How to Use Drawstring Elastic

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Drawstring elastic can be added to homemade lounge pants or children’s pant to make putting on and taking of pants easier. It can also be put into other craft projects where you need a little give in the size of the item. Unlike typical non-rolling elastic cording, the drawstring elastic is an actual drawstring sewn into the elastic to make tightening the clothing simple.

Things You'll Need

  • Clothing or craft item with an unfinished hem
  • Measuring tape
  • Drawstring elastic
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine with a buttonhole function
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Pen
  • Thread ripper
  • Measure the circumference of the item to which you are adding the drawstring elastic. Subtract 3 inches from the circumference measurement. For example, if the waist size of the garment is 25 inches your measurement will be 22 inches. Cut your drawstring elastic to this measurement.

  • Thread your machine and bobbin according to your machine instructions.

  • Choose the zigzag stitch on your machine. Hold the two ends of the elastic together, making a circle, sew a zigzag stitch to join the elastic above the drawstring and sew a zigzag stitch to join the elastic below the drawstring.

  • Turn the item inside out. Pin the drawstring elastic to the item, aligning the top of the elastic to the inside top of the item. Make sure the drawstring is facing out and that the drawstring is coming out of the elastic at the middle front of the item.

  • Sew the elastic in place along the top of the item.

  • Fold the elastic down to make a hem and mark on the outside of the item where the drawstring hits the item. Make two marks for each string of the drawstring; this is where you will put your button holes to pull the elastic through. Unfold the hem.

  • Use your machine buttonhole feature to make a button hole at each of the marks. Your button hole needs to only be about a 1/2 inch in length.

  • Use a thread ripper to open the button hole. Fold the hem back down and pull the strings through the buttonholes. Tie small knots in the end of each string to prevent the string from slipping back through the buttonholes.

  • Sew the hem into place with a sewing machine. Turn the item right side out and test the drawstring elastic.

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