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How is an Elastic waistband sewed with a serger? <>/body>

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Comment by Patricia McClain Osborne on May 15, 2010 at 8:13pm
Instructions on how to attach elasting using a serger.

Elastic
Application of elastic is easy with a serger. It allows for close duplication of ready-to-wear garments, especially lingerie and swimwear.

Three basic methods for applying elastic are two- thread application, three-thread application, and concealed application.



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Two-Thread Application (Flatlocking)
This method requires a serger that can do a two-thread or three-thread flatlock stitch.

With right sides together, place elastic next to the edge of the fabric. Serge from elastic side, stretching the elastic to fit the fabric. Be careful not to cut the elastic. On most machines, the knife can be moved out of the way to avoid cutting by mistake. Once the elastic has been serged, gently pull the elastic and fabric flat (this causes the seam to lay flat). There will be a ladder-like stitch on the right side.


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Three-Thread Application
This application is more durable than flatlocking but is slightly bulkier. Adjust stitch length so stitches are not too close together. Place the elastic on top of the fabric (right sides together), serge the edges together, stretching the elastic while stitching. Be careful not to cut the elastic with the knives. Turn the elastic up; push seam allowance toward the garment.



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Concealed Application
This method for applying elastic is especially suited for swimwear and for those who do not like the feel of elastic against their skin.

Turn back the casing to desired width. Fold the casing back against the right side of the garment, creating a soft fold about one-fourth inch from the top edge of the casing on the wrong side of the garment. Place the elastic inside the casing.

Lower the presser foot and stitch so that the overlock stitches fall on the soft fold, making sure not to catch the edge of the elastic at the same time. Be careful not to cut the soft fold.


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Comment by Cheryl on May 15, 2010 at 7:39pm
I've never done one with a serger but if I wanted to do one, I would approach the task in this manner. I would fold the waistband casing (into which the elastic will ultimately be inserted) in half so that the right sides were showing. I would press it so it had a crease at the fold. Then I would decide where I wanted to have an opening for inserting the elastic (at center back or at one of the side seams, probably). I'd mark the length of the opening -- probably a distance of 1.5 inches -- and cut through the seam allowance of the INSIDE portion of the wasitband up to the seam line so I could fold that 1.5 inch portion of the seam allowance under and press it firmly into position. With the whole waistband now ready for application, I would pin the band to the right side of the garment (so I could see the turned under portion when I got to it. Then I would serge the whole seam making certain that I didn't catch any part of the turned under area. With the band attached to the garment, I would thread the elastic through it using the opening and stitch the elastic to itself to "close the ring" inside the casing. Once the "ring" was complete, I'd hand stitch the opening closed where it aligned with the serged seam, allowing the serged seam to fold down and the waistband to stand up toward the shoulders of the person wearing the garment. To ensure that the elastic stayed "flat" inside the casing, I'd probably run a straight stitch through it in the "ditch" of the side seams (or in allignment with them if the band wasn't seamed at those poins) after distributing the fullness (if any) of the garment nicely between the front and back.

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