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Thread: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??




  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer MellyBelly's Avatar
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    how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    ok I know this is such a silly question to most people, but I am very challenged when I comes to sewing/altering costumes. I'm just wondering what the right way is to measure how much elastic you need to tighten the upper hip part of a skirt and how to sew it in properly.

    for example, last time I tried this I measured tightly around my hips with the elastic, cut and sewed it in around the waist band... it did nothing!!! I don't know what I did wrong?? :(

    the costume I need to do this to now only needs to come in about 3 inches (just so it sits tight and won't slip down), so I don't know if I even need to go all the way around or just add a small strip of elastic.... So if anyone can help me with this I would really appreciate it!

    I'm sorry, I know its a dumb question!! Thanks in advance :)
    Melissa Gamal - Arabesque, Toronto Canada


  2. #2
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. SaNoorah's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    Sorry I can't help, but would LOVE to know the answer, thanks for posting.
    * Sa'Noorah * Petite Dancer at 4'10" / Facebook /Facebook Fan Page/ Website


  3. #3
    Master BHUZzer amarasdance's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    Have thought about posting this very question- thanks for posting it!

    My general method is:

    1) Drive to my seamstress

    2) Have her do it

    3) Pay her

    I'd love to be able to do it myself- my sewing skills are minimal, but I can fix minor things, sew hooks, bra lining, things like that. I hand-sewed my son a pillow with a pocket for him to put his tooth for the tooth fairy!
    SaNoorah likes this.


  4. #4
    Advanced BHUZzer MellyBelly's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    Quote Originally Posted by amarasdance View Post
    Have thought about posting this very question- thanks for posting it!

    My general method is:

    1) Drive to my seamstress

    2) Have her do it

    3) Pay her

    I'd love to be able to do it myself- my sewing skills are minimal, but I can fix minor things, sew hooks, bra lining, things like that. I hand-sewed my son a pillow with a pocket for him to put his tooth for the tooth fairy!
    LOL!!! I know, thats my usual go-to (or my mom, haha!). But I'd love to be able to do it myself so I can just get it done when needed

    there has to be someone here that knows...
    Melissa Gamal - Arabesque, Toronto Canada


  5. #5
    Official BHUZzer shushanna's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    To determine the right tightness, put the elastic around your lower hips (the largest part), and using both hands pull the elastic till it can't get tighter. Use one end of the elastic to mark with a pen or a straight pin where it lays on the other end of the elastic. This is the maximum tightness you can do while still being able to get the skirt on and off. The minimum tightness would be if the un-stretched elastic is the same length as the circumference of your upper hips. Mid way between these two lengths is probably your ideal tightness.

    To attach it, follow these instructions. Shushanna Designs: Elastic Waist Bands


  6. #6
    Official BHUZzer shushanna's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    Also, you can always close your elastic with safety pins instead of sewing it shut, so that you can tighten it more later.


  7. #7
    Advanced BHUZzer MellyBelly's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    Quote Originally Posted by shushanna View Post
    Also, you can always close your elastic with safety pins instead of sewing it shut, so that you can tighten it more later.
    Yay! all of your sewing articles are awesome!!! thank you soooo so much! I'll try it tomorrow and let you know how it went ;)
    shushanna likes this.
    Melissa Gamal - Arabesque, Toronto Canada


  8. #8
    I could get used to this! jellytree's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    Hi! I have a skirt that is too loose and want to add 6" of elastic to the back. Shushanna's website is AMAZING but I'm not good with only words at all. Do I stretch the elastic (don't stretch the fabric) and sew it to the back? Or do I stretch the fabric (not stretching the elastic) and sew it?

    Are their any pictures or videos? I learn best by those... Thank you!!


  9. #9
    Ultimate BHUZzer zorba's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    Sushanna, where have you been all my life? These articles are fantastic! I've bookmarked them, and will also add a link to my links page!
    shushanna likes this.
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    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    Quote Originally Posted by jellytree View Post
    Hi! I have a skirt that is too loose and want to add 6" of elastic to the back. Shushanna's website is AMAZING but I'm not good with only words at all. Do I stretch the elastic (don't stretch the fabric) and sew it to the back? Or do I stretch the fabric (not stretching the elastic) and sew it?

    Are their any pictures or videos? I learn best by those... Thank you!!
    I'm not an expert by any means, but when I have added elastic to the back of a skirt, I have stretched the elastic, sewing it into a thread casing. The top of the skirt is going to look a little puckered when you are done, because you are tightening it. When you put it on it should smooth out and fit properly.

    One thing about sewing is you have to be willing to try things more than once, tear out stitches if necessary or re-cut and re-measure your elastic. So allow plenty of time to do this before you want to wear the costume. Good luck!
    Kalirah and Lara L like this.
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  11. #11
    Just Starting! LsK80st's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    From learning a lot, thank you



  12. #12
    I could get used to this! jellytree's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    Quote Originally Posted by dunyah View Post
    I'm not an expert by any means, but when I have added elastic to the back of a skirt, I have stretched the elastic, sewing it into a thread casing. The top of the skirt is going to look a little puckered when you are done, because you are tightening it. When you put it on it should smooth out and fit properly.

    One thing about sewing is you have to be willing to try things more than once, tear out stitches if necessary or re-cut and re-measure your elastic. So allow plenty of time to do this before you want to wear the costume. Good luck!
    Thanks for the comment! I definitely know about the ins and outs of sewing (I`ve ripped out so many seams, I wish I had a penny for each time!), I`ve just never had to attach elastic to a skirt that was pre-made before. I just figured out a way to do it! Thanks for all the help!


  13. #13
    Just Starting! Briolette's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    I'm doing this exact thing to a cabaret costume right now! Here's my method:

    1) I bought some 3/4 inch wide elastic (wider elastic feels more comfortable and cuts in less) and heavy thread in the costume color.

    2) Since I am not a natural at sewing, I used a Sharpie pen to make two parallel rows of tiny dots along the inside of the waistband where I want the elastic to go -- one row of dots is about 3/4 inch below the other row, and the dots are not one-above-the other, they are offset (zigzag). Now I can just connect the dots to create a tunnel for the elastic. Of course being careful to hide stitches under sequins when possible!

    3) then I'll just feed the elastic into this casing and try the skirt on, adjusting the elastic until it feels right. The skirt has a back zip, so the elastic will get sewn to the skirt (or maybe the fabric of the zip). I can always replace the elastic if my weight changes or I sell the costume.
    beafarhana likes this.


  14. #14
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    Quote Originally Posted by Briolette View Post
    2) Since I am not a natural at sewing, I used a Sharpie pen to make two parallel rows of tiny dots along the inside of the waistband where I want the elastic to go -- one row of dots is about 3/4 inch below the other row, and the dots are not one-above-the other, they are offset (zigzag). Now I can just connect the dots to create a tunnel for the elastic. Of course being careful to hide stitches under sequins when possible!
    In the future, it may be worthwhile to invest in a disappearing sewing marker or a tailor's chalk pencil. A Sharpie pen may bleed through some fabrics/colors and do noticeable damage to the costume. Not all costumes are designed in a way that you can hide these marks, and it's very easy to goof up or accidentally drop the pen while you're working, so it's better to avoid permanent ink if at all possible.


  15. #15
    Just Starting! Briolette's Avatar
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    Re: how to measure and add elastic to waist/upper hip of skirt??

    You were right; there were 3 spots where the Sharpie bled through. Luckily I saw the problem early on and have just borrowed a disappearing marker from a friend who embroiders. Live and learn (or read smarter people's posts and learn). I sewed a sequin over each spot and learned my lesson.



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