Often we are asked “How do you use this new Tech Elastic?”. The solid strip kind that goes into swimsuits and activewear? It’s really not hard at all…..once you know our little secrets!
Of course you will need some Haute Knits Tech Elastic. This elastic is specially made to hold up to active and swim wear, just like you see in top brands in RTW. This is NOT the rubber elastic of old! Latex free makes it perfect for most all applications. See our special try-it offer at the end of this post!
Then, grab some of these Clover Mini Clips. We use these all the time when we are sewing spandex and active fabrics, instead of (dreaded) pins. The new style has a pointed tip, but the original are just as great. You can never have too many of them! These little guys are super strong and hold our elastic right where we want it before we sew it in.
Actually I should say SERGE it on!! Yes, we are sewing stretch to stretch–so we need stitching that will S-T-R-E-T-C-H with both the fabric and the elastic. So thread up your serger for a 3-thread narrow overlock stitch (right needle) with a length of 2.5-3 and width of 6. We typically use cone thread in all areas, but if we need super strength by all means use a Woolly Nylon thread in the loopers. And we find it helpful to use a stretch needle in our machine to prevent skipped stitches. Check your handbook for specifics for your serger.
So let’s get started:
1) Cut a piece of elastic 2″ longer (1″ on each end) than area to be applied to. Follow the instructions on your pattern or kit for correct length for stretch ratio. Mark the elastic with a pencil–it’s ok. These marks will not show thru.
2) Clip the elastic to the edge of the fabric to be applied, using a few of the mini clips to hold securely in place. Place elastic so you have a 1″ tail at both ends of the fabric. Space the clips a few inches apart. Notice in this pic that the elastic is placed about 1/8″ from the raw edge. You should see just a bit of fabric peeking out under the elastic.
3) Place the tail of the elastic under the serger presser foot, with the tail behind the foot and the needle positioned to bite into the fabric and elastic. The tail acts as an anchor of sorts for you to hold onto and get the fabric piece moving. Start serging, trimming off the scant 1/8″ of the fabric edge as you serge or apply the elastic to the fabric edge. Take care not to nick the elastic, but if you do just a tad it won’t hurt. Remove clips as you serge, taking care for proper elastic placement (in other words use the clips like pins. Don’t remove until the presser foot is up to the clip). Stretch the elastic as needed to fit the fabric, but don’t overstretch. You should not be stretching both the fabric and elastic, just the elastic to fit the fabric.
That’s all there is to it! The Haute Knits Tech Elastic is synthetic rather than natural rubber. So it glides smoothly under the presser foot without the added talc (what a mess!) that is needed for rubber elastic. And this elastic does not break down and get crunchy like old rubber elastic does.
Try it. It really is a breeze to apply once you get going. And here’s a special offer from yours truly to inspire you to try it out. Just click on the sign below and we will send you a Sample piece of our Haute Knits Tech Elastic for you to try out for yourself! We really think once you try it you will LOVE this stuff! It’s key to making pro quality active and swimwear (not to mention perfect for baby diapers, bedsheets, home decor, kids clothes…I could go on!)
And if you want to learn how to make your own activewear, check out our new ecourse at DIYStyle Studio. We show you just how easy it is, and even have pre-cut kits so you can do more of what you love….Create!!
Allyce & Cindy
Creative Chicks :: Sewing In Paradise!