TUTORIAL! Drawcord Elastic

Or drawstring elastic, whatever. This is for putting a drawstring with the cord on the inside of the pants, but you'll see how easy it is to do it for putting the cord to come out on the outside of the pants, (or skirt, or whatever)

** Remember: you can click on any of the pics to see them bigger (close up)

This is what it looks like on knit yoga pants. I really like the way they turn out. I did 9 drawcord elastic waists this December!! They are so easy!

I used Stretchrite Drawcord Elastic. I got this at JoAnn. I've not seen it at either Golden D'or or at CityCraft. It's less than $4 for one (enough for one adult waist) but I buy them during the 50% or B1G1 free sales, to save money. You can also buy it online for a better price, too, if you manage to get free shipping.

Sew a button hole about 1 1/4" down from the unfinished edge of the waist in the FRONT of the garment .***FRONT***
This provides a button hole on the interior of the waist. For one on the outside, you would sew one about a 1/2" down from the unfinished edge of the waist. I suggest pinning and marking where you need/ want your opening to be. My buttonhole is about 1/2" long/wide. I give all of my button holes a good coating of Fray Check as soon as they're sewn, so it's dried by the time I open them.

Fray Check....my BFF. I also put fray check on the ends of my double needled stitches. And on the threads after I've sewn on buttons.

After determining the length of elastic I need (about 80% of the waist measurement), and cutting it, I sew the two ends together with a straight stitch, about an inch or so from the edge. When I'm unsure of the waist measurement, I cut a 29-30 inch length.

Open the seam and pin the seam allowances to their respective sides, so that it's open flat.

sew those down on both sides (left and right, not front and back, tee hee)

It'll look like this!!! NOTE: I'm using a scrap up to this point, which is why it's so small. A normal adult waist size will be much larger.

Here's the back of the package, with the same instructions I just gave you. Please notice the REAL elastic I'm using for an adult waist in the back.

Mark four equal sections on your elastic band. The first one is your seam, then directly across from it, then left and right of it. I prefer Sharpie for all marking purposes but use an implement of your choice.

Pin the elastic to the pants, using your markings. The elastic seam should be in the BACK of the pants, which is directly opposite of the button hole. The rest of the marks match up with the side seams and the front seam.

I use the overcast foot and stitch on my machine to sew on the elastic, but you can also use a zigzag or stretch-stitch, too!.

Pull the elastic gently as you sew, to stretch it to fit the space you've pinned it to.

The elastic overcast to the edge of the waist.

Here's the fun part!!! Starting with either the front or back seams, fold the elastic down once,

And then again, totally encompassing the elastic in the folded fabric. Adjust it so it's relatively close fitting to the elastic, then pin. Do the the opposite seam, then around the sides.

Here's my favorite trick!! Use your blind hem foot!!! This is what my Janome blind hem foot looks like, but you can also use an edge seam foot, or something similar. The trick is to have that ridge to run right next to the edge of your sewing surface.

In our case, the edge is the folded edge of the elastic casing we just made. Sew as close to the edge as possible. This CAN BE DONE with a regular presser foot, this is just easier for me.

Finished seams!!

By now your Fray Check should be dry, so open your button hole with your button hole opener! (aka, seam ripper....so negative....tee hee)

***BE SUPER CAREFUL not to rip your elastic!!!!***

Use some sort of hooked thing to pull the drawstring from it's elastic casing through the button hole. I like the little hooked edge of my machine brush, but a crochet hook or something else would work. Try what ever you have handy.

I put one cord stopper on these, and I don't cut the cord. I just put a knot in it.

Pull the cord through the stopper with your hooked thing.

tie a knot!! and you're finished!!!

Drawstring pants!!!

ETA: 12/31/2010 I'm cited as a reference on this eHow article! FAMOUS!!
Thanks, Kathryn Hatter, for the mention.


Goosegirl said...

Jacki, this is great! I had never heard of drawcord elastic before. I have always made my own and it is not nearly as cool as that. I will look for some. Thanks for the great tute!

Holly said...

Thank you for this post! I bought some of this stuff today, but it was yardage and didn't come with instructions. Thanks for taking out the guesswork!

Nice pants. ;-)

Jane Holbrook said...

Hi Jacki, Thank you for this helpful tutorial. I think the buttonhole measurements are backwards. ? Anyway, I have some old cored elastic and used it with your help, for jammie shorts.. I wish the elastic were newer, but the whole thing looks great. Happy Sewing.


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