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How to Sew an Elastic Waistband

Learn how to sew an elastic waistband from founder Cynthia Mann in this Howcast video.


Hi, I'm Cynthia Mann and we're here today at Birch Fabrics in Paso Robles, California. This is also the home of Hi, I'm Melissa Lunden; I'm the resident seamstress here at Birch Fabrics. I teach sewing lessons here, prepare blog tutorials and sew samples of Birch's line of organic cotton. And I am here today to talk to you about sewing. Hi, now we are going to talk about how to sew an elastic waistband. I have a little sample here for a very little waist, and once you've sewn your piece or two pieces together, what you're going to do is make a casing, which is folding over the fabric once, pressing - which I already have - and then folding it over one more time, and pressing again. You're gonna have your piece of elastic, you're going your measuring - sewing gauge to figure out that my piece of elastic is half an inch, so I want to make my casing just a little bit wider than half an inch. That way there's enough room for the elastic to get in, but it won't have too much room to wiggle around. You're going to start sewing very close to the bottom fold of the casing. Back stitch a couple stitches, and then sew all the way around, rotating the fabric as you go, and making sure you don't sew the underside while you're at it. And then you're gonna want to stop sewing about an inch away from where you started and then back stitch, and then you are going to start threading your elastic. And this is what your casing looks like. And then you take your piece of elastic and a safety pin. You put your pin at the top of your elastic, and this just makes it so much easier to thread your elastic through. And so then you just kind of push and pull the safety pin and the elastic. So once you've decided that this is the right width, then you'll trim your elastic, take out your safety pin, and then take your elastic, and then with your sewing machine, back stitch - forward, back, make sure it's nice and secure. And then you'll tuck your elastic in, smooth it out, and trim your threads. And then what you'll do is you'll just finish sewing over those - that opening, stretching the fabric as you go. Back stitch - and then you can take a second to kind of smooth out the fabric. And ta-da, you're all done.

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