How To Add Elastic To A Skirt With A Zipper

Adding elastic to a skirt with a zipper is a useful sewing skill that can enhance the fit and comfort of your skirts. Elastic helps to create a snug and adjustable waistband while maintaining the convenience of a zipper closure. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of adding elastic to a skirt with a zipper.

Materials You Will Need


Start by measuring your waist to determine the length of elastic needed. Make sure to measure where you want the waistband to sit on your body. Add an extra inch to allow for seam allowances and ease of movement.

Step 2: Cut the Elastic

Cut the elastic band to the measured length. Ensure that the elastic is snug but not too tight, as it needs to stretch comfortably around your waist. Use fabric scissors to make a clean, straight cut.

Step 3: Prepare the Skirt

Lay your skirt out flat, with the wrong side facing up. If your skirt has a lining, make sure to access the waistband from the inside. Open the zipper fully to give yourself enough room to work.

Step 4: Pin the Elastic

Fold the elastic in half to find the center point. Align this center point with the center back of your skirt waistband. Use straight pins to secure the elastic in place at the center back and then at the side seams.

Step 5: Distribute the Elastic

With the center and side points secured, evenly distribute the rest of the elastic around the waistband, pinning it in place as you go. This will ensure that the elastic is evenly distributed and that your skirt gathers nicely when worn.

Step 6: Stitch the Elastic

Set your sewing machine to a zigzag stitch or use a stretch stitch if available. Starting at one end of the elastic, sew it to the waistband of the skirt. Stitch along the top edge of the elastic, stretching it slightly as you go. Be careful not to stretch the fabric of the skirt; only the elastic should be stretched.

Step 7: Overlap and Secure

When you reach the other end of the elastic, overlap it with the starting point by about half an inch. Sew back and forth a few times to secure the elastic together. Trim any excess elastic.

Step 8: Close the Waistband

Fold the waistband fabric over the elastic and pin it in place, covering the stitched elastic. Make sure the fabric is folded evenly and hides the elastic completely.

Step 9: Topstitch the Waistband

Using a straight stitch, sew along the folded edge of the waistband, securing the elastic and creating a clean finish. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end to secure the stitching.

Step 10: Iron and Finish

Finally, give your skirt a good press with an iron to set the stitches and create a polished look. Ensure that the zipper still functions smoothly.

Step 11: Test the Fit

After completing the elastic insertion, it’s essential to test the fit. Put the skirt on and adjust the elastic to your desired tightness. The elastic should comfortably hug your waist without being too tight or too loose. This step allows you to make any necessary adjustments before finalizing the waistband.

Step 12: Secure the Elastic Ends

To prevent the elastic from shifting inside the waistband, tack down the ends of the elastic using a few hand stitches. This ensures that the elastic stays in place, even after multiple wears and washes.

Step 13: Finish the Inside Seam

If your skirt has a lining, carefully stitch the lining to the elastic. This step ensures that the lining stays in place and doesn’t twist or bunch up inside the skirt. Use a few hand stitches or stitch-in-the-ditch on your sewing machine to secure the lining to the elastic.

Step 14: Optional Decorative Touch

If you want to add a decorative element to your skirt, consider attaching a fabric belt or sash over the elastic waistband. This not only conceals the elastic but also adds a stylish touch to your skirt.

Step 15: Personalize with Accessories

To enhance the overall look of your skirt, consider adding accessories like buttons, bows, or a decorative belt buckle to the front of the waistband. This allows you to personalize your skirt and make it uniquely yours.

Step 16: Care Instructions

It’s crucial to follow proper care instructions to ensure the longevity of your skirt with the added elastic. Typically, skirts with elastic waistbands should be gently washed in cold water and hung to dry to prevent excessive wear and tear on the elastic.

Step 17: Experiment and Get Creative

Once you’ve mastered the basic technique of adding elastic to a skirt with a zipper, don’t hesitate to get creative. Experiment with different types of elastic, fabric combinations, and decorative elements to create skirts that suit your style and preferences.

Materials Needed

1Skirt with a zipper
2Elastic (1 inch wide)
3Safety pins
4Sewing machine
5Matching thread
7Measuring tape
9Straight pins
10Seam ripper

 Measure and Cut Elastic

1Measure waistUse measuring tape to measure your waist.
2Subtract an inchSubtract an inch from the waist measurement.
3Cut elasticCut the elastic to the adjusted length.
4Overlap endsOverlap the ends of the elastic by half an inch.
5Secure with a zigzag stitchSew the overlapped ends together with a zigzag
stitch on the sewing machine.

Prepare the Skirt

1Turn the skirt insideTurn the skirt inside out and lay it flat on a
outflat surface.
2Locate the waistbandLocate the waistband of the skirt where you want
to insert the elastic.
3Seam ripperUse a seam ripper to carefully remove a few
stitches at the seam, creating an opening.
4Press the fabricIron the fabric around the waistband to create
a clean edge for inserting the elastic.
5Pin the elasticPin one end of the elastic inside the opening,
ensuring it’s secure.

Attach the Elastic

1Sew the elasticUsing a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine,
sew the elastic to the waistband.
2Stretch as you sewStretch the elastic slightly as you sew, so it
fits snugly but not too tight.
3Distribute gathersDistribute gathers evenly while sewing to create
a uniform look.
4Backstitch and trimBackstitch at the end and trim any excess
5Close the openingStitch the opening you created earlier closed,
securing the elastic completely.

Finishing Touches

1Check the fitTry on the skirt to ensure it fits comfortably
and stays in place.
2Adjust as neededIf necessary, make adjustments to the elastic
tightness by redoing the stitching.
3Trim any loose threadsTrim any loose threads for a neat finish.
4Press the waistbandIron the waistband to make it lay flat and
5Enjoy your skirtYour skirt is now ready to wear with added
elastic for a better fit!


Final Thoughts

Adding elastic to a skirt with a zipper can transform an ill-fitting or uncomfortable garment into a versatile and comfortable wardrobe staple. With some practice and creativity, you can customize your skirts to fit perfectly and reflect your unique fashion sense. Enjoy the process of sewing and the satisfaction of wearing a skirt that you’ve tailored to your liking. Happy sewing!


How To Add Elastic To A Skirt With A Zipper

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