Elastic is a notion used by many sewists who make garments using their sewing machines to achieve a great fit. It is most frequently used to create simple and flexible waistbands; however, it can be used for other things as well.
Different Elastics for Different Garments
As simple as elastic may seem, it does come in a variety of types, weights, and sizes for many different uses. This includes elastic that is designed for use in sportswear, lingerie, pajamas, baby clothes, swimwear, and more. It is produced in flat tapes of varying widths and degrees of tension, along with other kinds such as braided and knitted elastic, elastic cord, and elastic thread.
You can also purchase pre-made elastic accessories to add to garments sewn on sewing machines, such as elastic tape with a drawstring enclosed and elastic that has buttonholes sewn into it for greater adjustability and comfort.
Choosing the Right Elastic
While elastic is one of the most versatile accessories you may use in the garments sewn with your Juki HZL F600, you must know how to choose the right type to get the best results. Always begin with elastic made for a specific purpose, such as sportswear elastic for a waistband or swimwear elastic if you are making a bathing suit. Then consider the thickness needed based on the finished size of the garment and the wearer as well as the weight of the elastic.
Thicker and heavier elastic has more stretch and return without having to tighten it in the garment. Lighter elastic provides less hold. When you choose the right weight and thickness, you avoid a "tourniquet effect" that is not only uncomfortable to the wearer but dangerous as well.
Sewing With Elastic Thread
Another option available if you need some stretch in a garment but do not want to use elastic tape is to use elastic thread when sewing on Juki sewing machines. This can be a little more challenging than sewing elastic onto the fabric; however, you can expect great results when used appropriately.
When using elastic thread, you must carefully hand-wind a bobbin with the thread and insert it into your machine. Then slowly sew with regular top thread. The top thread picks up the elastic thread from beneath, creating some stretch in the fabric.
Working With Elastic
Getting the best results with elastic requires using it properly followed by the right care afterwards. For a fit that matches your pattern, start out by stretching and relaxing the new elastic a few times before measuring it so it won't be too tight.
When sewing elastic to your fabric, always use a ballpoint needle with a zigzag stitch or loose stretch stitch so the thread has some give as well. Store any unused elastic in an airtight, opaque container that protects it from the light, keeping it loose and unstretched until it is needed.
Given the many varieties and great ways it can be used, elastic is an important supply that should be in every sewing kit. Although it does take some practice to learn how to properly use it with sewing machines, you can create professional-looking garments when you incorporate elastic in the right places.
When working with Juki sewing machines like the Juki HZL F600, consider how various types of elastic can add the perfect finishing touch to your wearables so they are as functional and comfortable as they can be!