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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to Keep Elastic from Rolling

 Today we're going to talk a little bit about elastic. I really like the elastic waistbands on CKC skirts and bottoms. They are comfy and forgiving and they stay right in place. We have a variety of ways that elastic is used, such as the flat-front design on Bridgette's Palazzo Pants for Tweens

You can't really see the waistband in the picture, but the smiling daughter is the part that really counts. She loves them! These pants can be made out of a variety of fabrics from heavy denim to very light cotton. My daughter usually chooses a very light cotton and we learned very quickly that light cottons can be tricky on the waistband because it allows the elastic to roll easily: 

What a mess! This was after putting my own pair of Bridgette's for Women on and off one time! There are two rolls, some twists, and a lot of bunching at the ends. (This does not happen with heavier fabrics!)  

Of course this story has a happy ending. I wear my Bridgette's all the time. We have two ways that we can keep elastic from rolling with lightweight fabrics: 

The first solution is to use non-roll elastic. It is generally more expensive than regular elastic but it does work! I use it for some projects. But I have also found that its added texture is actually thicker and more bulky than I like on my own waistbands, and it can take more time to thread into the casing. Some people do prefer it. That's the first option. 

The second option is to use regular elastic exactly the same way as we do with heavier fabrics, but on the lightweight fabrics we can sew through the casing in several places as a final step. This holds the elastic in place and adds more stability, which does a really good job keeping the elastic from rolling within the casing. Here's how I do it: 

First we want to make sure our fabric is evenly distributed on the waistband elastic.  When it looks good, we can start by finding the center seam that is already on the back of the pants. As shown in the picture above, we will stitch across the casing only, along that seam. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end. Then we can repeat at the remaining casing seams, if any. Now we will want to sew a few more lines to secure the elastic. We can do this halfway between our previous stitch lines (this is what I normally do), or if we are using a fabric that has a more detailed design we can stitch in places that will look best with the design, such as across each white flower if we are using white thread. 

When we are done, our stitch lines will be hardly visible, if at all, because they become hidden between the gathers of the casing. We no longer have to worry about our elastic rolling and bunching! Problem solved!

While we're on the topic of elastic, we have had some questions come up about how we are supposed to attach our elastic when using CKC patterns. That is up to you! When we calculate the elastic needed, we generally plan to overlap the ends of the elastic 1/4" to 1/2", depending on who is making it and which pattern we're doing and who we are making it for. In all custom clothing, there is a little wiggle room so there's not really an absolute answer here. You can do it however you prefer! 

That's all for our Tips and Tricks on elastic today. We hope you found it helpful. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

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