How to Sew Elastic Directly to Fabric: 2 Ways & Step by Step

How many times have you thought about sewing elastic into your garment? Ready-made dresses are having elastic in them. But that’s not. Sewing elastic into fabric has lots of uses. Once you know how to sew elastic directly to fabric, you will explore & apply it on many cloth designing & customizing.

How to Sew Elastic Directly to Fabric
How to Sew Elastic Directly to Fabric

So, let’s look forward to knowing the very useful DIYs that will help you out.

What You Often See?

You often witness elastic in the waistbands, on the top of dresses, cuffs on a shirt, or other garments for making its snug fit. Anyway, please don’t mistake it as same as regular sewing. Here you have to measure the stretchiness of the elastic.

There are two ways to attach elastic into a fabric. You can either directly sew the elastic with the material or insert the elastic through the pre-made casing. You can make the case all by yourself.

Which One to Choose?

That depends on your requirement. If you aim for gathered fabric, usually used for designing a cloth, go for the first method. Or else, choose the inserting technique if you want the material surrounding the elastic to stay flat.

Also Read: How to Replace Awning Fabric on Electric Awning

How to Sew Elastic Directly to Fabric: Two Ways & Step by Step

Method 01: Setting The Elastic with The Garment


Step One: Measuring & Cutting The Required Elastic

At first, we will be doing the measuring & cutting. The measurement according to which you will be cutting the elastic is the measurement of the person’s body where the band will wrap around. If you aim to set the elastic on the person’s wrist, neck, upper arms, waist, chest, or any other area, measure that part using a measuring tape.

For example, you will sew the elastic for the waistband, measure the waist of that person. This way, you will know how much elastic is going to work for you.

Now, what if you want the band to fit snugly? , deduct some length from the previously taken measurement. The assumption is cut 2 to 4 inches or 5.1 to 10 cm less from the previous one.

Step Two: Connecting and Sewing The Ends of The Elastic.

Now we are going to sew the elastic ends together. Overlap the elastic ends by 0.64cm or 0.25inches to 1.3 cm or 0.5 inches. Now sew the ends 2 to 3 times by setting the zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. In this way, the elasticity won’t be able to detach the ends.

If you want to avoid overlapping the elastic edges due to bulging, there you have another method. Use a scrap piece of cloth and line up the edges over it. Now, sew the advantages along with the fabric using the same zigzag stitch for thrice.

Step Three: Pinning The Elastic to The Target Fabric

Here, we will pin up the elastic with the main fabric & the pins will be placed on four spots having even space between them.

The edge you just sewed is now seam. Start pinning the seam with your fabric’s seam. In case of not having any seam, make any point your first pinning point. Next, you pin the other side of the material with the elastic and repeat the step for your elastic band with two opposing sides. Doing this will divide the cloth along with the band into four even sections.

Place your elastic’s edge 0.64cm or 0.25inches lower than the fabric’s edge. In this way, you will hide the elastic from the outer side.

Step Four: Sewing The elastic to The Inside of The Cloth

Now, sew the band with your fabric in the order you have pinned it. Start sewing from the top of the band’s edge with the zigzag stitch. To make the elastic’s length the same as the fabric, keep stretching the elastic while sewing. Sew all the surroundings of the elastic and come back after you have seen it all. Overlap the starting point slightly to make the stitch stronger.

Step Five: Folding The Fabric Over The Elastic

Remember the fabric’s edge you left? It’s time to fold it around the elastic for covering. Do the folding of the fabric over the elastic to the inward direction and sew it. While sewing, make both the flexible and the fabric flat and even all the way. This way, the elastic will be covered by the fabric.

Step Six: Sewing The Bottom Edges of The Folded Cloth

Now that you fold the leftover fabric edge over the band, it’s time to sew it with your machine’s zigzag stitch. Stitch along the bottom edge of the fabric, and don’t mistake sewing in the middle. While stitching, make sure both the elastic and the cloth is flat and even. You need to ensure that the stitching is secured enough, and for that, overlap the sewing by 1inch or 2.5cm.

Read Also: How to Cover Fluorescent Lights with Fabric

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Method 02: Creating a Casing for Sewing Elastic


  • Elastic
  • Thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine

Read Next: How to make homemade fabric stiffeners

Step One: Measuring The Elastic’s Width

You will need the width of the band to make the case. The case has to be a bit wider than the band. Then add 1.3cm or 0.5inch to whatever the measurement of the band is. If the bar is 0.5inch wide, your final size will be 1inch after adding the additional 0.5inch.

Step Two: Folding The Exact Length of Fabric

Using the measurement you just took, fold the fabric towards the inward direction. It will make the additional edge of the material hidden. You will fold the fabric around the cuff evenly. Pin the cloth to keep that in place till you sew.

So, in summary, fold 1inch cloth inward if you need 1inch to create the case.

Step Three: Marking an Opening for Inserting The Elastic Into The Cloth

In the prepared case, there needs to be an opening for inserting the elastic band. After you insert the bar and connect the end, you will be sewing the opening. Till you sew, mark the beginning with a pin or chalk.

Make the opening wide enough for sliding the band easily. For an elastic of 1.3cm, make an opening of 1.9cm or 2.5cm.

Step Four: Sewing The Edge of The Cloth

As you have secured your folded fabric, it’s time to sew at the fabric’s edge. Give a straight stitch instead of the zigzag of your machine. Place the stitch about 0.25inch from the cloth’s edge. In this way, the elastic will be secured enough, along with having plenty of space to move.

Don’t sew the opening.

Step Five: Preparing The Elastic

After you fi with the casing, let’s insert the band. But what’s the length of the band should be? Like the above step, take the size of the person’s body to wrap it.

For a snug fit, deduct some length like 0.5inch from the measurement.

Step Six: Attaching a Safety Pin at The Fabric’s End

Attach a pin at one end of the band. After you do that, insert the hook from one end and take it all the way around. Keep the nail in the mid of the fabric so that it doesn’t get stick to the edge.

Step Seven: Inserting The Pin Along with The Band

This step is as simple as the title. Close your pin and insert it through the opening. Take the pin all way round the waist area and take it out of the fabric.

Step Eight: Stretch & Pull The Cloth for The Elastic to Go on

Stretch the cloth back and forth for the band to go on. Make sure that the pin doesn’t get opened.

Step Nine: Securing The Other End

While you are inserting one end, hold the other end and secure it outside. Don’t let it enter as well. In case it’s difficult for you to keep on the other end, take a pin to attach it to the fabric.

Step Ten: Sewing The Ends

When you finish inserting the full band, take the end out of the cloth. Match the ends after removing the safety pin and sew it up. For sewing, overlap the band’s ends by 0.25 inches or 0.64cm to 0.5inch or 1.3cm and give the zigzag cross over the elastic.

Step Eleven: Closing The Openings

Now, we are going to close the openings by sewing. Before that, tug on the band to make sure the casing covers all the crew.

Final Words:

Now you know how to sew elastic directly to the fabric and can customize it whenever wherever you want. Be careful while using pins and machines. Explore the craftsmanship more than you have thought.

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