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Need elastic help

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SuzieMouse | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Okay Ladies,

My brain is having a cramp this morning and I can’t remember how much length of elastic to cut if the person’s arm is 12″.  I know it needs to be less just not how much less.  Feeling rather dumb lol



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  1. Josefly | | #1

    Sandy, so much depends on personal preference - how tight feels good to you, etc. - as well as the type of elastic and how it's applied. If you don't like tight elastic, you can make it 12.5 inches long, and overlap the ends by 1/2 inch after enclosing it in a casing.Or if you like it tighter, make it only 12 inches, and overlap ends by 1/2 inch.If you're stitching the elastic to the fabric, instead of putting it into a casing, I would make it an inch shorter than the arm measurement, since the stitching may interfere with the ability of the elastic to "recover", making it less tight.Can you stretch the elastic around the arm of the person who'll be wearing it, so you can check how tight it should be? Different types of elastic have a different feel, so all these measurements are really a matter of preference.

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    Elastic feels different depending on the type of fabric it's holding. I usually start with an inch extra, seam/safety pin the ends, and insert it into the casing before trying it on. Then I pull it to the comfortable length, safety pin it again and wear it for a few minutes before stitching.It never hurts to make a longer loop, and then shorten it by stitching across at a shorter length. Just tuck the extra length into the casing before closing it. Then, if a child grows or adult wants it looser, it's easy to release the second line of stitching without replacing the whole band.

  3. Palady | | #3

    You've recieved timely replies which are applicable.  If I may add a thought -

    In my learning years (1946/47) the norm was 2" less than the desired length.

    Caveat now is there are different types of elastic.  Sometimes the 2" less works.  Other times the result is wanting.  So if you can do a try, by all means do so.

    If this is unlikely, I'd suggest you go with a soft poly elastic and do the 2" less route.

    Added considerations - if you're using a casing make a small buttonhole someplace in the underside rather than close all around.  I've made these by hand when the casing is narrow.  Doing this allows for readily replacing the elastic if this becomes necessary.   

    Also, rather than overlap the edges, which can create bulk, use the butt-the-edges-and-overwrap approach.

    To do this, put the elastic edges together and keep them in place with some X hand stitching.   Next cut a piece of light weight interfacing 1" wide and long enough to go around the entire width of the elastic.  i.e. front & back.  You can machine stich the overwrap in place,  or you can hand stitch it.  I found the latter works better for me if the elastic is narrow. 

    There are sewists who abhor hand stitching, but then there are times it is the better way.

    If you can please let us know how you finished your project.



    1. User avater
      SuzieMouse | | #4

      Wow, thanks for you replys all of you.  I knew you gals could help!!



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      1. Palady | | #5

        Your acknowledgment is appreciated.  If you can let us know how your project resulted.


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