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Refresher information

JoanC | Posted in General Discussion on

I just bought a new sewing machine after many years of not sewing. I now have to start replacing elastic in slacks etc. Is there a set rule as to how you measure the elastic for proper fit?


  1. fabricholic | | #1

    Hi Joan,
    I don't know about set rule, but I don't cut my elastic until I pull it through the casing. It always seems to stretch when it is pulled. If measured before, it might end up too long. Of course, leave enough to either lap over and sew or as I do it, butt the elastic together after placing a piece of stabilizer under it, then zig zag over the butted ends. This way, there is no bulk.


    1. JoanC | | #2

      Thanks, I'll try your suggestion.

  2. Tatsy | | #3

    To measure elastic for my own waist, I pull it snug around my own hips, then pull it up to see if that amount feels comfortable around my waist.  If not, I add a little more.  I got a tip at a Sandra Betzina seminar about stitching the elastic to itself first, then sewing the casing down over the elastic.  No more threading elastic through casings.  It's wonderful!

  3. suesew | | #4

    3 to 4 inches will probably work, less if it is stiff and /or a tiny waist. You could cut a length and pin it around your waist and wear it for a while. If you forget about it and it doesn't cut into you it's probably ok.

    1. Stillsewing | | #5

      Welcome back to sewing!
      In a Vogue pattern that I sewed years ago it suggested to make the finished elastic one inch less than your actual waist measurement. That has always worked for me ever since.

  4. DONNAKAYE | | #6

    I think the suggestion about stretching the elastic around the hips and then checking to see if it's comfortable at the waist is an excellent one.  I only have one more thing to suggest:  Before I do anything with elastic, I stretch it as hard as I can, then let it recover.  Then I proceed to stretch it around my hips, etc.  By stretching it first, you eliminate the problem of it stretching as it's applied or cased into the waistband.

    1. JoanC | | #7

      Thanks to all for your suggestions. Each one may help in my sewing again after oh so many years,

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