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In this installment of the sewalong we are tackling the elastic on the bottoms. The most important thing to remember when using swimwear elastic is to not stretch it. It is to be put in under tension (by very gently pulling it) but not stretched. If you’ve pulled so hard that the width of the elastic has decreased then you’ve pulled too hard.
Start by pinning your lining in position. Here on the front you can see the lining is cut without the seam allowances. I’ve done the back differently so you can see 2 ways of attaching the lining/elastic.
I’m using my overlocker to attach the elastic. Line up your elastic underneath the foot but not right on the edge of the garment. It’s actually easier to cut off a slither of the fabric while attaching the elastic. If you line the elastic right to the edge it is way too easy to cut into the elastic and that way causes dramas.
I always attach my elastic in the flat and once I get back to the start point I just lap the elastic over and run the overlocker off the edge. It’s by far the easiest and flatest way to do it. Flat is good as elastic joins tend to poke in and get uncomfortable.
The instructions had you cut your lining slightly smaller than the outer garment. This means the elastic sits only on the outer fabric and not on the lining.
Personally I find this method slightly more difficult as you have to make sure the lining tucks in when you do the topstitching.
An alternative is to cut the lining the same size as the outer fabric and catch it as you add the elastic in. I find this easier to sew and it stays in place no matter how active a swimmer you are as it’s anchored evenly across the entire pant. This is the back where the lining was cut the same size as the outer.
Once you’ve attached your elastic it’s time to fold it down in preparation for topstitching. Lycra plus clear elastic often makes for it difficult to pin through. You could use quilting clips to hold it in place or even just clothesline pegs.
For topstitching you can use a twin needle, a zig zag or a 3 step zig zag. I’m going with my 3 step zig zag as I like the way it looks. When you are topstitching you don’t have to pull or stretch the fabric, you do have to ensure you keep a straight edge. Where the elastic is tucked under it tends to like to roll, if you let it you end up with a ropey looking edge and get puckers. Make that edge nice and smooth as you topstitch and it will look beautiful and professional.
After topstitching I’ve gone back and checked my lining to ensure it is flat and even. On the back where the lining was cut the same size as the outer. It sits flat.
On the front where the lining was cut smaller it looks ok but there are a few places where the lining hasn’t been caught into the topstitching. You can see it on the left hand side of the crotch and the upper left hand side of the waist.
Here is the finished pant.
If you have any questions about the elastic application just ask in the comments, next time we will be moving onto the top.
Still need your pattern? Named have set up a 20% discount code on PDF and printed patterns of the Beverly Twisted Bikini that can be redeemed until the 10th of February. Just use the code sewbeverlybikini at the checkout.
Stitch56 are also offering 20% off the paper pattern with the code BIKINI
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