April 13, 2015

Tutorial, part 9 - Elastic Waistbands

Open your jumpsuit body so the inside is more easily accessible. 

Sew one edge of the elastic waistband channel (piece M) to the jumpsuit body along the lines indicated, ¼" from the edge. (We did the upper edge of the waistband channel first, but it doesn't really matter.) 

The stitch should begin and end exactly at the centermost side body panels' seam allowances. 

The stitch will also be visible on the outside of the jumpsuit, but it is supposed to be, so don't worry! 

Cut an appropriate length of 2" elastic, plus about 2" in addition to whatever amount you require for a comfortable elasticized fit. 

(And you do know how much you need because you made a muslin test or three first, right???) 

I (Alex), for instance, need about 8" of elastic on each side for a comfortable fit, so I cut a 10" length of elastic. 

Place your elastic so its upper edge is flush with the upper stitching line of the elastic channel, and it overhangs the side front/center front (or side back/center back) seam line by about 1". 

Fasten the elastic to the jumpsuit body securely by vertically stitching exactly over the body panel seam line. (Since you can't actually see it, just give it your best guess. It'll probably be fine.) 

Repeat for the other end of the elastic. 

Fold the elastic channel down over the elastic. 

Remember, about 1" of elastic should be "poking out" from each end of the channel. 

Using your zipper/piping foot, sew down the other end of the elastic channel (lower end, in this case) ¼" from the edge of the elastic channel.

TIP: As the elastic will, by its very nature, cause the channel to gather and contract (that's what it's there for ... duh!), it can be difficult to sew the lower edge without the channel shifting or accidentally sewing puckers or other such undesirable outcomes. (It's even harder to do while holding a camera ...) We recommend pulling the elastic so all the gathering is on the half of the channel closest to you, sewing from the far edge to the side seam, leaving the needle down and lifting the presser foot, then redistributing the elasticity/gathering of the fabric to the sewn half of the elastic channel, lowering the presser foot and continuing as best you can. 

The inside of your finished elastic channel should now look something like this: 

TIP: If you have black elastic, then we recommend using it instead of white or some other color! The likelihood that it will matter is negligible, but sometimes when securing the ends of the elastic to the body the sewing needle might "poke" a thread or two of the elastic through to the right side of the garment, causing a teeny white fleck to be visible on the outside of the jumpsuit. The same thing might happen if you accidentally "nick" the elastic when sewing on the lower edge of the elastic channel. Better safe than sorry! 

(We used white elastic mainly because it was easier to demonstrate the construction process in this tutorial, but pretty much every screen-used jumpsuit we've seen the inside of had white elastic, so, again, it's not a big deal.)

PREVIOUS: Tutorial, part 8 - Close Sides and Sleeve Vents

NEXT: Tutorial, part 10 - Close Inseam

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