Made by me / Tutorials

Making a grosgrain ribbon waistband facing

The Burda magazine shorts that I made last month had a rather messy solution for waist facing. Or maybe it was just my having a hard time grasping how it should be sewn together? But to be honest: “Burda, It’s not me, it’s you”   So instead I decided to opt for a grosgrain ribbon waistband facing.

Which made me realize what a fantastic way this is to create a smooth, and stable, waist. Plus it feels a little luxe.   Here comes a quick tutorial on how to do it:

First, attach the grosgrain ribbon by topstitching it onto the seam allowance (I use a 6mm allowance). I use a blind hem presser foot to make the seam more precise.

The waist after the topstitching is done. Look how discreet the seam is.

On the flip side. Not as slick, but it will soon disappear. I created a self fabric hook for the button.

Fold the grosgrain ribbon over and press into place.

To secure the ribbon I sewed a line of stitches in the ditch of each seam (including the darts).

What it looks like on the other side. This will keep the ribbon in place.

The finished shorts. I used them plenty in Portugal and the ribbon waistband facing really kept the waist from growing. I normally have problems with this, even though I use interfacing and stay stitching.


  • poppykettle
    July 30, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    I don't know what is about grosgrain ribbon, but you're totally right about the luxe-factor. I've heard about using it as facing but it didn't click with me that this would be a great way to stop the waistband from stretching. Next time I get the chance, I'll definitely be trying this!

    • Johanna
      July 31, 2012 at 8:29 am

      I think you will really like it, I was supprised how stable it feels even though it's just a ribbon. And it makes the waist feel very smooth too, not bulky like a facing might.

  • Jane
    July 31, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Thanks for the great tip! I have a denim skirt that fits just right after each wash but stretches out really quickly… I think I need to do some version of this to it after the next wash.

    • Johanna
      July 31, 2012 at 8:31 am

      Yes do try. I think it's the weave of the ribbon that makes it so stable even though it's not that thick. I used a medium thick ribbon, there are stiffer ones too, but what I like about the one I picked is that it feels very smooth to the body

  • BeccaA
    July 31, 2012 at 4:23 am

    Thanks for a great tip and tute! I will definitely try this.

    • Johanna
      July 31, 2012 at 8:32 am

      You're welcome! I will use this more often too in the future.

  • SEWN
    August 1, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Great tutorial and idea. Love the shorts!

  • Matrosehase
    August 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I always have problems with stretching waistbands (I interface and staystitch too!). What I usually do is stitching a strip of non-stretchy fabric onto the outer waistband (if there is no waistband, I stitch it on the top edge of the skirt) before I attach the inner waistband. Works pretty well.

  • Adeline Lee
    September 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    First of all, I would like to congratulate you for a very good job! It’s great that you’ve finally tried using grosgrain ribbon for the waist… It’s no ordinary ribbon, you know. I’ve seen some who are really fond of making their watch straps out of it, too. But, they’re better for clothes. Love the prints of the short, btw.

  • Anonymous
    March 10, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    How wide is the grosgrain ribbon you were using? Thanks!


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