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sewing for others

susiek57 | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I am in the process of making pajama bottoms for all my family and I need to know how to measure elastic and have it fit for someone who is not available for a fitting.


  1. fabricholic | | #1

    I believe I just read somewhere that you used 4" less than waist measurement. Let me check on this and get back with you and I will tell you where I read it.


    1. fabricholic | | #6

      Hi,Anna Zapp said 4" less than waist measurement for elastic, and in the Power Sewing book, Sandra Betzina said that you can go 3" less than waist measurement, when using a more substantial elastic, on page 159 of her book.Marcy

  2. User avater
    Becky-book | | #2

    Would it be possible to make a drawstring type waist using elastic for part of the drawstring that will be hidden inside the casing (at the back)?  Then they can tie them up as tight as they need but still have the comfort of elastic 'give' when they move.

    Just make a small buttonhole on either side of the center front, placing it so that it is on the outside of the garment but within the dimension of the casing.  Feed your modified drawstring in one hole, around the garment and out the other hole. You might want to stitch through the casing and elastic at the back just so it won't come out in the wash.

    I retro-fitted some of my SIL's scrub pants like this; he said they were so comfortable!!


    1. stitchintime | | #3

      That's a great suggestion.

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #4


    2. susiek57 | | #5

      i never thought of that. Thank you very much. gotta go- my machine is calling me...

  3. ctirish | | #7

    Here is another thought for someone where you don't know the size of the waist. I found in a fabric store with the elastic a drawstring in a casing that you sewed into the garment. I bought some but I haven't used it yet. What I liked about it is with the drawstring in a fitted casing, it keeps the cording from twisting or ending up in the top 1/2 inch of the casing. This way you can sew it at the top of the pants and you should have enough cording left to make it comfortable.  It sounds like a good idea, now I just need to find the perfect application for it.

    The way I do elastic in elastic waist pants is to measure the waist and cut the elastic that length.  I then mark it for 1 1/2 inches on each side this is overlap the elastic at the end. I mark the elastic in fourths(without the 3 inches) and pin it in the pants. Then using my serger I do a three thread overlock stitch to attach the elastic to the top edge of the pants. I try to be careful pulling on the elastic so it uses the amount set aside for that quarter of the pants. When I get all the way around, I stitch (on my sewing machine) a X shape across the elastic using up all of the 3 inches. Then I finish stitching the elastic to the top of the pants(with the serger).  Then I turn the elastic over once and sew either a cover stitch over the bottom of the elastic  with a serger or a small zig zag stitch with a sewing machine. This keeps the elastic from twisting in a casing and turning into what feels like a piece of rope around your waist.

    I hope this makes sense when you read it. I always wonder if people read these notes the way I hear them in my head.

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