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Video: How to Sew an Elastic Waistband Without a Casing

Evamarie Gomez and Gary Junken

During the 2015 American Sewing Expo, we caught up with Threads author and Dragonfly Dyeworks co-owner Nick Coman. In this step-by-step video tutorial, Nick demonstrates his method for sewing an elastic waistband without casing. This technique helps the waistband lie smoothly against the body, and it produces bulk-free results.

How do you treat your waistbands? If you use elastic waistbands, do you sew them with or without casing? Will you try this method? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Watch more video tutorials from the 2015 American Sewing Expo


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  1. AnonU | | #1

    My clothes last longer than the elastic. I like the ease of replacing elastic in casings. The above method would mean lots of seam ripping when the elastic dies -- not something I would look forward to!

  2. User avater
    Sewmarj | | #2

    some nice shots of Nick's hairy hands... too bad either these or the machine are in the way of actually seeing what he's doing. Not much substance for an 8 minute video. How do you mark the elastic. How do you mark the garment egde. How do you join the side seams and accoommdate the elastic. What tips are there for coordinating hands stretching fabric, holding elastic, smoothing fabric while operating foot pedal. This is not simple - and a good way to throw the feed dogs off kilter. I think if you're not already familiar with this technique, this video won't get you started...

  3. Contessa_ac | | #3

    No way will I do this - I agree with both posters above. I have tried something like this before and yes, you can seriously get your feed dogs out of whack sewing like this. Also, I too like to be able to change the elastic when it wears out and this would involve way too much ripping and redoing. Sorry, thumbs down.

  4. User avater
    Jay_B | | #4

    I've used this technique when sewing a swimsuit and I don't think I have the dexterity to do it successfully. No more swimsuit sewing for me!

    As much as I dislike the bulk of elastic casings I must admit I prefer it to this technique.

  5. pathersl | | #5

    I was afraid I would be in the minority on this one so I'm surprised. I'm having trouble getting over the messy look and I can't imagine that having the elastic sitting on the body would be comfortable for me. For Sewmarj, I think he did say to quarter the elastic and the garment. You can mark with chalk, pins, washable makers, your choice. Still, it may not be worth the effort.

  6. lacetoleaher | | #6

    This is an old "stretch and sew" tip and has always worked for me just fine!

  7. User avater
    [email protected] | | #7

    No offense meant here, but that's a terrible way of adding elastic I've seen for today's fashions. That worked 60+ years ago, but not for today. I like Judith Neukam's method of sewing elastic for a waistband much better. I also like to create a casing as it makes replacing worn out elastic much easier! And with Judith's method, there's hardly any bulk and the fabric feels better than elastic against the skin.

  8. DaveHaynes | | #8

    Old, but gold.

  9. User avater
    harikleia | | #9

    What size and type sewing machine needle shall I use when I sew elastic? Personally, I do not like this method because the elastic threads get caught in the feed dogs. Also when you have to replace the elastic, you have to unstitch the whole thing.

  10. user-6641419 | | #10

    Such a poor video. What was he doing clipping off 2" to make the elastic properly fit?

  11. user-2183867 | | #11

    This was really helpful and helped me to finish a project that I was working on and having trouble with. Thank you Nick for taking the time to post this video!

  12. RobinWarner | | #12

    Nice video

  13. user-7225691 | | #13

    I agree with AnonU, Grandma2six and others that this is not the best way of attaching elastic. Additionally, It does NOT reduce bulk at all; two layers of fabric on each side of the elastic- just like casing ( fabric-elastic-fabric lay up) without the benefit of being easy to replace the old elastic easily. Also it looks messy......

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