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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Need remedial elastic casing help ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Need remedial elastic casing help
Somehow having trouble with fundamentals
stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
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Date: 5/24/12 7:20 PM

Argh! It's not like I haven't done gazillions of elastic casings in my life, but for some reason I've really struggled to get good results on my last few projects. So I need a refresher course, because apparently somewhere along the line I must have forgotten some basics. Or perhaps there are "new" tricks I never learned that could help me out!

The issues I'm having are mainly with the elastic itself--twisting as I'm feeding it into the casing, and also with the casing "gathers" bunching at one end of the elastic, while the other side ends up flat and ungathered (that seems like it would be a simple matter of evenly distributing the fullness, but I'm having trouble with it).

I've been using a Dritz bodkin (http://img2.etsystatic.com/il_570xN.236052686.jpg) and find that the elastic twists on me more. A wide safety pin gives better results--but you run the risk of the pin opening up inside the casing. Where am I going wrong?

Perhaps I need a better quality elastic?

Or something?

I'd love to hear everyone's best elastic casing tips!

Thanks!!

------
~Gem in the prairie

JEF
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JEF  Friend of PR
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Virginia USA
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Date: 5/24/12 7:52 PM

This is my tip which might help with the twisting. I sew a ribbon to each of the elastic - a long ribbon. I make the total length longer than the casing, I often make the ribbon as long as the casing. So, if the casing is 40 inches but the elastic is 30, I would add probably about 20-40 inches of ribbon to each end of the elastic.

I then thread the ribbon through the casing using whatever method. At this point I have a pretty narrow flat ribbon going through the casing. I pull it until the elastic is all in the casing but everything is still pretty flat if I haven't sewing the side seam. Obviously, it'll be bunchy if you're are doing this in the round but I try to do it flat whenever possible.

I pull the elastic to one end of the casing and sew it down. Then I pull the other side to the other end of the casing and sew it down. Of course, you could also sew the elastic ends to each other if you want it to be free within the casing rather than tacked in at one point.

I cut off the ribbon and reuse it.

I find this ribbon method really helps keep things from twisting.

HTH,

JEF

------
"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." --Abraham Lincoln

GlButterfly

GlButterfly
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California USA
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Date: 5/24/12 8:21 PM

Most of my casings are done in the round. This one particular fabric (mostly cotton) would not move. I did finally get it fairly evenly distributed. Years later I read a great tip. Before you stitch down the casing sew in a lightweight slippery fabric of some sort to help the non-cooperative fabric move along the elastic.

I use large safety pins to pull the elastic. Once in awhile they do open---ugh---but I generally have good luck with them.

Another tip: sometimes the item you are using to pull the elastic gets caught between the seam allowance and the garment and it can't seem to find its way no matter what. To help prevent this baste down the seam allowance to the garment before turning down the casing. You can also fuse it down.

------
That's Gl = for Gloria, not G. I.

simplystitches
simplystitches
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Date: 5/24/12 10:06 PM

I always use a safety pin and rarely, rarely have a problem with the pin opening.

If you're having that many problems feeding/distributing the elastic through it sounds like you're making the casing a bit too small for the size of elastic imho. I usually make mine 1/8-1/4" bigger than the elastic. The 1/8 for lighter weight fabrics and 1/4" for heavier ones.

Debbie

goodworks1
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goodworks1  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/24/12 10:16 PM

I usually try to figure out how to put the elastic in place BEFORE folding the casing over and stitching it down. The actual steps vary, depending on the type of waistband (or lack of a waistband.)

I have way better luck keeping everything flat that way.

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blog: goodworks1.wordpress.com

beauturbo
beauturbo
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 5/25/12 1:40 PM

If the casing is too small and tight, it's hard to get that elastic through, and hard to get the gathers arranged evenly. Maybe your casing needs to be a smidge larger. Especially where it crosses any seams.

I use a safety pin to run it through, but whatever you use when you go through the seams it helps if you have the seams pressed in the right direction to make that the most easy. Or having that casing big enough, gives you enough wiggle room over that place, if you need it. If your safety pin opens up on you, you can still close it through the casing most time, or just carefull pull out the elastic with the safety pin on it, out backwards. And just start all over again. Can't go forwards much with an open safety pin though most times.

I think elastic just twists, if not while doing it, maybe even later on in the wash,(does it with store bought clothes too a lot) so after I have mine in, and adjusted my fabric like I want it to be, I don't trust it never to twist later. I make it so it can't instead. I do that by anchoring it down at the side seams most times. Most times I think just in those two places is good enough. I happen to just take a hand sewing needle and thread and sewing /tacking it, more ihidden and not showing at all, just through it and the fabric in the ditch of the side seams, or just any seam it crosses, most times. But some people like to just stitch in the ditch there with a sewing machine instead.

The places it is hard to draw though a casing is where seams cross the casing, as your safety pin (or even bodkin) can get trapped and caught in the fabric fold of that seam allowance, if it's pressed over in the opposite direction than you are threading the elastic into. To avoid that, sometimes I will even hand baste that pressed seam allowance down, just so that can never happen to me. After I have the elastic through there, and in the end, I just pull those few basting stitches out from the outside of the fabric. You could try that.

There are lots of elastics out there though, I'm sure some do twist more easy than others, probably the softer and thinner they are, but sometimes you don't want them too thick or large either. But if you don't like the kind you got, maybe try some other kind.

Brine
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Brine  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/25/12 9:33 PM

I had problems threading wide elastic into casings using the time-honored large safety pin method. The safety pin held the center of the elastic with no problem, but the side edges curled up and got caught on the inside of the casing. I found that if I used two safety pins inserted at right angles, the elastic remained flat and could be easily inserted. There is a photo showing this in tip #140. To avoid catching the "guide" safety pin in the seam allowance when it crosses the seams, I open the seam allowances and baste them down prior to stitching the casing.

------
Brine

Brine
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Brine  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/25/12 9:38 PM

Oops. That tip number was incorrect. The picture with the two safety pins can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/byf70/6785170619/in/photostream/

------
Brine

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 5/25/12 9:53 PM

Hi -- I DESPISE running elastic through casings, so I came up with a technique that seems to work:

HERE

I've also experimented with not doing the casing first -- just cutting a really long piece of elastic, laying it flat, folding the casing over the elastic, basting carefully so that you won't catch the elastic, CAREFULLY sewing the casing closed...... then pulling the elastic to fit. Of course you have to configure the elastic ends somehow so they won't wriggle through the openings while you're doing this... AND you'll waste maybe 10-12" of elastic. And you may want to allow an extra 1/8" or something vertically to be sure you have enough sewing clearance below the elastic. ...But it's worth it -- like I said, I hate running elastic (or cord, etc.) through casings.



-- Edited on 5/25/12 9:56 PM --

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 5/27/12 3:12 PM

Thanks, everyone!! I think part of my problem might be making the casing just a hair too snug for the elastic. So for this project, I've cut the waistband higher by 1/4" to give me a little more wiggle room.

I'm very intrigued, however, by this idea of inserting the elastic in the flat, before the side seams are sewn (like for JEF's tip with the ribbon). How does that work?!

Thanks!

------
~Gem in the prairie

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