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Elastic Strap How-Tos
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SheBear0320
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Date: 1/24/10 11:48 PM

I have no idea if this is the right place to put this but here goes -- mods feel free to move it to the right place.

Quite awhile ago someone asked me to do a tutorial with photos for the technique I use for elastic straps. I finally remembered to take photos when I was making the straps recently so here it is:

NOTE: The straps I'm making in these photos are 3/8" wide and 19" long using black tricot lycra.

1. Cut fabric the width of the elastic x 2 plus 2 seam allowances -- for my straps 3/8" x 2 + 1/2" (2 - 1/4" seam allowances). The length of the fabric should be the length of the strap plus 2 seam allowances -- for my straps 19" + 1" (2 - 1/2" seam allowances). Cut the elastic the length of the fabric plus 2" to 3".

Cut Lengths

2. Fold fabric in half lengthwise -- depending on the fabric pins may be necessary.

Pinned Strips

Attach elastic to the lengthwise edges of the fabric -- pin first; then serge or zig-zag. Elastic will extend past end of fabric.

Pinned Elastic

After Stitching

3. Attach safety pin to elastic end and insert pin into end of fabric tube and feed through to turn.

Pinned Elastic

Insert in Tube

Feeding Through

4. Work elastic and tubing so they lay flat.

Finished Straps


Some projects with the elastic straps in use

String Bikini
Design Detail
Halter Straps

I find anything over about 36" long is very hard to get turned so I tend to do smaller lengths for each strap rather than one long one to be cut.


I find this method works best with stretch fabrics but can work with wovens as well -- I usually add an extra 1/8" to the width of the fabric strip and you have to stretch the elastic as you attach it to the folded fabric strip. Using this technique with a woven fabric takes a little practice but it can be done and gives a nice finished appearance.

------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
49.75 yards sewn (as of 07/17/14)
79.875 yards purchased (as of 07/17/14)

Lynnelle
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Subject: Topic moved Date: 1/25/10 1:42 PM

This topic has been moved from Creative Sewing to Sewing Techniques and Tips

Tov
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Tov
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In reply to SheBear0320


Date: 1/25/10 2:05 PM

Great tutorial! Thank you so much. I truly appreciate the time and effort you took to do this. I think it will help many of us and I can't wait to try it.

------
Viv

Kayseri
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In reply to SheBear0320


Date: 1/25/10 11:24 PM

Thank you, this looks very straightforward and useful.

julie w
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julie w
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Date: 1/27/10 3:19 AM

Thank you for taking the time to take photos and sharing your technique. This will be very useful.

------
Julie, Perth, WA

yttri
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Date: 7/16/12 2:13 PM

Great tip, thank you for sharing! The photos really helped as I'm a more visual learner.

wendyrb
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Date: 7/16/12 2:41 PM

Bookmarked! Thanks for the thoughtful method, visuals and explanation. I'll be using this.

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

wendyrb
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In reply to SheBear0320 <<


Date: 7/16/12 2:51 PM

Your post of the Design Detail photo looks so great! It's interesting to see the strap used in a different way. I'm curious as to how you applied the finished elastic strap. Were you stitching on the strap going through all layers, including the elastic? Or, were you stitching just the 2 outer fabric layers and avoiding the elastic? Straight stitch, or zig-zag? Also, was the garment already clean finished on the edges and the elastic strap was applied on top? Thank you.

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

SheBear0320
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In reply to wendyrb <<


Date: 7/16/12 3:36 PM

On the Design Detail photo -- the garment was clean finished on the edges (this is the back of a skating dress). The straps were attached on the wrong side and are actually sandwiched between the garment edge and the edge of the illusion mesh. The strap is attached with a straight stitch very close to the edge of the V opening and a zigzag stitch is used to attach the illusion mesh to the opening (which also catches the straps).

Hope that makes sense.

I'm glad people are finding this tutorial helpful -- I use this technique on a regular basis -- at certain times of the year it's a daily used technique.

------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
49.75 yards sewn (as of 07/17/14)
79.875 yards purchased (as of 07/17/14)

wendyrb
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In reply to SheBear0320 <<


Date: 7/16/12 4:04 PM

Thanks for explaining; it's a start. I'll have to make a little sample to get it as you've described. In my mental picturing, I see the strap sandwiched between the main fabric and the mesh with the seam edges lined up together. However, it's with right sides together, unlike your way on the wrong side. For my sequence, after stitching the 3 layers together, the strap flips up towards the mesh. A row of stitching joins the free strap edge to the mesh beneath it. That doesn't seem to be your method, so I've got something to work out.

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

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