Joining Elastic Three Different Ways Beginners Tutorial

Hello again as promised in the Contrast Baby Pants Tutorial here is a tutorial on joining elastic 3 different ways.

Joining Elastic 3 Ways - Beginners Tutorial

There are so many ways to join elastic.  These are the three I use most often.  I have used white elastic with blue thread so you can clearly see what I have done.  Obviously a matching thread would give a much neater looking finish!

1. Overlapping Elastic Join

Joining Elastic 3 Ways - Beginners Tutorial

With this method you overlap the ends of the elastic by  a couple of centimeters (almost an inch) and zigzag up and down a few times over the double layer to secure it.  I like to do this twice to be sure it’s caught well.

Pros: Very easy to do, nice and secure, easy to adjust the size later and even has a little room to let it out if need be.

Cons: The doubled up area is a little bulky, not the neatest finish if your elastic band is visible.

2. Exposed Elastic Join

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This method works great for creating a tidy looking join if the elastic will be visible in your garment.  As it is in circle skirts or some boxer shorts.

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Stack the two ends on top of each other lining up the cut edges and sides carefully.  Sew a straight line across, I have used a 1/2″ seam allowance (use the guides on your machine – See this Learn to Sew Tutorial).  Remember to reverse over a couple of stitches at the start and end to prevent it coming undone.

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It should look like my example above.  Go ahead and trim off any excess thread.

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Fold the seam open as shown above.

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Sew down the folded sides about 1/4″ from the middle. Don’t forget to do a little reverse or use your lock stitch at the beginning and the end.

You can trim off any extra overlap to reduce the bulk a little if you like.

Pros: The finish is very tidy on one side great for when the elastic is exposed.

Cons: A little more time consuming, and still a double layer but it doesn’t feel as bulky as the overlapping option.

3. Flat Joined Elastic

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To start the flat join just butt the two ends of elastic together (double check that they are cut straight!) and place them together under you presser foot.

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Making sure the cut is in the center.  I like to use the biggest zigzag stitch I have to ensure that both sides are caught.  I go over this two or three times to be sure all edges are caught securely.  This method is a really good option for items where the elastic will be sewn to the fabric also, like leggings waistbands.

Pros: Very flat join, quick and easy.

Cons: Doesn’t feel as secure.

Happy Elastic Joining!

Updated – 22.09.2016

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