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    Question for garment sewers

    I'm thinking of making pj shorts for my DH and DS for Christmas. Is there some sort of formula to figure out how long a piece of elastic I need to cut for the waistband?

    #2
    Re: Question for garment sewers

    I'm not sure if this is the correct formula but I always used the waist measurement and then added two inches.

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      #3
      Re: Question for garment sewers

      I subtract 2" from the waist measurement. You want them snug, not falling off. I always do it this way for my costume pants. Now, if you have really heavy fabric you might take off a little less, but I would not add or the pants will be too loose. If it was for a very small child, you might uses the same waist measurement and maybe add a bit to account for going over a diaper/or pull-up. Just MHO!

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        #4
        Re: Question for garment sewers

        Jean is correct. You want the elastic snug.

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          #5
          Re: Question for garment sewers

          Thanks! One more questions, does that 2 inches include the overlap you do to sew the two elastic ends together? Can I just add 2 inches and overlap 1/4", eating into that 2"?

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            #6
            Re: Question for garment sewers

            No, it doesn't.

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              #7
              Re: Question for garment sewers

              Originally posted by Jean Sewing Machine View Post
              I subtract 2" from the waist measurement.!
              LOL-yeah, subtract!! I really need to have my first cup of coffee before I comment. But, hey, if you are into dropping your shorts at any moment, then add the two inches.

              Subtract, not add.

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                #8
                Re: Question for garment sewers

                Originally posted by RiverMomm View Post
                I'm not sure if this is the correct formula but I always used the waist measurement and then added two inches.
                I add so that it gives you enough to lap the ends and to absorb the gathered material or they end up too tight.
                Patrice S

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                  #9
                  Re: Question for garment sewers

                  I put in a drawstring.
                  Quilters never die, they just go batts.

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                    #10
                    Re: Question for garment sewers

                    I pulled out my old pajama pattern (ah-the memories of when my boys were little!) and the instructions say to add an inch of the waist size for the elastic. Then pin the elastic together and adjust to fit. In other words, who knows. But I do remember a lot depended on the type of elastic. I preferred soft, very stretchy elastic and always ended up cutting more off when the kids tried on the bottoms.

                    pajamas.jpg

                    pajamas-1.jpg

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                      #11
                      Re: Question for garment sewers

                      Originally posted by RiverMomm View Post
                      I pulled out my old pajama pattern (ah-the memories of when my boys were little!) and the instructions say to add an inch of the waist size for the elastic. Then pin the elastic together and adjust to fit. In other words, who knows. But I do remember a lot depended on the type of elastic. I preferred soft, very stretchy elastic and always ended up cutting more off when the kids tried on the bottoms.

                      [ATTACH=CONFIG]137092[/ATTACH]

                      [ATTACH=CONFIG]137093[/ATTACH]
                      I was going to say that about elastic also. Some is so soft and stretchy that the pants would fall off if you added inches. Some non roll elastic is very stiff and doesn't have that much stretch.

                      I also think it depends on the size of the garment you are making. For babies and toddlers, add a bit. As the garments get bigger, and the waist fabric becomes wider/longer, you can get closer to the actual waist measurement. For teens and adults who don't want to wear them " saggin', then I would do less inches than the waist measurement. So I don't think there is a hard and fast rule for every situation.

                      Last summer I built a bunch of elastic waist pants for a kids play. We used the waist measurement to cut the elastic. 100% of those waists had to be adjusted to remove elastic! often many inches! What a waste! Just sayin'!

                      Also, if you want to use a drawstring instead of elastic, cut the drawstring in half and add about 5" of elastic between the two pieces. You can anchor that elastic at the back by bar tacking over it after it has been inserted. That way, it won't come out and the wearer will be able to make the drawstring tight enough and still it will be comfortable on their waist. I would prefer this if they were my pajamas!
                      Last edited by Jean Sewing Machine; November 11, 2016, 09:51 AM.

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                        #12
                        Re: Question for garment sewers

                        Can I ask a question also? My son loves pyjama pants and sweat type pants for wearing around the house. They're not that expensive to buy but I thought it might be nice to make him some. Can anyone recommend a pattern? No elastic ankles and just simple.

                        EDITED: Nevermind...Google to the rescue!!
                        Last edited by WendyI; November 11, 2016, 10:12 AM.

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                          #13
                          Re: Question for garment sewers

                          Originally posted by WendyI View Post
                          Nevermind...Google to the rescue!!
                          Love google searches

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                            #14
                            Re: Question for garment sewers

                            Originally posted by WendyI View Post
                            Can I ask a question also? My son loves pyjama pants and sweat type pants for wearing around the house. They're not that expensive to buy but I thought it might be nice to make him some. Can anyone recommend a pattern? No elastic ankles and just simple.

                            EDITED: Nevermind...Google to the rescue!!
                            They are so easy to make! And he can pick his favorite fabric! I taught my beginning sewing class how to make them and they were thrilled with their creations!
                            Last edited by Jean Sewing Machine; November 11, 2016, 02:01 PM.

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                              #15
                              Re: Question for garment sewers

                              An alternative to overlapping the elastic (which I find adds bulk), you can attach a piece of scrap fabric to one end of the elastic. The scrap doesn't have to be too large, just about double the width of the elastics by an inch or two. I usually use a multi-step zigzag stitch, but a regular zigzag stitch with a fairly short stitch length would work as well. I try to centre the elastic on the scrap so that there's some of the scrap fabric extending past the end of the elastic. Then thread the elastic through the waistband casing. Once you have the correct length, butt the ends of the elastic together, and sew the remaining end of the elastic to the fabric scrap again using a zigzag stitch or a multi step zigzag, and then trim off any excess of the scrap fabric. I've used this method for years, and have never had a problem with the elastic coming apart. I hope that explanation makes sense. It's one of those things that is easier to show than to explain.

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