Saturday, August 25, 2007

Elastic Waistband

I'm afraid that the amount of pictures makes it very long to download, please let me know. Also feel free to ask questions, as always when I do things over and over its easy to forget important information! Click on any picture to enlarge for a better view!







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I stitch with the wrong side up when I'm using the straight stitch machine.

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As often as I can get away with, this is how I do an elastic waistband. I learned from Christine Jonson. I also used her Wide Leg Pant Pattern, because I'm very familiar with it and I won't be selling the finished product. I made myself some jammie pants for this winter.

I show a little of the cutting process, I have cut out my pattern in a size 10. Alas, my behind has grown so I'm adding what looks right. Measure? Nah, I know approximately what I need. I made one pair out of flannel. I've had this forever and finally its becoming something useful. And the other pair is a grey poly cotton waffel knit, my favorite.

I always add 4 inches to the length, I have long legs. I also took the top of the waistband down an inch or so (I cut my pattern I can't remember exactly what I did) because I like my pants to fit well below my natural waist. I suppose I will continue to do so, long after waistlines go back up again, its a matter of personal comfort.

I put the pants together with the serger according to the instructions. If you don't have a serger use your favored method, though I recommend a stretch stitch on a knit. Inseams first, then crotch seams. I only use one pin where the two seams meet.












Now the elastic. I cut mine about 28"ish, I'm pretty sure the pattern includes a measurement. I just haven't looked in so long.

I butt the two pieces together and sew a lot to make sure it won't come undone, ever. I can hear Christine in my head telling me to make sure it is stitched well.

Mark off the quarters, on the elastic and the pants.

Under the needle. Needle down before I stretch.

Holding my marked points together, I stretch the elastic to the length of the fabric.

I do this all the way around.


Now to finish. I put a bit of lace at the center back to mark it. Same concept except now the fabric is folded over to cover the elastic. I pull the fabric over the elastic taut to make it look neat.

I did it once on the straight needle and once on the serger (video) to let you decide based on equipment and confidence level.




Please look below at the video to see how I put the elastic in at the serger.
Fabric and Elastic ready to go.

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Presser foot down, needle down before I stretch the elastic.
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This first video is starting and only 8 seconds we forgot to clear the camera.

This second video is 30 seconds and starts where the other leaves off, but not all the way to finish, I just cross the original line of stitching and drive off. I clip close to the waistband, it is secure.

I also did a double needle on the grey knit because I like to have a stretch stitch on the knit. I loosen my bobbin tension, about a 1/4 turn. The stitch should not bunch up, it should look like railroad tracks on the front and a zig zag stitch on the back (again I hear Christine's voice!).

When I sew with the double needle I have the right side of the fabric up. I'm feeling the elastic with my fingers. Needle down.
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Stretched and ready to sew, my thumb now marks the end of the elastic for me. I sew just inside the elastic.
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Done! Its a little off. Its hard to sew with someone standing next to you! And I couldn't put my head as close as I usually do, it was blocking the view! Not to worry, they work great.
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