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Video: How to Apply Elastic

Oct 31, 2011

Victoria North and Judith Neukam

In this excerpt from our beginner sewing video series, Teach Yourself to Sew – Season 2, you will learn how to apply elastic to a variety of fabrics. Threads Senior Technical Editor Judith Neukam demonstrates how to measure elastic to gather your fabric perfectly whether you are using or heavy-duty elastic as a waistband, or attaching clear elastic to form a swimsuit edge. Also, learn how to gather fabric at the bust using multiple strips of elastic instead of requiring a dart.  Pick up your copy of Teach Yourself to Sew – Season 2 to learn more in Elastics 101 and How to Sew Casements for Elastic & Drawstings.  You can buy both seasons in our store. This series also makes the perfect gift for any new sewer in your life!   Click here to order Teach Yourself to Sew, Season 2 on DVD.

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  1. user-4078365 February 1st


    the instructor's voice is almost inaudible even with the volume turned up as high a it will go. This appears to be the norm in any of your videos I have watched.

  2. Lid April 19th

    Hi Judith, thank you for a great demo, an idea I just thought of, what if you use a pant holder the type with two clips to hold the stretched elastic and fabric together thus freeing your hands and creating an hopefully even stretch every time you shift the fabric and elastic up.

  3. User avater Sewmarj December 12th

    love this video. It's got mant useful tips! A real confidence boaster!

  4. Palady November 4th

    Did I miss something or did the dialogue specify keeping the needle down when stopping to do another stretch?

  5. couture57 November 4th

    I sewed professionally for over 20 years, and I still learned something from this beginner's video! I always overlapped the ends of the elastic, which created a "bump" at the center back. The idea of butting the edges together and using small fabric strips never occurred to me! Thank you!

  6. mjp11 November 3rd

    I too have trouble with sewing on the elastic and then having it be too big when I'm done. Is there a certain place on the elastic that is to be sewn on so it doesn't change size?

  7. User avater ayp November 3rd

    A very good demonstration, but I often find that the elastic, once stretched and stitched, does not always return to it's originally cut measurement. Does anyone else ever experience this, or am I doing something wrong?

  8. User avater nanascottie November 2nd

    This is a woderful explanation - so easy to follow but i wonder what kind of needle is used and is it just all purpose thread? do you need a ball point needle for elastic? i have always used a casing but would like this way better.

  9. Violacat November 2nd

    wow i too have learnt something. an excellent presentation, so clear and easy to follow!

  10. Klaudia November 2nd

    This was a great demo. I have always had trouble getting my elastic waistbands to fit snug. I think I now know what the problems are. Not pulling from both ends.

    Thank yo for the great tutorial

  11. ustabahippie November 2nd

    That was very well presented. I learned something, despite years of sewing experience. Thanks to Judith for another inspiring presentation.

  12. JanaBO60 November 2nd

    Hey thanks! I couldn't remember how to work with elastic after letting 30 years pass without sewing!

  13. User avater Snikwas November 2nd

    The video is very well exlained - but when pausing the stitching - especially for this particular exercise - the sewing machine needle should always be in the down position (in the work) in order that it doesn't shift!

  14. User avater Nannysc November 2nd

    You have explained and demonstrated your techniques for applying elastic in various ways extremely well! Thank you!

  15. russellgibson November 2nd

    I just love this Judith and her lessons. thank you much

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