Sewing 101: Elastic Waistbands

Sewing 101: Elastic Waistbands

Sewing elastic waistbands can be as easy as wearing them! Follow these 3 techniques to learn the basics.

*Tip: Use a universal ballpoint machine needle for sewing through elastic.

1) Self-waistband

Elastic Waistbands

For this example, we used a serger and these supplies:

Elastic Waistbands

Whether you’re sewing with a serger or a standard sewing machine, an elastic waistband can be easily sewn on using the existing fabric in your project for professional results. When using a standard sewing machine, use a zig zag stitch for best results.

The 2 key points to make this waistband method successful is making sure the fabric waist portion of your project allows for the width of the elastic in order to do so, and an effective top stitch.

Once the elastic is applied, simply fold it under and top stitch. When top stitching, choose a zig zag stitch on a standard machine, or a coverstitch or chainstitch on a serger. Stretching the waistband as you topstitch allows for the topstitch to be able to complement the stretch performance.

Elastic Waistbands

Elastic Waistbands

Elastic Waistbands

2) Separate Waistband, Sewn-in:

For this example, we used a standard sewing machine, and the following supplies:

Elastic Waistbands

The elastic is sewn onto the seam allowance of the main fabric and separate waistband fabric. It is then fully enclosed with the remaining waist fabric being folded over, and then secured with a stitch in the ditch.

Elastic Waistbands

Elastic Waistbands

Elastic Waistbands

“Stitch in the ditch” refers to sewing a top stitch in the crevice between 2 fabrics. This technique is effective for creating a seamless transition between fabrics, while securing fabric on the underside.

Elastic Waistbands

3) Elastic Casing Waistband

Making a casing is an easy way to accomplish an elastic waistband. It doesn’t require any stretching while sewing, or sewing through the elastic itself (other than joining the elastic).

Elastic Waistbands

Making a casing can be done with the self-fabric, or by attaching a separate piece of fabric for the waistband. Using the self-waistband method, you would simply fold the fabric under, the width of the elastic + seam allowance. Top stitch to secure, leaving an opening to thread the elastic thru. Once the elastic is joined, top stitch to close.

For this example, we used a serger and these supplies:

Elastic Waistbands

The key to making a casing, is exact measurements. If the waistband casing is too small, the elastic will not lay properly. If the casing is too big, it risks too much movement for the elastic.

Elastic Waistbands

Elastic Waistbands

Elastic Waistbands

Elastic Waistbands

A good way to counteract any unwanted movement from the waistband, is to use no-roll elastic, also known as woven elastic. It’s more stable than knitted or braided elastic. It does require the butted method to join, since it is too dense to overlap and sew nicely.

Elastic Waistbands

Elastic Waistbands

(picture waistbands done)

Elastic Waistbands

Happy Sewing!

You May Like Also