How to sew an elastic waistband casing

14

Leggi questo post in: Italiano

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

It’s been a long eventful and vacation-ful summer for me, so I didn’t post as frequently as usual and also didn’t publish much in the way of sewing tutorials. But I’m really excited because I have a whole bunch of new sewing lessons and tutorials for the Learn to Machine Sew series! And we’re going to start transitioning into sewing not only objects, but also clothing! Hooray!

One of the most important skills to know is sewing a casing for an elastic waistband, which is fantastic for making clothing for children and easy-fitting clothing for adults! It’s actually pretty similar to hemming, so I know that even you beginners can handle it! So let’s get started!

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

First off, cut two 8 x 13″ (20 x 34 cm) rectangles of woven fabric. You could really use any size you want, but this is a good size to practice on without wasting fabric and elastic.

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

You need to make a tube of fabric, so sew down the two short sides with a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance (top picture). If you plan on washing this item, it’s best to finish off the raw edges with a zig zag stitch, but I didn’t bother.

In order to keep your seams and casing tidy, iron open the side seams, with one seam allowance to each side (bottom picture. In order to show the seams, I rearranged the tube of fabric.).

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

The next part is like hemming. I like to do this with the fabric inside-out, but it’s up to you.

First fold and iron down the top edge by 3/8″ (1 cm), towards the inside, then again by a larger amount. This second amount depends on how wide your elastic is.

I am using 3/4″ (2 cm) wide non-roll elastic for this project, though I usually use 1″ (2.5 cm) wide elastic for most garment waistbands. Add 1/4″ (0.5 cm) to the elastic width, which brings me to 1″ (2.5 cm). That is how much you need to fold and iron down the second time.

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

Notice how careful I was to align the side seams along the side and in the top folded section. This helps fold evenly and keep your work neat.

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

Pin around the folded top, leaving a space about 2″ (5 cm) open. I like marking this space with two sets of double pins, as seen above.

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

Now let’s sew! If your sewing machine has a free arm (more about that here), use it so that you can loop your fabric tube around it, as seen above.

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

You need to calculate the seam allowance according to the elastic width. Add 1/8″ (0.25 cm) to the elastic width, which means for me a 7/8″ (2.25 cm) seam allowance.

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

Start sewing from the second set of double pins, going all the way around to the first set of double pins. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end. Congratulations– you now have sewn a casing with an opening!

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

The elastic length depends on what you’re sewing. When sewing elastic waistbands, you generally measure around your waist and cut that length of elastic. It will become snug later on when we sew it.

Normally you would measure a human, but I decided to measure a toy, considering the small amount of fabric.

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

The elastic will be shorter than the fabric casing, otherwise it couldn’t gather. (top)

Stick a large safety pin (or bodkin, if you’re fancy, which I’m not) into one end of the elastic and slip it through the opening in the casing. (bottom)

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

Pull the safety pin through the casing bit by bit. You need to scrunch up the fabric to move it forward inside the casing, then gently pull on the fabric behind it to un-scrunch it. (top)

Pull the safety pin all the way around and back out the opening. Be very careful not to let the other end slip into the casing and also to not let the elastic twist around inside the casing. (bottom)

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

Overlap the two elastic ends by 1″ (2.5 cm) and pin them in place. This is how much you generally overlap elastic when making elastic waistbands, but it could vary from design to design. (top)

Sew the elastic ends together. I like to sew a rectangle with an X through the center, but it’s totally up to you how to do it. (bottom)

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

Pull gently on the waistband fabric so that the joined elastic ends slip inside the casing. Then sew the opening closed with the same seam allowance used before. Make sure not to sew into the elastic itself! (top)

Then pull the fabric gently to rearrange the gathers homogenously around the whole circumference. If you’ve been working inside out, turn the fabric right side out again.

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

And look at that amazing gathered elastic waistband! Great work!

Do you see that area where the fabric is gathered less? That’s where the overlapped elastic ends are. This is why I like to keep that part in the back of the garment but, in any case, you won’t even notice it when the garment is worn and the waistband gets stretched.

I hate wasting fabric, and I hate wasting elastic even more, so I hemmed the remaining raw fabric edges…

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

…to make a cute little skirt for my little boy’s dog “Giallo” (Yellow)!

How to sew an elastic waistband with a casing. Part of the Learn to Machine Sew series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

See how the elastic has gathered the fabric snugly, but not too tightly, around Giallo’s waist? This is the result that we want when sewing an elastic waistband!

So, now that you know how to sew an elastic casing and insert the elastic, you probably want to make something for yourself to wear, huh? Well, then don’t miss out on the next post, in which I’ll show you how to refashion a badly-fitting dress into a comfy fun skirt with an elastic waistband! (update: click here for the dress-to-skirt refashion tutorial!)

This lesson on how to sew an elastic waistband casing is part of the syllabus of Cucicucicoo’s beginner’s sewing course! Don’t forget to share pictures of your work on the Cucicucicoo Creations Flickr Group or the Cucicucicoo Facebook page!Learn to Machine Sew with Cucicucicoo: a free sewing course for beginners

14 COMMENTS

  1. Anche vestiti ?
    Lisa se non ci fossi bisognerebbe inventarti !
    Sei bravissima, e spieghi benissimo !
    Io ti seguo virtualmente, nel senso che ancora non ho toccato la macchina da cucire che pure possiedo !
    con i bimbi piccoli c’è così poco tempo, e quante cose vorrei fare, certo mi capirai .
    ti ringrazio del lavoro splendido che fai che è oro per chi come me non può seguire un corso.
    Rossella

    • Il tuo commento mi ha messo un sorriso gigante in faccia, Rossella! Mi ha fatto ridere l’idea di dovermi inventare! Haha! Capisco perfettamente la mancanza di tempo per fare tutto quello che vorrei fare. Ho già deciso che, dalla settimana prossima, quando avrò finito con la fiera Kreativ, mi metto una settimana intera a cucire e fare cose esclusivamente per me! Cioè, fare alcuni dei tantissimi modelli di altri che ho acquistato negli ultimi mesi!
      Ma comunque, dai, cerca di ricavare anche pezzetti di tempo dove puoi, e vedrai che cucire da tante belle soddisfazioni! 🙂

  2. ciao
    grazie del tutorial…mi chiedevo e per cucire l’elastico quello con le asole, per stringer pantaloni per bambini, come si fa?
    ci regali un tutorial su quello anche?
    mi sono appena affacciata al mondo del cucito ma devo dir che mi piace molto grazie anche ai tuoi tutorial
    grazie mille
    simona

    • Sai, Simona, mi fai pensare che potrei incorporare quel tipo di elastico nel prossimo cartamodello che vorrei fare! Quindi forse sì, un giorno farò quel tutorial! Sono contentissima che i miei tutorial ti hanno aiutato ad entrare in questo bel mondo del cucito! 🙂

  3. ciao , mi sembro una bimba al giorno del suo compleanno che riceve regali da tutti spiegati benissimo tu sei brava !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    solo una domanda per motivi do internet non sempre attivo volevo stampare una turorial ….. ma ho notato che non vengono stampate tutte le foto del tutorial da come invece è postato ,,,, è un mio problema

    • Ahaha! Grazie, Rita, questo è un gran bel complimento!
      Mi dispiace per la questione di stampare i tutorial. Hai ragione, purtroppo non si stampa mai bene da una pagina internet e non ho ancora imparato come creare la pagina che si stampa correttamente. Prima o poi lo farò, ma per ora mi dispiace. Se fai un google su “come salvare una pagina web in pdf”, ci sono tanti risultati. Non ci ho mai provato, ma vale la pena provarci se hai questa difficoltà! Fammi sapere se ci riesci! 🙂

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here