Annecy Drawstring Waistband Tutorial


Blogger: Holly Lange


Annecy Drawstring Waistband

I’ve been looking for sewing patterns with a breezy, stylish vibe to stay cool in the heat of summer. Looking through my closet, I realized that my wardrobe was lacking dresses that could handle some serious heat and humidity. Enter the Styla Annecy dress.

This woven button-up dress is versatile for any season, and summer is a wonderful time for it to shine! While the Annecy pattern includes instructions for the waist to be tied with a sash, this tutorial gives a second option of a waistband drawstring with side ties on both sides.

If you’d like to make your own, follow along to complete this version of the drawstring waistband Annecy. The version seen here is sewn in midi length with short sleeves and was created using rayon challis from Carriage House Printery.

To begin, choose the options to be sewn for Annecy and assemble the paper pattern pieces for the correct size/height. Omit the pieces for the sash and belt loop as they will not be needed for the drawstring version. 

In addition, cut 3 casing pieces and 3 drawstring pieces from the chart below. Please note, depending on specific fabric width, the dress back drawstring may have to be cut as 2 smaller, equal sections and pieced together to create the entire length of drawstring required. Also of note, the casings are meant to be longer than needed and the excess will be trimmed. 


Follow the pattern instructions from pages 30 - 33. After applying the dress placket interfacing and pressing, set it aside.

Locate a dress front casing and iron both long, raw edges 1/4” (0.6 cm) wrong sides together. Repeat this for the other front and back casings. Set aside. 

Take one of the front drawstrings and fold one short edge 1/2” (1.3 cm) wrong sides together and press. Fold the drawstring in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Make sure to match the long, raw edges. Press to create a memory crease. Unfold. 

Fold both long, raw edges in to meet the memory crease and press. Fold the drawstring again along the memory crease. Press. 

Topstitch the short, folded side edge and the long, open edge with a 1/8” (0.3 cm) seam allowance to close the drawstring. Repeat for the remaining front drawstring only. The finished drawstring should be 1/2” (1.3 cm) wide. Set aside. 

For the back drawstring, repeat these same steps. However, fold BOTH short, raw edges 1/2” (1.3 cm) wrong sides together. Complete it by sewing across one short, folded edge, along the open edge, and back across the other short, folded edge using a 1/8” (0.3 cm) seam allowance. 

On the dress front pattern piece, locate the belt loop placement line. Transfer this line to the same position on the dress back pattern piece. Align the lengthen/shorten lines and the bottom of the armscye to ensure correct placement. 

To make the casing placement markings, measure 1/4” (0.6 cm) down from the belt loop placement line on both dress front and back pattern pieces and draw a line straight across. 

Transfer this line to the wrong side of both dress front fabrics and the dress back fabric with a fabric marking tool. 

Measure and mark another line 1” (2.5 cm) down from this previous line. These are the markings for the waistband casing. 

A buttonhole or grommet needs to be created at the waist side seam of each dress piece as an opening for the drawstring. For this tutorial, a buttonhole will be demonstrated. Measure in 1 1/2” (3.8 cm) from the outer side waist edge of one dress front inside the markings just made. 

Mark and create a 1/2” (1.3 cm) vertical buttonhole on this line. Optionally, add interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric where the buttonhole or grommet will be placed for extra stability. Ensure the buttonhole/grommet sits entirely within the casing marking lines before creating and finishing it. Repeat this for the other dress front and both sides of the dress back to create a total of 4 buttonholes. 

Take one dress front casing that was previously ironed and align it wrong sides together within the marking lines on one of the dress front pieces. Make sure the casing starts at the edge of the interfacing applied to the placket and continues to/past the edge on the opposite side. Repeat for the other dress front piece.

Pin and sew with a 1/8” (0.3 cm) seam allowance at both the top and bottom edge of the casing on both dress front pieces leaving the short, raw edges open. Cut away any excess casing fabric. 

Now, take the back casing and align it wrong sides together within the dress back casing markings on the dress back. This time, ensure that the casing goes from edge to edge. There may be excess fabric that extends beyond each edge. Again, pin and sew with a 1/8” (0.3 cm) seam allowance at both the top and bottom edge of the casing and cut away any excess fabric. 

Take a safety pin and attach it to the short, raw edge of a front drawstring. Insert it from the outer waist edge and align the short, raw edge with the casing opening near the placket interfacing. Sew a straight stitch to secure the raw waistband edge inside the casing. 

The short, finished edge of the drawstring can now be pulled through the buttonhole or grommet. Repeat this for the other dress front. 

 Now, the dress back drawstring can be inserted and pulled through the edge of each outer buttonhole. 

Continue the pattern instructions at page 34 and complete the Annecy dress. Disregard the steps for creating and sewing the sash and belt loops. Ensure when sewing the side seams, that the drawstrings are pinned out of the seam allowance and not accidentally sewn within them. Also, when applying buttons to the front placket, place a button directly at the drawstring to prevent gaping. 

When completed, simply cinch the drawstring to the desired look and tie. Thanks for sewing along, and please share your Annecy Drawstring Waistband Dress on Styla Patterns Facebook group.


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