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Elastic waistand order of construction

myca99 | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hoping you guys can help me with this… I’m making a gypsy skirt and I want to insert an elastic waist. I know I need a casing, side seams, and 2 ends of the elastic abutted and zigzagged. But I don’t know what order to do those things in. Can anyone help me out with that?



  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    Elastic waist in a casing...

    at the side seam (if you have 2 side seams, stitch one complete and leave opening in 1) stitch the first  1/2 inch, leave an opening the width of your elastic (I use 3/4 inch) then stitch the rest of the seam. 

    Fold and pin 1/4 inch all around the top edge, press!

    Fold this edge down the width of your casing (elastic width plus some extra for ease of insertion) pin and press, top stitch close to the first folded edge.

    Now insert the elastic through the opening in the side seam, a large safety pin helps.

    Pin the elastic together and try on the skirt, adjust elastic as needed.

    Mark both pieces of elastic before removing pin!

    Cut a 2 inch piece of 3/4 inch twill tape or ribbon.

    Place the twill tape under the butted ends of elastic (at right angle to the join) zig zag over the butted edges, fold twill tape over the elastic and zig zag in the other direction (at right angles to the first zig zag) this secures the elastic with out creating a bump.

    Adjust the elastic inside the casing and stitch the opening closed (by hand or by machine through the elastic.

    Let me know if you need 'visual' help with this and I will attempt some photos of work in progress.


    1. myca99 | | #2

      Hi Becky,I think I get it; You sew the side seams and then insert the casing with the side seams sewn (although one has an opening for the elastic. You work the elastic through the opening, join the ends, and slip stitch the opening closed. Is that right?I'm attaching a sketch of what I think your saying about the twill tape. Am I on the right track? I'm sorry my sketch is so rough, I'm not much of a whiz with MS Paint.-Myca-

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #3

        Yes, if I read your sketch right, you have it!  When I fold the twill tape, I fold both edges to the middle, making both edges of the elastic smooth over the joined area.


  2. Teaf5 | | #4

    On an elastic waistband, you don't need two side seams; just make a single seam on one side, attach it to the skirt, and then open up the seam on the inside just enough to thread the elastic through. I like to stitch the side seam closed and then re-open it so that I can press everything in place. Plus, if it's small enough, you don't have to close that opening since it's on the inside.Always join the elastic last; otherwise, you have to battle the gathers to make your stitching lines straight.You can fold the waistband and attach it as a tube with a single seam to the skirt, leaving the rough edges inside, or you can attach one edge, then fold the waistband and stitch the interior hem, creating the tube.In the last Threads magazine, a tip mentioned making an elastic waist on a lined skirt by sewing it together at the top, (wrong side of fashion fabric to right side of lining fabric), turning and pressing that seam as the top of the casing, then topstitching through both layers an inch or so below that to make a casing without an extra set of seam allowances. Sounds like a nifty, comfortable solution!

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