Thanks to all for your fantastic comments and response to our latest patterns – the Mandy Boat Tee
and Suzy Pant
. We’re excited to be releasing more in the coming weeks and with every
new pattern, we’d like to share some sewing tips and techniques that are simple, quick
and help give your garment that professional finish.
Since the release of our Laura Pant
, one technique that we’ve been wanting to share is a method that shows you how to sew elastic into tunnel casings be it a waist, sleeve or hemline. This method is used in the fashion industry by machinists and is easier than you might think. This is a much
quicker and neater alternative to the one that most sewing folk use where you sew down the
casing, leaving a small opening, feed your elastic through with a safety
pin, join together the elastic ends and then close the opening at the
As shown in our Suzy Pant Pattern
, the instructions are shown in contrasting thread/fabric colour for clearer images (click on images to enlarge):
Using the elastic measurement guide included in the pattern, measure and cut 12mm (1/2″wide) elastic to fit firmly around waist. Overlap at ends and sew to secure.
To sew 12mm elastic into the casing/tunnel, turn neatened top edge of yoke over towards wrong side of yoke approx 6/8″ (15mm) and press in place to help give you a guide. TIP: for your width elastic you want the tunnel casing to be a bit wider than your elastic width so that your elastic fits easily, but not too tight or too loose.
Place elastic inside tunnel making sure that elastic is flat and has no twisting. Sew on wrong side of pant, at bottom neatened edge of yoke tunnel, making sure not to sew/catch on elastic.
Push elastic away from bottom edge with finger as well as feeding elastic into tunnel with index finger as you sew, always making sure elastic sits flat. Handy Tip: make sure that when you stop sewing at any stage, the needle stops down into garment (or in this case at the edge of casing).
As you sew around bottom edge of tunnel you will need to push gathers away (in stages) from sewing area, so that both tunnel and elastic are always flat as you sew and the gathers aren’t in the way.
Finish sewing bottom edge of tunnel at point where you started. TIP: towards the end it helps to stretch and pull at back and front to keep sewing edge flat when sewing. Backstitch at end. When finished push tunnel casing around to adjust and re-distribute gathers evenly around waist casing.
Sew a few stitches (and back stitch) in the middle of your side seams of the elastic tunnel, catching elastic as well to help stop elastic from twisting in it’s casing when you wear your pants.
For anyone needing a visual on this method, we’ve put together a small video tutorial as well:
Note: When you reach the very end of sewing your casing tunnel in place, you need to pull/stretch your casing at front and back of your sewing machine foot to keep tunnel flat when sewing.
Please leave a comment if you have any questions about this method. We’d love to hear from you.