elastic waist skirt

barb_roselover_inNovember 19, 2012

I love elastic waist skirts, but I am never satisfied with the way they turn out. They appear bulky around the waist. Can anybody give me some hints? How do you finish them. Do you insert the elastic or sew the elastic on and turn it down? Thanks in advance. I need to make one and would like some advice. Barb

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Annie Deighnaugh

They will look bulky because they are gathering up enough fabric to fit around your hips. That's the way they are.

If you are using a non-stretch fabric then make a casing leaving an opening at a seam. Slide the elastic into the casing (a large safety pin will help you work that around, be sure to pin one end to the opening so it doesn't get lost in the middle of the casing. Then stitch the ends of the elastic together, and let it slip completely into the casing, then stitch the opening of the casing shut.

If you are using a stretch fabric, it's quite different....we used the pin and quarter technique and then stretched the elastic to match the fabric as we did a multiple stitch zigzag onto the waist. Then we'd flip it over and stitch it again with the multiple stitch zigzag. This is based on stretch n sew techniques I learned way back and using stretch n sew patterns. It's a tad complicated to explain, but easy to execute. Because we were using stretch fabrics though, you didn't have as much bulk at the waist as the fabric stretch would help accommodate the hips.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stretch and sew

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:35AM
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I've gotten better results doing elastic waistbands the 2nd way. kwiksew patterns use a good technique, I learned from a boxer short pattern of theirs. I use it a lot now. Basically, cut elastic 4-5" less than natural waist. Sew it to the right side, stretching as you go. then flip it to the wrong side & stitch down. I don't like the raw edge that shows so I do an extra flip to hide. If I'm doing a casing, I make sure to sew through the side, back & front seams to secure & prevent rolling.

Annie D, I'm curious as to why a casing for wovens & sew-in for knits? It seems it'd be easier to do a sew-in for woven, less chance of the fabric stretching dif. than the elastic (if that makes sense).

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:04PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

It's a matter of how the pattern is made, I would guess. If the knit fabric isn't cut large enough to fit over the hips, the elastic and the fabric will stretch together to make it work. Not so with a woven....

I've never tried to use the kwik sew technique on a woven. I suppose it could work, but it would depend on the hand of the fabric....if it's too stiff, it won't gather properly onto the elastic. I can see where it might prevent the elastic from contracting fully. If it's a soft fabric, though, I suppose it might work. The other consideration is raveling ... knits don't ravel so flipping and stitching twice works...if you're giving it a 3rd flip, you won't have the ravel problem, but you will be adding more bulk at the waist.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 7:42AM
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I think you're right Annie.

Sorry for hijacking your thread OP!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 2:56PM
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