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How To Sew Elastic Directly To Fabric

When it comes to elastic, they are often used in making waistbands for clothes. But on certain occasions, you might need elastic for making fitted cuffs on shirts, to deliver a snug within all the fitted areas of a garment.

But sewing elastic within a garment is not the same as how you sew normally. You need to make an account for the amount of stretching it can deliver to your clothing.

You can easily sew the elastic directly into the fabric. Why? Because it’s one of the best ways to gather the material.

It is not easy as it may seem you would need to learn a few steps. This blog will guide you in learning how to sew elastic directly to fabric the right way.

How To Sew Elastic Directly To Fabric?

Sewing elastic directly to fabric will be possible by making the elastic go around corners. When sewing stretchy knit fabric, you can use this technique for waistbands and necklines.

It’s also something that I do when making diapers! You should only sew about 1/4″ from the edge of the elastic so that it doesn’t create bulk when sewn on top of other fabrics or seams. This tutorial will show you how to do it in four easy steps!

Step 1

Cut a piece of your elastic that is about an inch wide, long enough to go around whatever you’re sewing, with some length leftover on each end.

You want this excess at either end because otherwise, there will be no stretch in it! Sew one side down as close as possible to the edge without catching any other layers underneath or going off the edge.

Step 2

Lay your fabric out on the table; you want to make sure that it is as flat and smooth as possible, so if there are any wrinkles or bumps in it, then iron them away before proceeding.

Place the elastic right side down along one of the edges with a little bit hanging off each end. Bring up both sides of the elastic together at a point about an inch from where they have been sewn onto the edge of your fabric.

Step 3

Take a needle and thread or sewing machine. Take it through the elastic where you have pulled both sides up to a point. Sew all the way around the point until you are back at your starting point.

Step 4

Take one of the ends of your elastic and fold it over on each end. You want this excess at either end because otherwise, there will be no stretch in it!

Sew one side down as close as possible to the edge without catching any other layers underneath or going off the edge.

Finish both ends with a straight stitch for security purposes. Add one inch to this measurement and cut your elastic with an extra four inches in length.

Step 5

You can also make loops to hide the ends on either side – fold over each end about five inches up the measurement you got from the previous step.

Sew one side of the elastic to create a loop and then stitch both ends securely for added security.

Step 6

Pin it in place and sew all around, right up against your circle shape you have created with whatever width seam allowance is appropriate for your fabric. It is important to secure the stitch at the edge of the elastic.

Step 7

I like to make a second row of stitches around my circle, but it is unnecessary to add security – any stitch in this area will do.

Step 8

Use your scissors to cut off any excess fabric, and then remove pins as you go.

Give yourself some time before removing them so that they don’t snap back into place when pressed against other fabrics or surfaces; alternatively, use clothespins instead!

What You Will Need?

These are the few things that you will need to get ready before starting the process:

  • Fabric
  • Elastic
  • Pins
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Sewing machine and thread to match fabric color.

The thread should be strong enough for the type of elastic you are using. I recommend something like Nylon/Polyester, so it doesn’t get destroyed when they are pulled too tightly)

Different Types of Stitches For Elastic

There are three main stitches you can do when sewing elastic to fabric:

The Overlock Stitch

This is a very simple stitch that will hold the elastic in place while stitching. It is done by taking a few stitches in the same direction as your elastic, then stitching perpendicular to those (linking up with them).

You can see from this stitch that it is not really meant for securing anything on its own.

The Linger Stitch

You can do this stitch by taking an under stitching or blind hemming stitch and anchoring it at one end of the elastics thread.

Then you take two parallel running stitches over the top of these anchors and continue until reaching the other side.

The key here is that you are sewing lines both above and beneath your elastic, so there will be no pulling through either way once secured in place with pins.

The Basting Stitch

The basting stitch stands out as long loose stitches used to hold fabrics together before final seams come off. In this stitch, you catch the fabric on either side of your elastic and pull it tight to secure.

The Linger Stitch

This stitch is done by taking an understitching or blind hemming stitch and anchoring it at one end of the elastics thread.

Then you take two parallel running stitches over the top of these anchors and continue until reaching the other side.

The key here is that you are sewing lines both above and beneath your elastic, so there will be no pulling through either way once secured in place with pins.

Blind Hemming Stitch

To do blind hemming stitching, you need to take a running stitch (or basting) on the wrong side of the fabric, then fold it over to the right side.

You will do a second running stitch on the right side of the fabric, then pull it tight to secure it in place.

Catch Stitch

You can do a catch stitch by taking an overcast or zigzag stitch and anchoring one end at your elastic thread. Then you take two parallel stitches beneath this first anchor point until reaching the other end of the elastic thread.

Pleat Stitch

This stitch is done by taking a running stitch on the right side of the fabric, then folding it over to the wrong side.

You will do an equal number of stitches on the wrong side in order to hold the panel in place and keep it flat against your head or neck until you reach your elastic thread.

You will then take a single running stitch on the wrong side of the fabric, pull it tight to secure it in place.

Learn More About “How To Attach” Sewing Tutorials

Elastic Threads

The first step in attaching elastics directly to fabric is by pinning the elastic to your fabric, keeping it flat against your head or neck until you reach your elastic thread.

You will then take a single running stitch on the wrong side of the fabric, pull it tight to secure it in place.

Sewing Elastic To A Seam

This is determined by your garment or style preference and the type of fabric that you are using.

Sewing Elastic Threads

The first step in attaching elastics directly to fabric is by pinning the elastic to your fabric, keeping it flat against your head or neck until you reach your elastic thread.

You will then take a single running stitch on the wrong side of the fabric, pull it tight to secure it in place.

Sewing Elastic Threads on the Front

The first step in attaching elastics directly to fabric is by pinning the elastic to your fabric, keeping it flat against your head or neck until you reach your elastic thread.

You will then take a single running stitch on the wrong side of the fabric, pull it tight to secure it in place.

Which Is The Best Fabric For Sewing Elastic?

There are two types of fabric you can use: woven and knit. The type of fabric dictates how to sew elastic directly to it, so it is important to know the difference.

Woven fabric has a tight weave with horizontal and vertical threads; knit fabric only has vertical threads.

Do You Stretch Elastic When Sewing?

Elastic will stretch when sewing elastic to knit fabric, but not woven. It depends on the elastic’s width – if it is narrow, it will also stretch when sewing to either fabric, but if wide, and you are sewing to woven fabric, it will not stretch.

What Are The Best Sewing Machine Settings For Elastic?

The weight of your fabric will dictate what sewing machine settings to use. When sewing with woven fabric, set your machine for a zigzag stitch at the widest setting possible, and using thick elastic thread is the best.

When sewing with knit fabric, use the standard zigzag stitch and a thin elastic thread to avoid puckering or stretching out your seams on the sides of the garment.

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