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Sewing Elastic

Nancy_in_NM | Posted in The Archives on

This is a pretty basic problem that nevertheless is driving me crazy. What is the best way to machine sew an elastic waistband together to avoid blobs of thread on the bottom side, and/or loops of elastic thread peaking out. I prefer using nonroll elastic because it doesn’t twist or collapse on itself. I’ve tried using a ballpoint needle and tightening the tension, but the problem persists.

Any ideas or hints?


  1. lin_hendrix | | #1

    Hi Nancy,

    You're sewing the elastic to the fabric (as opposed to a casing)? I do this all the time and don't have a problem with the nonroll or the 100% stretch type elastic.

    One thing though, I have gotten into the habit of using the Schmetz Microtex needles, usually a size 80; these needles cost more but they're very sharp. And I usually use Metrosene thread... just the regular poly type; I've found the American brands and Gutterman both tend to split and ball up.

    If you have a new sharp needle and you are using the same type of thread as me I'd venture that your machine needs it's tension/timing adjusted.


    1. Kimberley_B.S. | | #2

      *Hi there. I have fallen in love with latex-free, fold-over elastic for finishing the necklines of stretchy t-shirts, body suits, etc. I first noticed it on the neck edge of my daughter's little t's from Baby Gap. It comes with both a smooth edge or scalloped edge. Where can I buy this elastic? Most fabric retailers have never even heard of it. I did find some through "Famous Labels" in the Seattle area but they only had the smooth edge elastic and only in black, grey and pink. I would also like to know if there is another way to apply the elastic other than with a zig zag stitch?Thank you so much.Kimberley B. [email protected]

      1. Nancy_in_NM | | #3

        *Lin, Thanks for your response. I'm referring to sewing the elastic to itself to complete the casing, and then later sewing through the completed waistband to keep the elastic from shifting too much within the casing. I've had this problem on every sewing machine I've ever used, so I don't think it's the timing. The Microtex needle might do the trick, and I think I have some of those in the studio.

        1. ruth_in_sc | | #4

          *Usually when sewing cotton web elastics, theneedle pierces and breaks elastic threads andthe cotton has little shape retention. It causesthe elastic to weaken. Sew New Magazine recommend nylon monofilamentelastic such as Ban-Roll. Because of the nylonyarn, this elastic has far less give and doesnot stretch out of shape. Nylon yarn is notpierced and weakened as you stitch, so elasticretains shape.

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