How to solve “The Gaping Waist Problem”

Introducing my first pair of shorts!  Phew, what a project.  I’ll be honest, I was a little terrified by this pattern, but it really wasn’t so bad.  What was bad was this…


Not cool, man, not cool.

I read a few reviews on that this pattern (M5391, in case you were wondering) tends to gap…but I’m not skilled enough yet to know how to fix this type of problem ahead of time.  I searched and searched online, and read that the way to prevent this problem is to use a circular or c-shaped waist band instead of a straight one.  However, I’d obviously already cut my fabric, didn’t have enough to cut a new band, and didn’t have a c-shaped band pattern from which to cut in any case.  Other solutions were simply to take in fabric at the back or sides, leaving obvious seams.  I wasn’t happy with any of these methods, so I made up my own solution with tutorial below.



It would not hurt to iron the darts toward the center back so they are flat when you finish the waist band.





Final Thoughts: I’m very pleased with the final product.  I was going for more of a “trouser short,” and  it turned out pretty close to what I was imagining.  The waist band solution here basically creates a slightly curved band, but it would be better in the future to use an actual c-shaped band.

7 thoughts on “How to solve “The Gaping Waist Problem”

  1. Wow–that’s a pretty brilliant solution! I’ve been meaning to make up this pattern all summer and still haven’t gotten around to it. If I do, I’ll keep this tip in mind.

    • Thank you! I really wanted the seams to be mostly invisible, and this was the only way I could think to do it. I’m going to be on the look out for a pattern with a curved waistband so I won’t have to worry about this in the future.

  2. Pingback: The Polka Dots of Which Nightmares are Made « theresacouch

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