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Conversational Threads

Elastic as a stabilizer in knit sewing??

mem1 | Posted in General Discussion on

Yesterday I bought a wrap style top made of a two way stretch fabric which is very lycra rich It is a bit like swimming costume fabric but has lovely drape and is lighter in weight.It looks great and I bought it intending to make a pattern so the top can be duplicated . I have noticed that the edges of the neckline are turned over some sort of elastic.This means that the wrap front crosses over and sits close to the body without the fabric below the neckline and coming from the shoulder needing to be firm. This is important as the top is all drape and liquid movement of fabric over the body. Very slimming. The neckline is low enough to be interesting but still quite modest.

I am wondering if anyone has done this on a garment and what the elastic might it be (swimwear?) and what the ratio is of cut length elastic to the neck length ?? The neckline is stitched with a twin needle type finish.It is such a great finish that it might be another topic for magazine articles Carol???


  1. kjp | | #1

    I use the clear elastic to stabilize shoulder seams on knits - just sew it in with the seam - I usually serge it.  My guess is that would be what the top calls for.  karin

    1. Zoelee | | #3

      I prefer to us LJ fusible Bais to  stabilize the shoulder seams.  Fuse a strip on bias stay tape along the shoulder seam of a knit fabric.  This allows the knit to maintain its' give, but prevents it from stretching out of shape as it is worn.  Lay garment right side down onto ironing board.  Fuse the bias tape along the edge if using 1/4" seam allowance or if using 5/8" center the tape along seam allowance.

      1. kjp | | #4

        I've used that, too.  Depends on the knit and the application I'm making it for.  I like the elastic on the shoulders for sports activewear, because it has more movement and still recovers.  (I make most of my workout & tennis clothes, since I'm tall)

        What exactly is "Designer" elastic?  Is that the brand name & if so, where would I find it?  Thanks!  karin

        1. Zoelee | | #5

          Elastic in the shoulder works great for sports and activewear as you are using the elastic.

          If sewing with knits such as slinky and other knit fabrics fusible bias works great.

          I have a web-site with LJ Design products listed. http://www.zoelees.com I just have my fabrics on line to order for any of the special products you can e-mail and ask questions and order any time. [email protected]

        2. Zoelee | | #6

          Designer Sew-Through elastic is 3/8" wide, Comes in back and white is wonderful for necklines and is easy to apply.  Available @ Zoelees http://www.zoelees.comThe necklines are always in place and fit nicely. Applications as follows:

          Cut elastic 1/2" smaller than neckline measurement.

          Sew elastic into a circle, lapping the ends 1/2", Divide elastic into fourths,

          divide neckline into fourths, Pin elastic to the wrong side of neckline, matching elastic to cut edge, and fourth divisions.  Serge elastic to neckline using a longer stitch lenth

          keeping elastic smooth.  Turn Elastic to wrong side and topstiching at the enter edge using a slightly longer stitch lenght.



          1. kjp | | #7

            Thanks for the info.  Your store looks great and since I noticed you just joined the Threads forum - welcome! 

          2. mem1 | | #9

            thanks forthis info . Do you use a special foot on the serger?

          3. Zoelee | | #11

            No, I use the regular foot that comes with your serger to sew on elastic.  Just us the longest stitch lenght when sewing on designer elastic, or any elastic. 


          4. mem1 | | #10

            I tried to register on your web site but it wont let me as it wont accept my phone number . Its a bit irrelevant anyway as I live on the other side of the world and I only would be contactable via email.

          5. Zoelee | | #12

            Sorry, you had trouble register on my web-site.  When you go in and look or purchase fabrics you can sign up with no purchases.  I will look at the sight and make sure.  If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]

          6. mem1 | | #13

            Thanks I willl try again.

          7. Zoelee | | #14

            I just went though the steps to log in on our web site to make sure everything was working.   Just go to http://www.zoelees.com

            On the home page click on store which will take you to register. Type in name phone pass word etc. Fill out the form and then you can go into the web-site from there.  You shouldn't have any trouble. I hope this was helpful.


      2. mem1 | | #8

        but you wouldnt use that on a neckline would you?

  2. Zoelee | | #2

    A great elastic to us for neckline with a cross over is the Designer elastic, If you have a cross over you would stretch the elastic slightly applying with a serger using a longer stitch lenght then turn the elastic edge to the inside of the garment then top stitch in place also using a longer stitch length.  

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