How to Make a Gathered Cumberbund Style Waist Band

Updated February 21, 2017

The gathered fabric of a man's cummerbund only extends part of the way around the waist. His coat covers the band of elastic in back that allows the size of the cummerbund to be adjusted and the clasp that fastens the cummerbund. You can sew a gathered waistband that looks good all the way around, so it can be worn without a coat. Make one in pastel satin to add a graceful touch to a simple white dress, or turn a simple black blouse and slacks into a chic evening outfit with a cummerbund-style belt in a shimmery fabric.

Measure the waist of the wearer and add 2 inches.

Cut a rectangle of fabric this length and four times as wide as the desired width of the cummerbund.

Sew a straight seam with a long stitch length 1/2 inch from each of the short ends. Sew with the right side of the fabric up. Sew a second row of stitches 1/4 inch inside the first row. These are rows of gathering stitches.

Fold the fabric in half by bringing the long edges together with the right side of the fabric on the inside. Sew the long edges together by sewing 1/2 inch from the edge with a standard stitch length. Leave a 3-inch opening in the seam for turning.

Pull the threads on the rows of gathering stitches to gather the belt to the desired width. Arrange the gathers so they are mostly on the front side of the belt.

Turn the belt right side out and stitch the opening closed.

Sew hooks to one end of the belt on the back side. Sew the eyes on front side of the belt, 1 inch from the other end. Position one hook and eye near the top edge of the belt, one near the bottom edge and one in the middle.


If you wish to make the belt lie flatter, add side seams by sewing a seam perpendicular to the edge of the belt. These seams will hold the gathers flat.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Small hook-and-eye fasteners, 3
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About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.