Elastic is a firm fabric that is mostly used to make waistbands. Its most known feature is that it stretches. As a result, clothes that don’t normally fit you will if you change your waistband to elastic.
If you are looking to make elastic for your waistbands, you need to know how to measure them correctly. If you measure it wrongly, you will find that your clothes are either too tight or too loose to wear.
You don’t want to destroy your clothes by putting in elastic bands that are measured incorrectly.
How To Measure Elastic For Waistband?
To correctly measure elastic for the waistband, use a tape measure. Place it on your waist or wherever you would want your pants to sit on your torso. Let the tape measure go all the way around until the two opposite sides are touching. The number is the size of your waist in inches.
To cut the correct length of elastic for your waistband, measure an elastic band that is two inches less than your waist size. This will give enough room for your pants to stretch and fit comfortably.
Method 1. Using A Tape Measure
Step 1. For this method, you will only need your tape measure. Put it on your waist or wherever you like to wear your pants at and around your torso. Make sure that the two ends of the tape measure are touching and that it lies flat on your body. Do not pull it towards your body. Let it be snug around it.
Step 2. At the point where the two ends off the tape measure touch, you have the size of your waist in inches. Record the length in inches. Tape measures have two sides, the centimeters, and the inches side. Use the inches side, it is easier to work with.
Step 3. Measure your elastic band to fit your waist. To get the appropriate length of an elastic waistband, deduct two inches from your waist size. This is the length of elastic that you need for your waistband.
This allows your waistband room to expand and fit you snugly once you fix it in your pants. If you go with the actual size of your waist, your pants will be baggy and loose when you wear them.
Step 4. Fix the elastic band onto your pants. You can sew it directly onto the pants or, make a waist casing that you will insert your elastic band through.
Method 2.Elastic Band On The Waist
Step 1. Get a large roll of elastic. Hold the free corner and put it around your waist where you are comfortable wearing your clothes. Make sure it goes around and has two opposite sides touching. Also, make sure not to stretch the elastic. Let it go around your waist as easily as possible.
Step 2. Place a finger where the two sides of the elastic touch around your waist. Place the elastic on your working table and cut at the point you have marked with your fingers. Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut the elastic band.
Step 3. Place the cut elastic band around your waist and confirm that it will fit snugly when you sew it on your pants. Again, do not pull the elastic band as you place it around your waist. Make sure the two ends touch.
Step 4. When you have confirmed that the elastic band will fit your waist, sew it on the pants. You can use either method to sew it. You can sew your elastic as an exposed waistband or hide it under a waistband casing.
Method 3. Using Your Hips
Step 1. Take a long length of elastic. Wrap it around the largest part of your hips. Make sure it is not too tight so that you can comfortably wear it once you have sewn it onto fabric.
Step 2. Now, take the measured elastic and wrap it around your waist or wherever you want to wear your pants. If it is comfortable, then that is the correct measurement for your elastic waistband. If it’s too tight, release your elastic band slightly to get to a comfortable length.
Step 3. Cut the elastic and prepare to sew it onto the waistband of your pants. In this method, you don’t have to subtract anything from the measurement of your elastic. You are sure that the final measurement you have will fit even the largest part of your hips when you wear your pants with the elastic waistband.
Step 4. When you have the most comfortable length of the elastic for your waist size, it is time to fix the elastic onto your pants. When you are using elastic only as of the waistband, attach the waistband on your pants in four parts. The back front and on both sides, then sew it onto the pants. When you get to the ends of the elastic, you can sew them together, or use another piece of fabric to join them.
Alternatively, you can insert the elastic into a waistband casing on the pants. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic. Use this safety pin to push the elastic into the casing until the whole length of the elastic is in the pants. When you have the ends of the elastic band, you can use the same safety pin to keep them together or sew them together to ensure stability and comfort.
Step 5. Once you have fixed the elastic onto your pants, try them on to see if they are a perfect fit. If it is too tight, you can make the required changes. Rip up the end of the elastic and attach a piece of fabric that you can use to sew the ends together to make the waistband a little loose on the waist.
Or, you can iron the elastic waistline while stretched as far as you like to make it loose and more comfortable when you wear it. You can also slip your pants on a chair to expand the elastic to make it much easier to wear.
Method 4. Follow A Size Chart
Step 1. Have your elastic band for the waistline of the garments that you want to sew ready.
Step 2. When you are using an elastic waistline chart, you need to have the correct waist size measurement. Whether you are making a waistband for yourself or a client.
Step 3. Check the chart to know the length of elastic band you need for each waist size. A size chart provides a waist size range and the length of elastic band you need for each. Use this for quick and comfortable sizing of elastic for the waistband.
You also don’t have to do so many measurements. One waist size measurement is enough to sew on your elastic waistband.
How To Take Proper Care Of Elastic Waistbands
Elastic waistbands have a shelf life. After years of continuously wearing your comfortable elastic waistline garments, the elastic starts to get loose. This is especially if you take good care of your garments.
On the other hand, without proper care, you will find that your elastic garments start losing their stretch in a few months.
One of the major aspects of care for elastic waistbands is washing and drying. Avoid washing in hot water and machine drying. Heat is a major factor in stretching elastic. Thus continued washing in hot water reduces the lifespan of the elastic in your waistband. Wash your elastic waistband garments in cold or warm water and let them air dry
Another aspect of care for your elastic waistbands is ironing. As mentioned, heat stretches out elastic, causing it to lose its firmness. When ironing, use low heat and a damp cover cloth over the elastic waistline. Also, do not stretch the waistband when ironing. Or, it will stretch further.
Do not use bleach on elastic. It eats into the elastic and causes it to lose its elasticity.
When your elastic waistband has reached its end, you can always replace it with a new one easily. And, continue to wear your garments.
How To Measure Elastic For Sleeves
Elastic is highly versatile. It is available in different fabrics and styles and can be used for many types of garments. It can also be used for different types of purposes.
Besides being a waistband, another common use for elastic is in the sleeves and cuffs of garments.
Like with every other component of a garment, you need to measure the elastic you need for sleeves. Measuring elastic for the sleeves is not as complicated as when measuring for a waistband.
Wrap the elastic around your sleeves. Pull or release to get how tight, you want the garment to be. With a pen, mark the point where the ends of the elastic will meet. Then, leave room for a seam allowance when you sew the fabric in the sleeves.