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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Making shorts or pants - My little tip...

 I know I have some followers and visitors that are new sewers. So I thought I would share a little about inserting elastic in a pair of shorts. I basically use the same method for pants. Some patterns have different instructions as far as construction goes. You just have to find the way that is the easiest and most comfortable for you to use.
  I have used the Britches and Bloomers pattern for Shelby since she was a baby, but she is 3 now so I wanted something that had a little more fit to it.
  I found this shorts pattern from New Look 6473, and I love it. It is not quite so full, but if you want more fullness all you have to do is add an inch or two to the sides.
  I will use pictures to explain what I do after sewing the side seams and the crotch seams.
First, I press about a 1/4" fold around the top of the pants. Ironing is SO important in constructing any garment.
 Then I fold down the band which I made at 1 1/4" because I used 1" elastic. I normally use 1" elastic because it holds up better in the wash. You can see how the elastic will slide into the band.
 Now you will stitch around the band next to the fold. Be sure to leave an opening where you will insert the elastic. You might also like to pin and press all around so you can keep the band straight.
 The next part is what I call "my little trick." Some of you seasoned sewers might do this, but no one actually taught me this. I go to the top of the band and topstitch very close to the edge. This will help to keep the elastic from rolling.
  I use my elastic bodkin to grip, push, and pull the elastic through the band. Don't worry if you don't have one. A good old fashioned safety pin will do the trick too. Be sure to fasten a safety pin to the opposite end of your elastic so it won't pull all the way through the band.
 After pulling the elastic through, I lay one end over the other, and I hand stitch it to hold it in place. This makes it much easier to put under the sewing machine when you stitch both ends together.                          




















 Now don't forget to go back and stitch down the opening where you inserted the elastic.
 That's it! Easy Peasy! Now in the next pic you will notice 2 safety pins. I always pin safety pins to the front of the pants or shorts so I don't get them mixed up. After the elastic is done, I sew a sort of inconspicuous button in the front so the little one will know which side is the front. I borrowed that idea from my friend, Rett, at The Gazebo House.































 Just add some cute shirts, and you have a sweet little summer outfit (or 2). I am lucky enough to have an embroidery machine too. 
  I hope this has helped some of you. Let me say that I cut out and made the shorts in an hour. I love fast and easy projects. Some days my brain just needs a rest!

3 comments:

everythingsewing said...

Thank you for the tips, I have sewn shorts and pants for years and always seem to forget adding the top stitch of the elastic band, It does make a difference.
Nonie

Shelli said...

Hi, Shirley...do you mind sending me your email address? I want to send you your Spring Flowers embroidery files! Thank you!

Rosieq said...

Shirley, Yes, thanks for the tips...I'm like Nonie,completely forgot about adding the top stitch on the band...

I always used the safety pin method, then something compelled me to buy a bodkin, and you should have seen me trying to run the 1 " elastic throught the "eye" of the bodkin. Huh, so that is a clip to hold the elastic. I'll be...looks so much simpler to do it your way, than trying to shove the elastic through far enough so it didn't pull back out! They need to issue instructions with the tools that make life easier for us.