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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Measuring Waistline Elastic for PJs ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Measuring Waistline Elastic for PJs
How to??
Rhonda in Montreal
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Rhonda in Montreal  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
QC CANADA
Member since 12/9/04
Posts: 2008
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Date: 2/20/10 7:09 PM

Hi!!
The pattern says to cut a piece of elastic the same measurement as the waistline (plus a bit to overlap).
Do I measure the waist with a bit of slack??
Do I "pull" the elastic a bit as long as it still feels comfy?
IF the elastic is the same as the waist, how do I get a "gathered" waistline UNLESS the fabric is cut VERY generously??
Thanks!!
Rhonda

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mmmckay

mmmckay
Intermediate
UT USA
Member since 7/24/08
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Date: 2/20/10 7:21 PM

I have often followed the pattern instructions that say to cut the elastic the same size as the waist (I don't know why I keep doing this, except that I am a rule follower by default).

It never works. It is always too big! The elastic needs a bit of tension to hold up the pants.

Hopefully someone will have a formula or standard they use to get good results - I always end up pulling out "some" (maybe 2 inches for an XL?) and re-sewing.

Margaret
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Margaret  Friend of PR
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GERMANY
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In reply to Rhonda in Montreal


Date: 2/20/10 8:21 PM

Hello!

I don't know a percentage formula, but maybe others here will?

Since the elastic will stretch, using the exact waist measurement plus 1" seems to me like it would be too big. You might still get some "gathers" but maybe not as much as you want.

If you have the "recipient" available, I would suggest trying elastic on to decide what length to use. It should stretch at least some, so it will stay on, but should not be too tight for comfort or to get on over the hips (usually more of a problem for women than men). As a further check, if you have a similar RTW piece for the same person, you could try measuring the elastic unstretched and see if you get a similar length. HTH!

Margaret
-- Edited on 2/20/10 8:22 PM --

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Rhoda K
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Rhoda K  Friend of PR
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AL USA
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Date: 2/20/10 8:26 PM

Measure waistline and cut 3'' shorter - usually works for me. That way you get the gathers and they stay up . Try before sewing and see how it works for you.

Rhonda in Montreal
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Rhonda in Montreal  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/20/10 9:03 PM

Thank you, Gals!!
Rhonda

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threaddy
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Date: 2/20/10 11:36 PM

Sue Hausmann (sp?) stretches the elastic tight around her hips so she knows she can pull up the pants...and uses that as her measurement. I usually take a pair of pants that I like the fit of and use that same measurement. The amount of stretch that the elastic has is a consideration too.

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"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." Theodore Rubin
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jannw
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jannw  Friend of PR
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In reply to Rhonda in Montreal


Date: 2/21/10 0:39 AM

I have always used Sandra Betzina's formula and it has worked well for me. Waistline measurement minus 6", then overlap by an inch. If it is a very stretchy elastic, I sometimes take off 8 inches.

I have never understood the pattern instructions of adding to the waistline measurement..it seems that it's not giving the elastic a chance to be elastic.

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2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

ryan's mom
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ryan's mom
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Date: 2/21/10 7:02 AM

I also do a minus 3-4" off the waistline measurement. I overlap about 1/2" to 3/4" so that measurement if further reduced. This usually works pretty well.

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Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing/Embroidery Combo Machine: Janome MC15000. Sewing Machines: Elna 740, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

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SheBear0320
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SheBear0320  Friend of PR
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MB CANADA
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Date: 2/21/10 10:36 AM

As someone who has hips significantly larger than my waist (17") I always have to check that the elastic will comfortably go over my hips while fitting snugly at the waist. Different elastics can fit very differently. I find that my waist measurement less 2" to 4" depending on the elastic usually works for me but I always check when using a new elastic.

I don't overlap my elastic -- I butt the edges together and stitch them over a piece of twill tape or fabric scrap.

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Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
27.5 yards sewn (as of 04/17/14)
20.125 yards purchased (as of 04/17/14)

my horse
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my horse
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Date: 2/21/10 2:25 PM

I like to use Pro-Stretch elastic from Fashion Sewing Supply because it sews so well. I safety pin fit a length around my waist and then wear it while I'm making the skirt or whatever. I adjust as needed during that phase and when I'm ready to sew it in it's pinned, marked and ready to sew. I butt the edges together enclosed in a length of folded over Seams Great and zigzag through all layers. Absolutely no bulk that way.

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She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight. Proverbs 31:13 NAS

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