Nancy Zieman's Sewing A to Z



Okay, the above picture doesn’t look like much. That’s the point! It’s the easiest way to sew elastic to a waistline without the telltale topstitching of an elastic waistline.

Over the years, I’ve tweaked and personalized sewing techniques.  My favorites are collated in my book, The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew. Now I’ll share a bonus technique for the letter “E” for inserting Elastic in a waistline. I believe you’ll find this technique to be the absolute easiest way to sew elastic to a waistline.

Prepare the elastic.

  • Cut the elastic 2″–4″ smaller than your waistline measurement, depending on what you feel is comfortable. (If your waist is quite a bit smaller than your hips, pin the elastic together without trimming off the excess.)
  • Try on the elastic, pulling it up over your hips. If the elastic is too tight to slide comfortably over your hips, readjust the elastic before sewing it together.
  • Zigzag the elastic ends to woven fabric without overlapping the ends. (This tip eliminates the bulk that occurs when elastic is connected by overlapping its ends.)  Zigzag several times.

Nancy Zieman's Sewing A to Z




Nancy Zieman's Sewing A to Z



  • Trim away the excess woven fabric.
  • Quarter mark the elastic. Fold it in half and then in half again, placing a pin at each quarter.
  • Also quarter mark the waistline.


Nancy Zieman's Sewing A to Z



Attach the elastic.

  • Pin the elastic to the garment at each quarter point, meeting the elastic to the wrong side of the garment. 
    Nancy Zieman's Sewing A to Z



  • Serge or zigzag the elastic to the cut edge of the waistband, stretching the elastic to fit. (This is what real sewing looks like, sometimes it’s not perfect.)
    Nancy Zieman's Sewing A to Z




Nancy Zieman's Sewing A to Z



  • Fold under the elastic for a casing. Check to be sure the fabric is securely wrapped around the elastic.


Nancy Zieman's Sewing A to Z



  • Stitch through the elastic and garment at each seam. This holds the casing and elastic in position. Don’t stitch the elastic to the waistline along the lower edge. This is enough stitching!


Nancy Zieman's Sewing A to Z




Nancy Zieman's Sewing A to Z



When wearing the skirt or pants, that telltale elastic stitching is gone. The sewing is about as easy as it gets! How about that!


Nancy Zieman's Sewing A to Z



All my favorite sewing tips are in one book.

  • The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew chapters include:

    • Sewing Notions
    • Sewing Machine Confidence
    • Serger Spotlight
    • Patterns
    • Fabric Facts
    • Sewing Basics
    • Beyond the Basics


The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew by Sewing With Nancy Zieman



Watch The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew (Part One) on Sewing With Nancy online.

To watch Sewing With Nancy on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, download the app.

I hope you’ll give my elastic sewing tip a try!

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

Nancy Zieman—author, pattern designer, businesswomen, producer, and national sewing authority—is the host of the popular show Sewing With Nancy®, which appears exclusively on public television stations across the United States and Canada. Follow Nancy’s Blog at NancyZieman.com/Blog and sign up to receive Nancy’s E-News for the latest news in Sewing, Quilting, & Creating.

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