Donna: Half-Circle Skirt Waistband Height & Interfacing Tips

The waistline really comes into focus when you wear any kind of a full skirt. Whether it is a dirndl, full circle, half-circle, or flared skirt, the selection of the waistband height should be given some consideration. The waistband and any belt you may wear with the skirt affects the flow of the silhouette.

I do not believe there are any rules written in stone about which height one should select. I think it is a matter of finding the waistband height that creates the best balance for the outfit. Here are some photos of different heights for the waistband. For illustration purposes I used white belting and waistband stiffener. I used these as a way to visualize what height would be best. Ribbon or lengths of fabric cut along the selvedge (using scraps from other projects) are also good tools to help you make the choice.

3/4″ high.

A waistband or belt 3/4″ high looks good on a Misses Size 4 and worked out well for the Dirndl Dress. I chose this height for the Dirndl Dress Belt because anything highter didn’t look quite right to me given the fullness of the skirt on that dress. For a half-circle skirt, though, this waistband or belt height didn’t look right.

1 1/2″ height.

I then decided to see how a 1 1/2″ waistband would look. This did not click with me at all. I do like wide belts and on some outfits they look good for a Size 4 but this time I thought it would overwhelm the skirt and blouse. Also it tends to make the Size 4 look short waisted.

1″ height.

A one inch high waistband definitely look very good to me and appeared to be the perfect height at which blouse and skirt meet.

This first appears to be a little extra work but getting to know which height of belt and waistband brings out the best in the outfit for you is well worth it. After spending some time in an exercise like this your eye and sensibility will begin to make selections very easily. This comes in handy even when shopping for belts.

Waistband stiffener.

Until I went to dressmaking school I always interfaced my skirt waistbands using the same or slightly heavier interfacings I used for collars. The result is that the waistband inevitably became wrinkled and did not look very firm and nice at the waistline.

I was taught to use a waistband stiffener which is heavier, sturdier and fits nicely around the waist. No more wrinkled waistbands after learning about this.

My teachers had me catch stitch the waistband stiffener along the lower part of the waistband before sewing it to the skirt. This was a time consuming and tricky process. The stiffener is not easy to handle and often bent the needle out of shape. I will show how the process works when I am ready to put the waistband into the half-circle skirt.