Emily Culottes Sew-Along: Waistband Facing + Hem

We are in the homestretch now, ladies. All you have to do is add the facing to the waistband yoke and hem your culottes.

Waistband facing first! In instruction 67, Kennis shows you a way to slightly ease up the fabric before applying twill tape to stabilize the waist edge. I accomplished my easing in a different way, but I want to try her method next time. Taking the time to add some twill tape to the top of your waistband is a very good practice on all waistbands; it really helps prevent that waistband fatigue that occurs during the day. You know, from bending, stretching, and also just the warmth of your body. Have you noticed that most higher-end RTW pants and skirts use this same technique?

First, it is important that you cut the twill tape your actual comfortable waist measurement. I like a snug fit around my waist, so I pull the tape snugly when I measure. You get to decide what degree of snugness is comfortable for you!

Emily Culottes by Sew Maris

I think it is easiest to apply the twill tape if you chalk the stitching line first. Then, center the twill tape over the stitching line. I often move my needle over 1 position so it is closer to the seam allowance, just to make sure this stitching doesn’t show after the facing is stitched on.

Emily Culottes by Sew Maris

My way of easing the tape in place is to stitch the twill tape at one end to secure it, pin the other end in place, and then just ease the garment to fit the tape. You can do the quarter mark thing, too; you know, divide the garment and the tape into quarters and then match those points up before you start. This method works fine for me, but it does take a little practice to get the feel of it. It is a little bit like rubbing your tummy and patting your head. 😉

After your twill tape is applied, stitch the waistband facing (which you assemble just like the waistband yoke)  to the waistband yoke. You should stitch just across the top edge, backstitching at the beginning and the end. The side edges of the facing can either be tacked by hand along the zipper, or you can use Kennis’s very cool technique to stitch by machine alongside the zipper (use instruction #74 only for the unlined version).

Emily Culottes-1-3

One last little thing. If you used the interfacing/clean finish process that Kennis suggests, everything looks lovely in the inside. If you are like me and prefer your interfacing on the public side of the yoke, you need to either turn under the hem edge of the waistband facing, or you can bind the raw edge with narrow bias binding. I love this look, especially with a contrasting color. I didn’t have anything very colorful in my stash when I was working on this Emily, but at least it isn’t navy! 🙂

The grand finale: hem your culottes. Turn up and press the hemline 3/4 of an inch from the raw edge. Clean finish in whatever manner you like (I serged), and topstitch the hem in place  by machine. This may be an opportunity for some decorative stitching, or a twin needle, or coverstitching—whatever strikes your fancy. Now wasn’t that easiest pair of culottes you’ve ever made?

Emily Culottes Sew-along by Sew Maris

Don’t forget to post your pictures in our Facebook group! And you can become Insta-famous too, just be sure to use the hastag #sewmarisemily.

I am so excited to see these love Emily Culottes coming together! Aren’t they easy and fun to make? And right on the fashion cusp, too.

Happy sewing,


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