Creative articles about sewing

Zip it Up! Part 3: Sewing a zipper without a waistband

Welcome to part three of the Zip it Up! series, where we give you tips for sewing zippers. This time, we will show you an alternative to the usual zipper for trousers: Sewing a zipper without a seperate waistband! This is a simple trouser or skirt closure that does not require a button and is not bulky at all.

Garments without a waistband and button look particularly elegant. Instead of the waistband, a facing is attached to create a professional finish at the top edge of the waist. This tip is from the inspiration Magazine issue 57. Let’s see what it has in store for us!

Top “Tilly” and trousers “Stella” from the inspiration Magazine 1/22

Step-by-step instructions for sewing a zipper without a waistband

Please note: The right side of the fabric is shown darker in the illustrations than the wrong side.

Press the overlap over at the fold. Press the underlap approx. 5 mm inside the seam allowances. Stitch the zipper under the underlap, leaving approx. 10 – 14 mm space to the seam line of the top edge.
Pin the slit from the right side. Sew the loose zipper tape to the overlap, but do not topstitch the overlap!

Place the top edge facing of the overlap side left to left precisely against the top edge. Make a fold near the center front next to the zipper or mark the position in another way (the dotted vertical line in the drawing). Cut the top edge facing to the left of this line with an allowance and sew it to the slit facing along this line, right sides facing.

Place the top edge facing of the underlap right to right sides together, adjust the length and sew the top edge with the center front edge allowance folded in.

Fold the slit fly lenghtwise, right sides together, and overlock at the top edge. Turn and hem the remaining edges. Place the fly on the underlap (shown in gray in the drawing). Topstitch the fly from the right side of the fabric in the zipper seam of the underlap.

Sew the top edge facing of the overlap right sides together and overturn with the slit facing. Press the seam allowances of the top edge into the facing and topstitch the allowances onto the facing as far as possible. Fold the top edge facing down on the underlap side, pin over the fly and sew in place lengthwise in the lower area of the top edge facing.

On the overlap side, topstitch the slit facing from the right side and continue sewing to the center front seam below the zipper in a curve (the green line in the drawing). Do not include the underlap slit facing.  You might want to either previously draw the curve with chalk or prepare a paper template to follow the shape for this step. 

Secure the fly of the underlap in two places on the overlap using the bartack program.

Sew a hook or attach snaps invisible from the outside to the top edge facing of the overlap, and to the underlap the corresponding eyelet or oposite side of the snap. Alternatively, sew a loop with yarn (see previous drawing). And this is how you make a zipper without a waistband!

Looking for more tips and tricks?

We have carefully collected exciting tips and tricks from various inspiration magazines and published them on the blog. The tip “Sewing a zipper without a waistband” is taken from inspiration issue 57.

It’s worth checking back regularly or subscribing to the newsletter to make sure you can learn our experts’ tricks for your sewing work.

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