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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Replacing Elastic in Sweat Pants ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Replacing Elastic in Sweat Pants
Suz2Sew
Suz2Sew
Beginner
CA USA
Member since 8/25/07
Posts: 30
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Date: 12/22/07 7:34 PM

Hi all:

One of my motives for learning to sew is to replace the elastic in several favorite pairs of sweats and lighter weight knits. I have a small frame and have trouble finding pants I like so repairing seems worthwhile.

I am working on taking out the elastic in my first pair of sweats. These aren't a favorite pair so I can experiment a bit. The original elastic had two rows stitched thru the elastic. The elastic was also sewn in to the edge of the pants. I am thinking of just taking out the two rows and then cutting it off leaving a bit of the original elastic edge in. Is it okay to do this? I could cut both the fabric and elastic off at the top as I wouldn't loose much in the length. But if I do that, will the fabric unravel? (The elastic is one inch wide) I already have one side of the casing open and can see where it is stitched to the edge.

After I have the old elastic out, here are my questions for replacing it: 1) How do I determine how much to use? Is it two inches less than my waist measure? 2) What is the best stitch to use? I have a Brother with lots of stitches including an overcasting stitch and foot. 3) What foot should I use? 4) I assume I sew the row closer to the fold first, then sew the row near the edge of the casing. Any tips on techniques?

I thought I bought some 1 inch elastic at Walmart, but cannot find it so I might need to buy some more. Any suggestions as to what kind to get? If I get it tomorrow I would go to Beverly's Fabric. (No way I am going to Walmart 2 days before Christmas.)

Thank you all.

Suz




-- Edited on 12/23/07 2:20 PM --

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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OH USA
Member since 12/3/06
Posts: 6835
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In reply to Suz2Sew


Date: 12/23/07 4:17 PM

You are removing the elastic because??? The pants are too large? The elastic has lost it's snap?

Do the pants have in-the-seam pockets?

A double knit cut edge may fuzz a little but it will not fray.

I like the elastic waist. I make a casing and insert elastic that has been cut 2 in. less than my waist measurement.

To make the casing, I turn the pants waist edge over 3/8 in. wider than the elastic to be used.
I use a double needle to stitch the seam, leaving an opening for inserting the elastic. The double needle will provide an over-cast effect on the inside of the pants.

After the elastic has been inserted and the fullness of the waist has been distributed evenly, stitch in the sides, front and back seams to anchor the elastic to help keep it in place and to eliminate rolling or twisting of the elastic.

Or, you can open one side seam, and sew the casing as one wide band (or two or three rows and insert narrower elastic); adjust the elastic at the side seam opening, then re-stitching the side opening closed.

You can top-stitch around the top edge of the waist with a narrow zig-zag stitch, or stretch stitch. Test these stitches to see which one you like best before stitching the pants.



-- Edited on 12/23/07 4:20 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

Suz2Sew
Suz2Sew
Beginner
CA USA
Member since 8/25/07
Posts: 30
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In reply to PattiAnnJ


Date: 12/25/07 6:50 PM

Thanks for the advice. I ended up showing the pants to the lady at Beverly Fabric. She told me to just make a casing and do it that way - which I had done once before on some PJ bottoms. So I did that. I ran into a bit of trouble figuring out how to join the two ends of elastic once I got it in. The waistband looks pretty bad; lots of stitches showing. But as long as I wear a shirt over them, no one will know but me. I really like the way they fit now. (the old elastic was totally stretched out.) I have several more pants I would like to replace elastic on, but getting the old stuff out is sure hard when it is sewn into the fabric.

Suz

Josephine

Josephine  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
IL USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 380
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In reply to Suz2Sew


Date: 12/25/07 7:29 PM

Suz, here's a tutorial on applying drawstring elastic that you might find helpful. The techniques also apply to reg. elastic.
HTH

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