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


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.


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.


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


Fold the seam open as shown above.


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


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.


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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