This week I learned another method to sew a waistband. I am a loyal fan of Nancy Zieman, and I follow her blog. I received a timely blog post from her site. The title of the post was “The absolute easiest way to sew elastic to a waistline”. I was about to start sewing fleece pants for the family, so this was the perfect time to try something new. The steps are very clear and the pictures are excellent so you should try this method. I decided to try my serger instead of my old sewing machine. I captured a video of me doing this new method on my Lulu’s Atelier video journal (vlog). I was really excited to see how easy and how neat the waist looked. I loved it! And I now use my serger to sew elastics on fabric without fear.
Steps to Serge an elastic waistband -no casing required:
Step 1: If your pattern does not have a fold-over waistband, make sure to add 1 and 1/2 to two inches at the waist line of the pants to be able to fold over the the elastic and waistband together.
Step 2: Measure your waist and wrap an elastic around it and add 2 1/2″ at least for wiggle room.
Step 3: Sew the ends of the elastic overlapping about 1/4 of an inch. Use a zig zag stitch.
Step 4: Mark the the side seams of the pants and the side side seams of of the elastic. I used the front and back seam to align it with the elastic overlapping edge. You don’t have to do this if you think is complicated. It worked for me as a visual starting point.
Step 5: Test samples of fabric you will be working with your serger and save it on your sample workbook. This will save you time for future projects when you are trying to figure out tensions for best stitches.
My Brother 1034D serger worked with the following setup:
- Tensions:Upper Looper/Lower Looper Right /Left needles:Default settings 4,4,4,4
- Differential feed: 1.0
- Stitch Length: 3
- Stitch Width/Cutting Width: 5.5
Step 6: Serge the elastic flush with the edge of the fleece fabric. Notice here that the elastic is placed on wrong side of fabric. While you serge, gently stretch the elastic to align with the pants waist.
This is what you should see:
Step 7: Now fold over the elastic with fabric towards the wrong side of the pants. This is what you should have:
Step 8: Now you have to finish this serged edge to secure it to the pants with your sewing machine or maybe a coverstitch if you have one.
Setup your sewing machine for finishing touch:
I am sewing the folded edge of the waistband with my Singer 401. To switch from straight stitch to zig zag, I have to move one knob to “B” and the other
knob to”L”. The combination “BL” gives a classic zig zag stitch perfect for stretchy fabrics. This is what my pajama pants waistband looks like. I like the finish and is a lot simpler, and faster, in my opinion, than trying to feed the elastic through the waistband tunnel with a bodkin or a safety pin.
The final look: Very smooth waistband and professional looking.
So I hope you find this helpful if you want to use your serger.