Before the temperatures got cold and before the sun set at 4:30 p.m., I published a weekend post that centered around engagement. Going through my old posts to see what I liked, what I didn’t like, and what could be improved, I realized that although the design of my posts were killer, my posts lacked engagement. The post was published a couple of months after Me-Made May and right after Oona’s Promaballoona. Those amazing seamstresses connected and engaged with their readers and I wanted to do the same – ME and You. And that’s what I did.
I bought a notebook, a pretty one from Anthropologie, and I wrote about what’s on my sewing plate right now – elastic (for lingergie – are you surprised?). I taped, glued, and decorated one page that reflected my aesthetic (it has lace) while still informing about what elastic is. Now it’s your turn. Who wants to decorate and inform the next page? US, Europe, or Australia, it don’t matt-ah (that is grammatically correct), I’ll mail it to you. The conditions are that you decorate it any way you please and when your finished, take pictures/scan it, and post about it (I will post an update as well) what you’ve made.
So who’s in? Who wants the scrapbook next? I don’t care if there is 100 of you or 2; all I need it 1.
To turn this into an informative sewing post, here’s was elastic is:
Technically defined, elastic is a series of rubber or spandex cores that are bound or wrapped in polyester, cotton, nylon, or a blended thread that are then braided, woven, or knitted together to create elastic. Said more briefly, elastic is thread and rubber strings that are interlacing in varying ways. The way the elastic is constructed – braided, woven, or knitted – is what classifies them.
CLASSIFICATIONS BASED ON CONSTRUCTION
BRAIDED: braided elastics narrows when stretched and is not high quality. Because it loses elasticity when sewn, it is used mostly in casings (i.e. waistbands on pajama pants)
KNITTED: knitted elastic is soft, strong, and the preferred choice for most garments. It doesn’t narrow when stretched and is great on lightweight fabrics. Because it doesn’t lose elasticity when sewn, it can be applied directly to a garment (not inserted in a casing)
WOVEN: woven elastic is strong, thick, and often referred as “no roll” elastic. It has a basket weave pattern (horizontal and vertical ribs) and doesn’t narrow when stretched. Because of its thickness, it is used mostly on heavy weight fabrics such as upholstery and canvas.
POLYURETHANE/CLEAR: polyurethane/clear elastic is rubber free, transparent, and stretches 3-4 times its length with complete recovery to size and shape. It can be sewn directly to fabric or is inserted in side seams to help maintain shape. It is also used in lace lingerie where the elastic does not want to be visible. A downside of polyurethane/clear elastic is that it deteriorates quickly.
OTHER TYPES OF ELASTIC
PICOT: one or both sides that have a series of small loops that create a decorative edging
PLUSH: one side is brush or felted for comfort
STRAP: usually satin and are most often used on bras
VELVET: a nonconventional and couture choice that can be used in place of regular elastic
STRETCH SATIN RIBBON: another nonconventional and couture choice that can be used in place of regular elastic
RUFFLE EDGE: one or both sides have a ruffle attached
ELASTIC SEWING TIPS (RELATING TO LINGERIE):
-Tension must be adjusted when sewing elastic
-Because elastic stretches when sewing, cut ½” shorter than desired relaxed length (Example: if the waist on a pair of undies is to measure 15” RELAXED (waist measurement taken flat), elastic length before sewing should be 14 ½”)
-Stretch elastic numerous times before sewing to reduce the amount elastic will stretch during sewing
-When attaching elastic, align elastic join seam with a seam for a clean finish
-When attaching elastic to garment, stretch elastic only (do not stretch fabric)
-Always attach elastic in the round. Example: if sewing a pair of undies, do not attach elastic at front waist, back waist, front leg, and back leg, and then sew side seam. This is a production friendly way to sew a pair of undies because elastic is quicker to sew and easier to handle in this order of operations. For the home sewer though, it takes more time because aligning the elastics when sewing the side seams is very difficult and time consuming.
-Apply elastic evenly to leg opening. There is a theory that easing fabric more on the backside of an undie will prevent it from riding up. I do not believe this theory because pulling fabric from the side of the undie towards the bottom of the undie will cause the pattern to be off balance and will result in drag lines. To eliminate undies from riding up, length should be added.
-If leg opening is pulling when worn, elastic was not applied evenly (see previous point)