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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Guaging the Length of Elastic Needed - Tip Needed ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Guaging the Length of Elastic Needed - Tip Needed
Longblades
Longblades
Intermediate
Ontario Canada
Member since 7/28/11
Posts: 193
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Date: 7/4/12 7:36 PM

I put a partial elastic waistband in a pair of pants. I wonder if there is a way to predetermine how much to stretch the elastic out first? Because when I stitch it down the middle, twice in this case, to make it look nice, that stitching removes some of the stretchiness. In this case I think I'm OK but for next time? Did I explain this adequately?

How about this: The waistband is 40 inches, the elastic is 30 inches. I want the excess fabric to gather around the elastic so the waistband shrinks down to 32 inches. But when I topstitch it down the elastic is stretched out within the waistband and the waistband ends up being 35 inches.

beauturbo
beauturbo
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California USA
Member since 5/2/09
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In reply to Longblades <<


Date: 7/4/12 10:11 PM

On the one you already sewed, you could try putting and holding a hot steam iron over it (without touching it, especially if your fabric can melt) and hitting it with a big shot of steam. It might go back and seem to shrink back closer to what it was, before you stitched through it, or maybe not. If does shrink back close to how it was before you stitched through it, sounds like that would be a good thing. If not, then I guess no way to really know always just before hand, and you would just have to test with each new elastic first even maybe.

Some elastic and some kinds of stitches in them, may be better for that than others, though. I think longish stitches are probably better than shorter ones. When I have put a partial elastic waist in something, I do actually avoid that whole kind of thing; most times, by instead making a casing, with several rows of stitching in it, then afterwards, threading several narrower pieces of elastic (like maybe 3 separate pieces of 1/4 inch elastic instead or whatever) through the multiple stitched casing channels there. I just sort of like that better, just because then the ends of them are free to pull up and adjust after I try it on, and by not even stitching through the elastic, it can't get more permanent stretched out at all. It may or may not get more bulky if you do that though, just sort of depends on the fabric and extra space in each elastic casing.

The end visual effect is sort of the same, as you still see the horizontal rows of stitching on the back waistband elasti-sized area anyway, But now you don't have to guess before hand at all, (as you just use multiple elastic pieces longer than you really need as will cut them off later, and can even snug it up while it's on afterwards, before finally deciding how tight you want it and finishing something. I don't know if you would like that or not?

Sharon Rose
Sharon Rose  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Indiana USA
Member since 3/10/11
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Date: 7/5/12 4:29 PM

If the fabric can be laundered and dryed, the elastic will often go back to the size you want. Otherwise, the previous poster's suggestion about using a steam iron to reduce the elastic back to its original size can help.
Your question about the size you need to cut depends on the type of elastic. Some elastic types are stronger, others more forgiving. Keep in mind that the more you need to stretch it to make it fit on the fabric, and the more stitches you put into the elastic, the more it affects the end quality of the elastic .

tigergirl
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tigergirl  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Queensland Australia
Member since 11/30/09
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Date: 7/6/12 1:17 AM

Every time I've stitched on elastic it has stretched it out. I've read that you need special sport elastic for these particular cases.

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Janome 693
Lumina Overlocker (Serger)
http://tigergirladventures.blogspot.com/

Longblades
Longblades
Intermediate
Ontario Canada
Member since 7/28/11
Posts: 193
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Date: 7/9/12 8:25 AM

It is sport elastic. I have done the channels with separate narrow elastic in each but like the look of sewn down better. Depends what I'm making. Pajamas, channel is OK, pants or skirt waistband, sewn down.

So, it's by guess and by golly.

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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British Columbia CANADA
Member since 7/23/07
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In reply to Longblades <<


Date: 7/9/12 9:56 AM

The above posters are correct, but you also have to figure in the fabric you are using. If you are using something heavy like denim, it will be quite different from something like quilting cotton. I stitch in the ditch on the center back and side seams partially for this reason. Hate the thought of ripping it all out if I guesstimate incorrectly. "If?" I should say "when."

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

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