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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Putting a Yoga Waistband on Shorts and Pants

Katie Skoog is the head of our baby girl's department at CKC, and today she has a tutorial for us that has been requested many, many times! And this one's not just for the little girls - it is perfect for you and me too!  Here's Katie: 

Today I am going to show you how to turn Bridgette’s Palazzo pants into yoga waist band shorts (and straight leg pants). Being pregnant during the summer and only having one pair of shorts (with paint all over them) was not going to work for me! I love my stretchy pants, it is pretty much all I wear these days but I really wanted some comfy shorts to wear. I knew I wanted a yoga waistband style so what did I do????? I took Women’s Bridgette’s pants and used the measurements for the waistband from Women’s Wendy’s – BAM – comfy perfection!!! Now, it didn’t come without mistakes so I am here to show you how I made them and some tips / advice I had to figure out along the way. These are great for maternity shorts and pants but they are not just for pregos! Using the Wendy’s waistband, you can fold the waistband over or if you are like me when pregnant, I love having it cover my whole belly…. Everyone loves a cute pair of yoga shorts & pants! Now you can make them using your favorite fabrics, even wovens!

First, print out your pattern pieces for Bridgette’s Palazzo pants (they will look like shorts). Using the size chart as a guide, figure out what size you need to make. My measurements were right between medium and large so I went with the Large as I am pregnant and we all know I am not getting any smaller the next few months….

Once you have your pattern pieces printed out, fold your fabric so you are cutting 2 pieces on the fold. Now, we have the option to slim them a bit. I of course decided to slim them using an older blog post on how to slim kids leggings, but for some reason I decided to do an entire inch (which is really 4” when all said and done). BAD IDEA if you don’t prewash and have hips….. haha. The final shorts fit perfect but I washed and dried them and of course they shrunk up (no, it couldn’t have been me getting bigger!!!! Okay – maybe a little…) I did learn on my second pair that slimming .5” is okay but wouldn’t recommend doing more (remember, you can always take in, it is harder to add more fabric!!!) Also, as you can see in my shorts picture, my shorts are pretty short, I took 2” off the bottom of the pattern for those shorts, they ended up too short for my liking so on my other ones (which have mysteriously disappeared….) I just used the bottom of the pattern for the length and it was perfect.

Next, on the Bridgette’s, you can see that the inseam is curved, we cannot have that, it needs to be straight up and down otherwise trying to sew your hem will be a pain in the booty (and end up wonky). So, using the picture below as a guide, just make your inseam cut straight, no curve.

Okay, how you should have your patter pieces all cut out the way you want them. We are now going to lower the waistline for the yoga waistband. This is optional but I REALLY recommend it, if you don’t, then you will end up with a really saggy crotch area… not pretty. To do this, open your fabric pieces and lay them flat with wrong sides touching. I wanted the fabric portion of the shorts to end right under my belly, then that is where the knit band will start. After making a few, I found that the best measurements for me was tapering it 3” and 6”.  So, on sides that will be the back middle seam, measure down 3”. Now on the other side, measure down 6”. Using a large ruler, match up your marks with the ruler, this will give you the angle you need to cut. If you want the fabric portion to be a little higher, you can do 2” and 5”. The picture below shows those shorts with a 2.5” and 5” taper, I found that the fabric still came up a little higher than I wanted, I wanted the yoga waistband to start right at my belly crease and this put the fabric portion of the shorts in between my belly button and belly crease.

YAY!!! Now it is time to sew them together, sew the shorts along the two curves.

Now sew the inseam closed.

Now, we are going to hem up the legs, fold the fabric back 1”, then turn the fabric back an additional 1”. Sew the hem.

Okay, let’s get that yoga waistband on the shorts! Use the measurements from your Wendy’s pattern for the waistband and cut out your knit. Now, fold in half widthwise (right sides together) and sew up that seam.

Fold the yoga waistband in half with wrong sides together (so the right sides will be out and your seam you just sewed will be on the inside). The seam you sewed will be the center back, fold the waistband to find the center front and mark with a pin (you will be pinning both knit layers to the shorts). We want the front to lay flat, so measure about 3” on each side of the center front pin, mark those with pins. We will start pinning the waistband to the shorts, starting in the center front. Match up your center shorts seam with your pin for the center front waistband. Now without stretching the knit too much, pin the shorts 3” on each side (again, don’t stretch the knit or the front won’t lay flat). Next, match up the center back shorts seam with the center back waistband seam and pin. Now continue pinning the shorts to the waistband, you will have to stretch the knit to fit the shorts. Once it is all pinned, sew them together using your standard 3/8”. I prefer to use a triple stretch stitch when using knit. It is more durable.

You are now done and have an amazingly comfortable pair of shorts. 

I also took Bridgette’s Palazzo pants and made just regular straight leg pants from them. To do that, measure your inseam and add 2” (for the hem) and just cut straight down that length.

Thank you, Katie! What a helpful tutorial that we can all use.  

Isn't Katie adorable with her belly?  (I hope she doesn't mind me saying that but it's true.) I hope you all go out and make yourself some comfy shorts or pants of your own.

Let's Create! ~ Kristen


  1. Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people.. yoga shorts

  2. This is my first time visit here. From the tons of comments on your articles,I guess I am not only one having all the enjoyment right here! nsf

  3. Help! This is EXACTLY what I've been looking for! Having a baby in August and need some comfty shorts. But when I click the links for the patterns they don't come up. I get the 404 not found message from your page. :(