|So many of us use clear elastic in our knit tops but I didnt find a tip for it so here you go.
What is Clear Elastic: Clear Elastic is a "clear rubbery" sort of elastic. Look at the Photo to see an example. In Joann fabrics you will find it next to the other types of elastic.
When to use it?: KNITS!!! When you are making things out of knits with no lycra in them, you can be sure that the bias and curved edges like necklines, armholes and shoulder seams will stretch out. So to stabilize these areas, use clear elastic. We use CE instead of cotton tapes so these areas dont loose their elasticity.
How to use it: VERY IMPORTANT, before cutting out the CE, stretch it a few times to loosen it, otherwise you'll find that its too long when you sew it.
Measure the area where you want to stabilize (measure from the paper pattern not the fabric just in case the fabric has already stretched out). Measure the stitching line not the cutting line. Cut the elastic the same length as the measurement.
Tip: Using a teflon foot on your sewing machine ( I found mine on eBay cheap) prevents the CE from sticking to the foot.
Now place the elastic on the Wrong Side of the fabric on the Stitching line and sew it in place. This stitching will be permanent so use a matching thread.
For Shoulders you can sew it while sewing the two edges together on your serger even. so you'll have two layers of fabric and CE on top (or bottom).
For necklines, after sewing the CE to the stitching line, fold under the hem allowance and topstitch with a zig zag or a stretch stitch on your sewing machine. This is the Turn under and topstitch method.
For necklines where the pattern has a separate binding piece for finishing the neckline and you still want to use CE, do this. Place the fabric with right side up, place the binding piece on top of it (right side down) matching the edges of the fabric. Then place the CE on top of it. Stitch on serger or SM. Then Turn the binding inside and topstitch. Always remember to sew CE to the Wrong side of fabric.
That's it, this may seem a long procedure but trust me, when you get used to using this stuff you'll be putting it everywhere. This is especially helpful in low v necks and wrap tops. Helps "hug" the neckline close to the body.
Tip on using CE with your Serger: When using the CE on my serger I like to put it next to the serger bed instead of putting it on top. When you start sewing, leave extra CE before starting so the elastic doesnt get trapped in the serger when you start. Line up the fabric and elastic close to the edge of the serger bed and serge. It works. Try it a few times just to practice.