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A Super Useful Fabric Covered Elastic Waistband Tutorial

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Let me introduce to you Emily Adams of Dressing the Role!  She kindly put together a tutorial for us as part of our Tutorial Contest.  Thanks for taking the time to teach us your elastic sewing methods Emily!


 

A tutorial by Emily Adams

www.dressingtherole.wordpress.com

Want to make a pair of Comox Trunks with a fabric covered elastic waistband but aren’t sure how? You’re in luck! There are several different ways to do this – Morgan covers one way in her tutorial. I like to use a slightly different method that sews the elastic directly to the waistband, eliminating twisted elastic and creating a nice, clean finish.

So, first off, a little info about elastic – not all elastics are created equal! You want to find an elastic that you can sew through without damaging it. A knitted elastic would be good for this project, since it’s not too bulky but is safe to sew through. Be careful not to use braided elastic – this stuff is cheaper, but will lose its elasticity when sewn through. A quick way to tell the difference between these two elastics is that the braided elastic will get thinner when stretched, but knitted elastic will stay the same width. For more detailed info about elastic, visit this helpful site: The Sewing Directory.

So, that being said, here’s my little tutorial:

1. Cut a piece of fabric the circumference of your trunks plus seam allowances and twice the width of your elastic plus generous seam allowances – I’d give yourself a good inch and a half.  This will give you a little “wiggle room” when attaching the waistband to the trunks. Note: unlike in Morgan’s tutorial, here we’re going to make our waistband out of a single strip of fabric instead of two.

2. Sew the short ends of your waistband using a narrow zig zag.

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3. Trim seam allowances to 1/4″ and press. This helps reduce bulk.

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4. Pre-stretch your elastic before cutting it.  This ensures that the elastic won’t stretch out too much after the first few wearings, as elastic tends to stretch out a little the first time it is used. Then cut your elastic to the exact size you want for the finished waistband – do NOT add seam allowances!

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5. Cut a small swatch of woven fabric (3″ by 3″ should be enough). Sew one end of the elastic to the swatch using a regular zigzag stitch; go over this seam several times for reinforcement.

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6. Butt the other end of the elastic right up against the attached end and sew several times using a regular zig zag. Make sure the elastic is not twisted!

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7. Trim off the excess swatch fabric. This method helps eliminate bulk at the center back seam.

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8. Fold your waistband in half lengthwise and sandwich the elastic right in the middle. Try to match up the center back of each to avoid a strange lumpy spot in the middle of your waistband.

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9. Carefully pin the waistband to the trunks. Make sure to mark and match the center front and center back to evenly distribute the fabric.

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10. You may notice at this point that your elastic loop is a little smaller than your waistband loop. That’s ok – you will just need to stretch the elastic a tiny bit as you sew. This will slightly gather the waistband, but that’s ok – it’s just underwear!

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11. Sew the waistband to the trunks, stitching through the edge of the elastic as you sew. To do this, pinch out the waistband seam allowances with your right hand so that the elastic is butted right up against the center of the waistband – you want to avoid having a gap between the fabric and the elastic at the top of your finished waistband (and this is why you gave yourself a little extra – to leave room for your fingers!).

At the same time, use your left hand to slightly stretch your elastic, as discussed above, if necessary. This is a bit of a juggling act, so take it slow!

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If you are using your serger for this, you want to be very careful not to cut through the elastic! Try to line up your trunks so that the edge of the elastic is just to the left of the serger knife. This will ensure that you stitch through the elastic but don’t cut it.

If you are using your regular machine, sew one line of regular sized zigzag stitches to attach the waistband to the trunks, sewing through the edge of the elastic as you go. Then sew another row of zigzags directly to the right as a seam finish (and as a second line of protection just in case!). Trim the excess fabric right up to the second row of zigzags.

And you’re done!

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You may notice that the gathering on my waistband isn’t even – that’s because I didn’t stretch my elastic evenly as I sewed it. But no biggie, you can’t even tell when it’s being worn, and husbands (and other dudes :)) tend to be pretty forgiving if their clothes aren’t perfect!

Ta-da!

Thank you for the great tutorial Emily!  I look forward to trying out your techniques on my next pair of trunks!

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Tutorial: Removing the yoke and adding welt pockets to the Jedediah Pants

Today I have the first of three tutorials to show you (as a result of our Tutorial Contest).  This tutorial was submitted after the contest deadline by Roni Arbel but it is so excellent I just HAD to include it along with the winner’s two tutorials!  Now get ready for an excellent lesson in both pattern manipulation and careful sewing as Roni teaches you how to use the Jedediah Pants to create an entirely different style of pants!

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Thank you, Roni, for taking the time to create such a wonderful tutorial!  I love the design changes and especially love the single button on one of the welts – very professional!

Expect more great information and posts in the future on Roni’s new blog, Wardrobe Histology!

Do you have any questions about this tutorial?  Ask them in the comments below and I will answer them for you. I look forward to seeing the trousers made using Roni’s excellent instructions!


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Tutorial Contest Winner Announcement

Tutorial-Contest-title It’s the start of a new week and the end of another contest.  As you can probably anticipate, there were FAR fewer entries for our Tutorial Competition than our Girl Charlee fabric give-away.  After all, creating a tutorial is a lot of hard work and quite time consuming!  The ones we received though were absolutely splendid and I think you will find them really useful.  It’s great to see other people’s take on our patterns and also on the way they instruct and present a tutorial.    Thank you to the ladies who put in all that hard work – I look forward to sending off your prize packages!

Today I’ll present the winners along with a snippet of their tutorial.  The full tutorials will be presented in separate posts on the blog and also on our website in the near future.

Useful-tutorial

Entries for the Super Useful Tutorial category were required to fill a gap we had in our selection of tutorials.  Emily, of Dressing the Role, did this just that when she created her Fabric Covered Elastic Waistband tutorial for the Comox Trunks.  I had mentioned, when creating the Comox Trunks Sew-Along, that I wasn’t completely satisfied with the way I covered my elastic waistband with fabric (for the maple leaf version of the trunks) and hoped somebody could suggest an alternative way.  Emily has come up with a really clear tutorial filled with really neat tricks.  Her writing style is really approachable, honest and realistic…something that I think many sewers appreciate when learning new techniques.  Congratulations Emily on winning a $50 gift certificate to our store, a Comox Trunks Supplies kit and some Goldstar pattern drafting tools!  Thank you for your tutorial!

fabric covered waistband
Beautiful-tutorial The next winner is Nicoletta of DiNuvole DiCouri!  She submitted a tutorial that explains, from start to finish, how to sew the Arrowsmith Undershirt.  She’s included lots of photos and even goes so far as to discuss her mistakes and the learning process she went through.  So helpful!  Even though this tutorial could be a submission for the Super Useful category, I’ve awarded Nicoletta the Very Beautiful Tutorial Prize because she has also been working on another large project to do with the Arrowsmith Undershirt.  While writing up her tutorial, Nicoletta created a translated set of instructions so that the Arrowsmith instructions are now available in Italian through her blog!  She went to a large amount of effort to replicate the aesthetic of the English instructions by matching our Thread Theory colours and our instruction layout.  Thank you, Nicoletta, for making your English Arrowsmith tutorial and ALSO for making this pattern far more accessible to Italian sewists!  A $50 gift certificate to the Thread Theory store, two Thread Theory tissue patterns of your choice (you can request to be sent future releases), and a selection of my favorite sewing tools will be heading your way shortly!

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I look forward to sharing these tutorials with you over the next few weeks.  In the meantime, be sure to check out both of these ladies’ excellent blogs (Emily’s blog & Nicoletta’s blog).  Both are filled with inspiring sewing projects and lots of great tutorials!

*Note: I haven’t selected a winner for the Social Butterfly Tutorial category because we didn’t receive any entries that met the criteria for this category…it you feel inclined to create an entry for this category in the future, feel free to send me an email and the prize pack will be waiting for someone whose tutorial fills the criteria! 🙂


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6 days left until the Tutorial Contest deadline!

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Have you come up with any tutorial ideas to submit to the Tutorial Contest?  Submissions are due next Monday!  Or perhaps you’ve already made a tutorial that is relevant to our patterns (a technique that could be used with our patterns, for instance)?  Feel free to submit existing tutorials and we will share the winners on our blog (with plenty of links to your blog of course!).

Thanks for all the hard work that has gone into the tutorials that have currently been submitted.  I can’t wait to share the winners with you!