Serging Elastic into a waistband

This is a technique you can use to add elastic into any seam.  Most commonly you’ll see this in waistbands and leg holes in leotards or swimsuits.

Sew your pattern just as directed by the pattern company.  Cut your elastic band to size.  Using a Zig Zag stitch on the longest stitch length sew across the over lapped ends of the elastic.  Be sure to back stitch!

elastic-wb1 elastic-wb2 elastic-wb3 elastic-wb4

Now that you have your elastic sewn into a circle, you will need to grab some pins and quarter it.  Do the same to the PJ pants or where ever you are putting the elastic.


Once you have them quartered, match up the pins.  Your fabric will have more slack than your elastic.


When you place your fabric and elastic on your serger, you will want your elastic on top.  You are going to sew just a few stitches into both layers of elastic and fabric to secure it in place.


Now, pull the elastic just enough to match the fabric length.  You are doing this in quarters, so make sure you remover your pins before serging through the next area.
The blue line is my elastic, black is my fabric.


Here is your serged elastic waistband.


Now, all you need to do is fold it over and topstich it with a twin needle or cover stitch.


And done!  Simple professional finish.

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  1. A happy, healthy 1st birthday in deed. Serving wonderful food such as this will help ensure he gets to enjoy many many more! Everything looks delightful, especially the yummy fruit filled tarts. Laura obviously put a lot of time, effort and love into her son's event. It paid off big time and it shows. Great job mom!

  2. I am using your technique to serge elastic to the 250 shorts my sewing group is sewing to send to and orphanage in Uganda, but I am having a problem serging over the seamed part of the elastic where it is thicker. How does you serger act when you serge over the thick seamed part of the elastic? The left needle in my serger does not sew … it doesn’t break… just skips the stitches where the elastic is seamed together and then joins in again when it isn’t so thick and serges perfectly. Any suggestions would be appreciated and very soon please.

    • Instead of overlapping the elastic to connect the two ends, try bringing the ends together so they barely touch and zig-zag over them to connect. This will remove the bulky seam you’re having issues with.

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