General information about elasticized waistbands: Can be cut-on or separate. Cut-on waistbands are basically an extension of the garment. From the point where the garment should hit your waist, you add more length to the pattern piece/fabric to allow for the waistband casing. This extra length gets folded over to make the casing. Cut-on waistband types: "With a casing" is a more casual look; firm braided or woven elastics work best; elastic can be adjusted for a better fit later because the elastic is not caught in a seam. "Topstitched waistband" has a number of topstitched seams and spacing can vary according to your preference; can use drawstring elastic for this. Types of separate waistbands: "Smooth elasticized waistbands" are best for a slim-fitting garment because the waistband will look like a traditional waistband when stretched around the waist; firm elastic is best (1-1.25 inches wide). "Shirred waistbands" are best for fuller styles like a full skirt; works well with wide elastic; firm elastic is best; waistband can be topstitched. Information about elastic types: Firm elastics include nonroll elastics; the length of elastic should be cut to your waist measurement or 1-inch smaller. Soft elastics include knit elastics; the length of elastic should be cut 3 to 5 inches smaller than your waist measurement. Topstitching the elasticized waistband can cause the elastic to lose some stretch so shorten the elastic up to 1-inch to get a better fit. When joining the elastic ends, you have 2 choices. Overlapped method: best for soft elastics; overlap the elastic ends and use a wide zigzag stitch to secure; a 3-step zigzag stitch can also be used. Butted method: best for firm elastics; bring elastic ends together but don't overlap ("butt ends") and secure with a wide or 3-step zigzag stitch.

Technique Materials

elastic, pattern piece, fabric, safety pin, thread, pins, zipper foot (optional: edgestitch or stitch-in-the-ditch foot), iron


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