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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: grandma C
Date: 07-05-2007, 12:44 AM (1 of 9)
I feel so ignorant!!! I struggled with a 10 min project for hours today. I did not feel well and that probably was a clue to me to not sew but I am getting a backlog of things promised to be made.
The struggle was with clear elastic. I made a sundress for 6yr old dgd Chloe. It needed elastic in the top back to take out 2 inches of width and it needed elastic across the top front to keep it from gapping open when leaning over. I wanted to sandwhich the e lastic between the lining and the outter garment. Trying to put one length of elastic from one side of the zipper in the back, around the lower armscye, across the top front , then the other lower armscye then across the top back to the zipper. I intended to just catch it in the top stitching. No matter how i tried to pin the elastic I kept missing it in the topstitching and obviously missing it with the pins that I was sure secured it. It seems that when I stretched it it just slipped out of alignment with the top edge. I finaly split the lining a tiny bit in places and after one line of topstitching was done, then I inserted one short length of elastic and topstitched it. I then inserted the next length and topstitched it. I still had to do one of these sections twice. Whew!!! I'm glad thats over!! Any good advice on this subject would be appreciated so I dont suffer through something like this again.
User: grandma C
Member since: 01-15-2007
Total posts: 263
From: DorothyL
Date: 07-05-2007, 07:02 AM (2 of 9)
Would a casing help next time?
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: material_pakrat
Date: 07-05-2007, 11:26 PM (3 of 9)
Why not sew it to the lining first. I know it wouldn't have help this time as you had most of it sewed.
I have also made adjustments like that by threading shirring elastic (or hat elastic) through the gap in twin needle top stitching, or in the area between the top stitching and the seam. The good thing about this is that you can cheat a bit and just over sew the ends of the elastic without altering too much of the sewing you have already done.
Cheers, Soph.

I'm happiest when I am sewing!
User: material_pakrat
Member since: 12-13-2006
Total posts: 220
From: grandma C
Date: 07-06-2007, 01:09 AM (4 of 9)
Ladies, Thanks for the tips. a casing would have added more bulk than I wanted to the garment. I intended to use the channel made by the topstitching as the casing. With clear elastic I think I have to stitch through the elastic itself to keep it in place. I guess I could have made a caseing in the linning and then topstitch through all elastic and casing. I'll have to try another dress to test it.
User: grandma C
Member since: 01-15-2007
Total posts: 263
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 07-07-2007, 12:48 PM (5 of 9)
I have a package of that clear elastic I purchased abt 18 months ago.. I cut a piece of it and stretched it out as I always do elastic before I use it and it snapped in two ! ! The package is no good.. I have tossed it.. Has anyone else had a problem like that or did I just happen to get an ancient package by mistake ?? It was just brittle over the whole length..
Sew With Love
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
From: grandma C
Date: 07-14-2007, 01:50 AM (6 of 9)
Libby, that makes me afraid to use clear elastic. I keep some of my garments for years..... I hope your experience is uncomon.
User: grandma C
Member since: 01-15-2007
Total posts: 263
From: MartySews2
Date: 07-14-2007, 10:35 AM (7 of 9)
My sewing notions seem to age by the time I get around to using them. I have a package of clear elastic and it is almost 5 years old. I've had no trouble with it.
User: MartySews2
Member since: 05-03-2007
Total posts: 293
From: bridesmom
Date: 07-14-2007, 05:08 PM (8 of 9)
I don't think the clear elastic is made to be as stretchy as the rubber/cloth elastic. That may be why you were finding it snapping. I use mine for places that I don't want sagging, like necklines, armscyes, some empire waist seams and crotches. I also sew mine down. I can't see it holding up for places that have a lot of stress, like waistbands.
Tickled pink with my Innovis 4000D
User: bridesmom
Member since: 01-21-2004
Total posts: 2026
From: sable
Date: 07-18-2007, 10:02 PM (9 of 9)
I use clear elastic all the time in nappies (diapers), it needs to be sewn with 3-step zig-zag to stop it from breaking; if you sew it at each end and put it in a casing it'll break at the stitching. I also use it for the shoulder seam in knits to help with recovery.
There are a number of different grades though; I use the light one for the shoulders, but a fairly thick one for nappies. It seems to last really well, and it has better stretch and recovery than braided or woven elastic. I use the Lastin brand normally.
I've never had it snap before sewing, I suspect that may have been a faulty batch.
User: sable
Member since: 01-10-2005
Total posts: 76
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