Oliver + S

Favorite tips for threading elastic?

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    cybele727 @cybele727

    In reading the “ever had one of those days” post someone mentioned elastic.

    Anyone have any tips for elastic threading?

    My two problems are always twisting and getting stuck at seams.

    For seams I try to press closed in the same direction so when I thread the elastic it goes in the same direction as the elastic.

    But twisting? Any tips?

    Also any other tips for common problems?

    Tamara @justsewit

    Yes I think it is a common thing to have issues at the seams, well I know it can be challenging sometimes to get it to go through the proper hole. I just manipulated the seam a bit to try and make it into a tube shape and if the fabric is light enough you can gauge from there which way to take your elastic through.

    For the twisting, my common issue is at the end when I go to meet the two ends together, I tend to accidentally twit it sometimes then. But when I thread elastic I make sure my elastic isn’t curling up as I take it through the casing and I keep my fingers close to the safety pin and gently push it through the ruched fabric. It also depends on the elastic – I use woven elastic that holds its stretch really well but I have other elastics in my collection that are so stretchy they curl and twist easily. I try to avoid using them as much as possible in casings.

    Robin @Robin

    ARGH! I have a heck of a time with twisting elastic. I’ve been known to sew waistband elastic 4 times in a row trying to get it right. It does help to sew down the seam allowances where the elastic will be passing through. I’m going to try your trick.

    with love Heidi @with love Heidi

    I think Liesl mentions that for skirt/shorts elastic a second row of stitching on the top of the casing can help keep the elastic from twisting. I have been thnking of putting my elastic in a circle and marking which pieces are the same side so I know they both need to face up when I ssew then together!

    Nicole @motherof5

    I like to round the threading edge of the elastic and I always pin the tail to my garment so it won’t pull through.

    I only use non curl elastic,the other stuff drives me batty.

    I buy it bulk from an eBay seller.

    Lightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch

    The safety pin method drives me bonkers asn the safety pin always seems to open when you get to the seam.

    I finally bought a bodkin. Great, but with elastic wide rthan 1/4″ I have to sew the elastic to the bodkin loop and remember to use really strong thread or it breaks.

    My favourite way, especially with a shorter section such as the back only patterns is using a pair of extra long Allis Forceps: http://www.flickr.com/photos/87841725@N02/8040533277/

    Obviously not everyone has those, but they’re handy if you do!

    i started using buttonhole elastic recently and thought that was clever, but it folds really badly, so now I’m back to the non roll stuff.

    with love Heidi @with love Heidi

    Have you tried using one of thoes old fashion nappy pins? The ones that lock shut so the baby can’t open them. Mum had a couple in the sewing draw looong after we were out of nappies and I don’t think the elastic ever got out.

    LucyM @LucyM

    Consider using Dritz elastic threaders http://www.dritz.com/brands/showcase/details.php?ITEM_NUM=9300 . They are flat and come in three standard widths (1/8, 1/2, 3/4 inch). They work well. If possible, use only non-roll elastic.

    Sarvi @Sarvi

    Nicole’s tip helped me a lot, and then I got one of those plastic threaders. Super cheap but just such a nifty tool. I do wish the eye was shaped a bit differently, more like the little clasp you see on tube turners.

    aprilshowers @aprilshowers

    I always draw a line down the middle of the length of the elastic so that when I connect them I know which sides should match. Now, this doesn’t help if I accidentally put in a full twist but you can usually tell if that has happened. I too attach with a safety pin to prevent pulling it through. And I ordered some of those elastic threaders last week and have been eagerly awaiting their arrival!

    theknittinganxiety @theknittinganxiety

    I don’t know if I am doing something wrong but I never had problems with elastic! I use a safety pin to thread the elastic and I always sew a line below and above the elastic! I read that in an O+S pattern, I don’t know if it was in the puppet show shorts or in the after school pants, I think it was in one of this because it was a pattern that uses elastic in the waist band, so I started doing that always.

    I need to say that I don’t sew for a long time so my expirience is limited.


    bren5kids @bren5kids

    Rita, I’m with you 🙂 I don’t really have any tips to give because I’ve never had a problem with elastic, just hook a safety pin on the end and thread ‘er through. I do like Nicole’s tip to pin the end to the fabric first so you don’t accidentally pull it thru, I do that every once in awhile.

    cybele727 @cybele727

    I always safety pin one end and thread with a safety pin at the other end. I had the plastic threaders but one bent and broke in the middle of an elastic channel once. I have been thinking about drawing a line or mark so I know the twisting didn’t occur. But I wish I could prevent the twisting.

    I totally can see that button hole elastic folding.

    As to sewing a line above and or below what do you mean? And how does that prevent twisting in the insertion?

    Anyone have photos they want to share?


    meleliza @meleliza

    I don’t think there’s any real magic trick out there. I think it’s just one of those annoying things to do. Sometimes safety pins work, sometimes they open up or yu don’t have the right size. The bodkin is useful until it lets go and you have to start all over again. I have also used thread and a tapestry needle – the knitting kind – for small channels.

    One thing that did help a lot was to change tow ball point needle to sew the ends of the elastic together. My machine does not like elastic, but this makes it all worth while. I usually pin the ends together first to check they’re not twisted and to check the size.

    Practice makes it a little less frustrating, like anything else. Next time, I will try Nicole’s tip of rounding the edges. That makes a lot of sense.

    Emily @Emily

    Depending on the pattern, I have actually stretched out the elastic once it is in the casing so that there are no gathers in the fabric and run a line of stitching down the middle, through the elastic. No twisting, ever, because it is permanently fixed in place.

    I’ve also been trying this “Lastin” elastic: http://www.diapersewingsupplies.com/products/Lastin-Clear-Elastic-3%7B47%7D8-Inch.html

    which doesn’t seem to twist as much as normal elastic, and it’s quite thin and easy to sew with. I bought it at my local fabric store, but it seems to be available a few places online as well.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)

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