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Sew Elastic: Tutorials for Marking, Stitching & Finishing (2024)

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tutorialssewing elasticIt’s time to get your sewing skills up and running – elastic in particular! We’ve got all the tutorials you need for mastering the art of sewing elastic. From calculating length, marking, basting, and stitching with a zigzag stitch, to more advanced techniques such as using needles or pressing feet; we’ll help you achieve professional results every time.

Plus, don’t miss out on hearing from founder Sarai Mitnick about her role in business and interests outside of Colette! So, buckle up sewers – let’s get started on those tutorials for marking, stitching, and finishing elastic like pros.

Key Takeaways

Stretch fabric and elastic firmly while sewing

Use a four-thread overlock stitch for a strong finish

Topstitch with an adjustable twin needle or coverstitch machine for durability

Test seam strength and elastic stretching before wearing the garment

Calculating Length

Calculating Length
When it comes to sewing elastic, two important steps are marking and basting. Before starting any project involving elastic, it is essential to accurately measure the fabric and mark at least the halfway point on both fabric and elastic for even distribution.

Then use a medium zigzag stitch or a baste stitch if desired to securely hold the pieces together before beginning main stitching.


Mark the fabric and elastic at least halfway to ensure even distribution when basting. Pinning tips, fabric selection, marking techniques, and basting tricks are all important for creating a successful garment.

When working with different types of elastics, like foldover or braided, consider using a wider zigzag stitch setting on your machine’s presser foot. Hem allowances should be folded under before topstitching them down with an adjustable twin needle or coverstitch machine for extra durability.

Stretch seams while testing out these stitching methods to make sure they’ll hold up against wear. Experiment with different needles and settings to get the desired look without sacrificing strength.


Baste the elastic firmly to your fabric for easier stitching; this’ll ensure an even distribution of material when you start sewing. To achieve perfect tension, try using a walking foot or binder attachment. Fit and test frequently as you go along – it’s important that the seam allowance is evenly stretched while being sewn.

Experiment with different presser feet and stitch settings to get just the right fit for your project – this could be essential if there are multiple layers of fabric plus gathering involved! Don’t forget to check seams after each step before continuing on; if necessary, add some extra strength with a four-thread overlock stitch.


To start stitching elastic, use a medium zigzag stitch and stretch the fabric firmly while sewing. To ensure even distribution of the elastic, sew it on a flat surface, paying attention to using wider and thicker pieces for multiple layers or gathers.

Zigzag Stitch

Zigzag stitch your fabric for the best results – it’s easy and gives extra strength to your elastic! Adjust thread tensioning accordingly, depending on the choice of fabric. Before stitching, use a tension guide to ensure the garment fits perfectly and has optimal elastic tension.

Different presser feet may be used with different fabrics; try woolly nylon thread in loopers for chafing or a four-thread overlock stitch for extra strength.

Stretch Firmly

As you stitch, firmly stretch the fabric and elastic to ensure an even distribution – no matter how often you stitch, it won’t be too tight. Stretch testing with needles of various sizes helps make sure your stitching is firm and secure.

Baste a hem along the elastic for easier sewing, then fold the allowance under before topstitching with a twin needle or coverstitch machine. Don’t forget to add a crotch gusset if needed! Tutorials on sewing elastic will help give your garments extra strength while avoiding chafing from woolly nylon thread in loopers.

Flat Surface

Stitch your elastic on a flat surface, stretching it firmly as you go for an even distribution. Choose the right fabric and size of elastic to avoid too much bulk or strain, then adjust stitch tension and secure seam allowance with zigzag stitches.

Ensure the elastic is taut while sewing by controlling its tension on the machine for perfect results. For extra strength, select a wider and thicker version if multiple layers are needed plus gathers; then topstitch in place.

Wider and Thicker Elastic

For stronger seams, use wider and thicker elastic when stitching multiple layers of fabric plus gathers – up to 10 yards! This will provide extra strength for durability and chafing protection. To finish your project, try attaching 1 cm braided elastic to the inside edges then topstitch with a twin needle or cover stitch machine.

Finishing Techniques

Finishing Techniques
To craft a professional-looking garment, the right finishing techniques are essential. Needles, zigzag stitch settings, and presser feet should all be experimented with to achieve the desired outcome; while a four-thread overlock stitch provides extra strength for heavier fabrics, woolly nylon thread can come in handy when dealing with chafing.

Additionally, adding a crotch gusset to your pattern before folding up your hem allowance and topstitching it with either a twin needle or coverstitch will produce an immaculate finished product.


Choose the right needle to maximize your sewing results. Needle type, thread selection, seam allowances, elastic widths and presser feet all play a role in creating garments that last. Thread strength and size affect stitching quality; wrong combinations can lead to weak seams or broken needles.

Elastic width must be considered when selecting stitch length for better stretch control during construction.

Zigzag Stitch Settings

Select thread that matches fabric and elastic type. Adjust tension for stretchy fabrics.

Presser Feet

Try different presser feet to get perfect elastic stitching. Consider walking, roller, Teflon, or even decorative for threads and needles that match the fabric’s needs. Experiment with settings to optimize the seams’ stretchiness and elasticity. To ensure lasting results, use matching thread and needle sizes; fine fabrics need thinner threads than heavier ones.

Four-Thread Overlock Stitch

For an extra strong finish, use a four-thread overlock stitch with your sewing machine – it’s 20% stronger than the standard two-thread version. Threading into loopers and braided elastic for hems gives you the power to create unique pieces.

Twin needle or coverstitch machines complete the look perfectly! The possibilities are infinite as you craft your vision of liberation and mastery.

Woolly Nylon Thread

For the extra strength of your garments, try using woolly nylon thread in loopers for chafing.

  • Thread tension aids elastic tension and stitch length
  • Fabric choice affects needle size and type of thread used
  • Woolly nylon provides a softer cushion to reduce chafing
  • Enhances the longevity of stitching with increased durability

Crotch Gusset

Adding a crotch gusset creates added strength and fit. Adjust the pattern to make side seams longer, fold under seam allowances for a neat finish and attach with a twin needle or coverstitch.

Hem Allowance

Fold the hem allowance under and topstitch with a twin needle or coverstitch machine for professional results. Improving fabric distribution is achieved by stretching seams, while basting technique ensures accuracy.

Twin Needle

Stitch a neat hem with a twin needle for added strength and durability. Adjust thread tension, choose the right needle size, select a fabric type that works best with your elastic width.


For a professional finish to your garments, try using a coverstitch machine – it’s like adding the icing on the cake! With tension control and elastic strength, you’ll be able to create seamless seam finishing.

Different stitch types and machine types ensure there is something for everyone.


Before wearing your garment, be sure to test it multiple times for the best results! Testing is essential for any sewing project to ensure quality and durability. Tug on the fabric or seams after stitching them together to check seam strength and elastic stretching.

Check clothing durability by washing in hot water or tumble drying, if possible without damaging the material. Consider how comfortable the garment is to wear, as this can give people confidence.

Founder Sarai Mitnick

Founder Sarai Mitnick
Sarai Mitnick is the founder of Colette, a business that aims to empower people and help them acquire new skills. She enjoys reading books, embroidering with wool fabrics, cats, gardening, and dancing salsa.

Business Role

Sarai Mitnick believes her primary role as the founder of Colette in 2009 is to help people. She’s dedicated to providing customers with a unique and high-quality experience, ethical sourcing, and making a positive social impact.

On top of that, she tests all garments before they go out into the world to ensure product quality. Sarai also values workplace culture, wanting everyone involved in creating each piece to feel comfortable and inspired.

This results in a garment made from love with attention paid to every detail along its journey from seed-to-stitch. Sarai believes we all have power within us which, when used effectively, can make big changes not only personally but also collectively on our planet.


You can tell Sarai loves sewing with wool, cats, gardening, and salsa by her expertise in tutorials sewing elastic. For example, she’s mastered techniques such as using wider and thicker elastic for multiple layers of fabric plus gathers.

She also recommends experimenting with different needles, zigzag stitch settings, and presser feet for the sewing machine to get a better result.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of elastic should I use for the best results?

For the best results, use wider or thicker elastic when sewing multiple layers of fabric and gathering. Try experimenting with different needles, zigzag stitch settings, and presser feet for your machine.

How do I determine the right length of elastic for my garment?

Measure the fabric or elastic you wish to use. Mark halfway and baste for easier stitching. Stretch firmly while sewing and test before finishing with topstitching, braided elastic, or extra layers of thread.

What techniques can I use to reduce chafing?

Try using a wider, thicker elastic for multiple layers of fabric plus gathers and a four-thread overlock stitch to increase strength. Attach 1 cm braided elastic inside the edges and topstitch with a twin needle or coverstitch for extra protection against chafing.

What is the best way to attach elastic to the edges of a garment?

Attach 1 cm braided elastic to the inside of edges with a twin needle or coverstitch machine. Stitch firmly while stretching the fabric for even distribution, and use a wider elastic for multiple layers and gathers.

What type of sewing machine is best for working with elastic?

For working with elastic, a sewing machine that offers adjustable zigzag stitch settings and presser feet is ideal. Choose one with medium-width zigzag stitches for the best results and experiment to find the perfect combination of needle type, tension, and stretch.


With the help of Sarai Mitnick’s business, Colette, learning to sew elastic has never been easier. From marking, stitching, and finishing, this tutorial has shown you all the steps you need to take for the perfect elastic garment.

So, get your needles and elastic ready and take your sewing to the next level. With a few simple techniques and a little practice, you’ll be ready to create beautiful garments with elastic in no time.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.