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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Threading elastic through casing that only has one opening? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Threading elastic through casing that only has one opening?
How do you remove the safety pin at the end?
blythebyname
blythebyname
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Date: 2/14/14 12:51 PM

I've been sewing a pair of boxer shorts for my bf by following the "foxy boxers" pattern in Diane Rupp's Sew Everything Workshop book.

This was my first time working with elastic, and I got confused by the step in which I inserted elastic into the waistband casing. The instructions said to "attach a large safety pin to one end of the elastic" and "thread the elastic through the casing, using the pin as a 'needle.'"

I followed the steps, but, for the life of me, by the time I got the elastic all the way around the casing, I couldn't figure out how to remove the safety pin! The casing only had one hole, the same hole in which I had inserted the elastic, and by the time I looped the elastic around, I found it impossible to poke my finger into the hole and try to remove the safety pin. Here's a picture of the front and the back of the hole in the casing, for your reference.





I ended up ripping a few stitches in the casing so I could get to the safety pin and then sewing over the rip, but this isn't ideal, and I was wondering how this is usually done? Thanks in advance!

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 2/14/14 1:05 PM

Whether you are using a safety pin or a bodkin, it comes out the same opening as where it went in.

Can you reach the safety pin with a pair of tweezers?



-- Edited on 2/14/14 5:38 PM --

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Mufffet
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Date: 2/14/14 1:16 PM

You use the safety pin to pull through your elastic, then you pull it right out of that opening. Make sure you have not twisted the elastic. Then sew the ends of the elastic together after removing safety pin of course! :)

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

blythebyname
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Date: 2/14/14 1:38 PM

Thanks for your replies! PattiAnnJ, I tried using tweezers, but still couldn't get it out, and so I ended up ripping a bit of the seam to get out the safety pin.

I think the issue is that the end where the elastic and safety pin came out was covered by the fly, so that I had to poke my finger under that fly to try to unhook and maneuver out the safety pin. Does this make sense? Is there an easier way to get the pin out from under the fly, when I can't see it and don't have much wiggle room? I just finished sewing the boxers, so they're done, but if I were to make them again, this would be good for me to know.

bestgrammy
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Date: 2/14/14 2:49 PM

I've had this problem when I used a large safety pin. A smaller safety pin was easier to wiggle out because the elastic takes up room that a too big safety pin needs to get out. A small flat bodkin works well too.

stirwatersblue
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Date: 2/14/14 5:26 PM

I think it's also one of those things that takes (a little) practice and developing a feel for where the pin/bodkin and elastic are, inside the casing. It can definitely be tough to maneuver over seams, and the pin/bodkin can get stuck in places like you've described.

One thing that helps a lot is making the casing just a smidge larger than recommended. There is theoretically supposed to be enough room to feed the elastic through and have it lie in there neatly (so the casing should be wider than the called-for elastic), but in practice those casings always seem to end up a little snug. Try moving your needle position a couple of notches out from each side (so the casing is wider), and that should give you a little more wiggle room!

------
~Gem in the prairie

woggy
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Date: 2/14/14 5:47 PM

I agree that you need to make the casing a bit larger then the exact size of the elastic - as you need a bit of extra room.

Example, if the elastic is one inch wide then make the casing at least 1/8 inch wider so you can pull the elastic through. Make the elastic a bit longer than what you need so you can overlap the two end pieces to stitch. You can always pin the other end to the casing so it doesn't pull through as you are pulling the elastic through the casing.

If you make these again, an easier way would be to leave an opening in the back between the side seam and center back seam about 1. 5 inches wide or wider. Threading the elastic through this area of the shorts is easier than dealing with the bulk at center front with the fly front.

You also want to stitch down the elastic so it doesn't twist in the casing. Even out the elastic in the casing so one area doesn't have more gathers than another area. Run a straight stitch from top to bottom of the casing. You can run this stitch so it matches with the side seams and the center back seam. The gathers will hide the stitching line.

Woggy


PattiAnnJ
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Date: 2/14/14 5:50 PM

Baste the seam allowances open and flat with a glue stick.

Taper the end of the elastic that is attached to the pin or bodkin.

Leave an opening at one seam allowance for the entry/exit. Or, along the bottom of the waistband and sew back in place after the elastic is installed.

Stitch down the side seams and this will help to keep the elastic in place.

Does your guy have any idea how many strange women have been discussing his shorts?


-- Edited on 2/14/14 5:52 PM --

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

julie w
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Date: 2/14/14 6:50 PM

Quote:
Baste the seam allowances open and flat with a glue stick.

Great tip, thank you for sharing.

------
Julie, Perth, WA

tourist
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Date: 2/14/14 8:15 PM

I have finally figured out that the elastic opening doesn't have to be at the center back seam (or side seam etc) and that has been truly a miracle! You may need yours to be in a certain place due to the constraints of the pattern, but if you move the whole thing a little distance away from a major seam intersection, it makes life ever so much easier!

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

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