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side-elastic waistband
rimna5
rimna5
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Member since 3/21/08
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Date: 5/29/13 1:25 PM

I am making a pair of womans pants with a waistband. There's a button closure and zipper. I want to add elastic to the sides (not an elastic waist) to give the waistband a bit of give for a better fit. I have hit a brick wall and cannot figure out how to do this. Anyone have a suggestion? Thanks, Nancy

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/30/13 5:17 AM

You need 2 waist measurements to cover the expansion. For example- 2 to 5 inches of the increased/decreased waist size over the course of the day. If your waist changes from a 33 to a 36 you will need to taper the pattern for the larger measurement and make the waistband equal that. So lets say you have brought the waist up to a 36 inch. Now you need to determine how much elastic will reduceit back down to 33 inches. Determine the elastic stretch- usually about a 2-3 inch strip is sewn to each side but you can test it on scraps first to see how much tension during sewing you will need to reduce the material by 3 inches (or whatever your number is).

Divide that amount in half and sew on both sides (for a front or back zipper) and it will give you 3 inches total of ease up or down
Or you can keep it one long strip and sew into back if it is a front zipper. Sometimes its easier to handle one piece of elastic if its fairly short.
Another tip is not to cut the elastic first. Just mark out the 1.5 inches (or whatever) sew it down on your marks and then clip it off the roll.
You can sew it down inside the waistband if you want to avoid seeing it- then appy the waistband.

Another trick is to use buttons inside the waistband. They make elastic with button holes built in. For that you sew down just one side of the cut elastic and then stretch it over the sewn button inside the waistband.
I used to see it a lot in RTW but no longer. Perhaps only high end? You could snoop a bit to see how they did it. I suspect its a lot cheaper for RTW to go with full elastic as it fits more body types.

-- Edited on 5/30/13 5:20 AM --

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NonieA1
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Date: 5/30/13 5:22 AM

I have seen the buttonhole type elastic used in RTW children's clothing. I love the idea for waistbands in adults-slap myself-a great idea! My waist changes in the course of the day and this is excellent. Thank you.

StitchyMama
StitchyMama
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Date: 5/30/13 7:53 AM

This probably in;t what you're looking for, but she shows how to put elastic in the back waistband with the buttonhole elastic. I've used this myself in in kid pants and it was fairly simple.


Elastic waist band in the back

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Amanda.Claire
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Amanda.Claire
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In reply to StitchyMama <<


Date: 5/30/13 8:47 AM

This is a great tutorial! You could add buttonholes near the side seams and use buttonhole elastic in the back, thread the elastic through the inside buttonholes and button down to your desired stretchiness.

Claire

rimna5
rimna5
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Date: 5/30/13 10:41 AM

Thanks everyone Ė it worked!

The tutorial was great and I plan on using the technique for the shorts Iím making for my granddaughter.

The buttonhole elastic seemed a bit too advanced for me so I sewed in elastic on each side of the waistband.

When I made the pattern I measured my hips both standing and sitting. I donít know if this will give the same measurement as increased/decreased waist size so I guess Iíll find that out tonight. But maybe this is why the waist was off a little?

Not cutting the elastic was a great tip. Not only did it make the sewing go smooth because I had something to hold onto, I also didnít waste a lot of elastic in the process.

I had two types of elastic (pajama that is super stretchy) and one that stretched less. I donít know why but the one that stretched less worked the best.

Now that the waistband is finished I have very little left to do. Some top stitching and hemming and Iím ready to wear my pants!

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