching over it so you don’t break your needle. When you reach the zipper teeth, hand crank your machine wheel to slowly go one stitch at a time over the teeth. The waistband seam will act as your new zipper stop.
Then press the waistband and seam allowance up and away from the jeans.
On the second waistband piece, fold up the bottom edge of the waistband by 5/8”
With right sides together, place the two waistbands piece together, lining up the top edge and making sure notches line up. Pin in place.
Still using regular thread, sew along the short sides and long top edge of the waistband 5/8” from the edge, pivoting at the corners. Along the sides, the stitching should line up with the very edges of the fly and fly extension.
Clip the corners and trim the seam allowance.
Turn the waistband the right way around, and shape the corners to a square. Press well, making sure that the inner waistband doesn’t show at the top, and that it covers the waist seam at the bottom.
Switch to topstitching thread. On the right side, stitch around the entire edge of the waistband, 1/16” from the edge. Pivot at the corners.
When you’re stitching along the bottom of the waistband, make sure you are catching the inner waistband as you go. And when you go over the metal zipper, be careful to go slow, crank to handwheel by hand if you must, to go between the zipper teeth and make sure you don’t break your needle.
Do not backstitch with the topstitching. Instead, use a needle to bring the top thread to the inside and knot.
BACK TO BELTLOOPS
Now that the waistband is in place, we can finish up the belt loops.
Flip the belt loops up, and turn under the raw edge so that the top of the belt loop lines up with the top edge of the waistband. Pin in place.
Using topstitching thread, stitch across the top and bottom edges of the belt loops with a bar tack (we went over bar tacks when we put together the fly front).
If your machine is having a hard time sewing a bar tack through that many layers of denim (mine struggled!), you could just do a row or two of regular stitches with your topstitch thread, instead of bar tacks. Or use a hammer to compress the layers and make it easier to sew.
You want to make sure you have them nice and secure! You know belt loops can take a lot of wear – poor things get pulled on all the time when we pull on our pants. So make those stitches heavy and sturdy so they don’t rip!
LOOKING FOR MORE ASH AND DAWN POSTS?
Here is the full list of Dawn and Ash jeans posts:
- Where to buy jeans making supplies
- How to adjust rise
- How to lengthen or shorten the inseam
- How to sew flat felled seams
- Fly front
- How to sew a button fly
- How to sew an exposed button fly
- Front pockets
- How to finish pocket bags with french seams
- Back pockets, yoke, and back seam
- Inseam and side seams
- Belt loops and waistband (this post!)
- Buttonhole and hem
- How to install rivets and jeans buttons
- How to distress denim
- Tips for embroidering jeans
We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNdawn or #MNash and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!