Fold over elastic (F.O.E.), or lingerie elastic, is a type of elastic band used to finish the raw edges of a garment when you do not want the added bulk of a hem. It is particularly common on undergarments and the neckline of camisoles, but it can also be used to gather the material in a slight ruffle for "puff" sleeves or skirt waistbands. Fold over elastic comes in a variety of colors, widths and finishes, so you can find one just right for your project.
Things You'll Need
- Fold over elastic
- Sewing machine
Lay the elastic finished side down on the work surface.
Align the unfinished edge of the garment with the middle of the elastic so that half of the elastic is under the garment.
Fold the other half of the elastic over the garment so that the elastic is surrounding the unfinished edge.
Pin the start of the elastic in place, ensuring that you have secured all three layers.
Stretch the elastic for the gathered effect, if desired. For a straight flat hem, do not stretch the elastic. For a rounded flat hem, minimal stretching is required so the elastic lays flat.
Pin the elastic every few inches until you have reached the end of the edge or circled back to the start of the elastic.
Sew with a sewing machine, removing pins as you go. Use a zigzag stitch in a medium length. The width should stay in the meat of the elastic so as not to miss the edge of the fabric.
Finish sewing by either reaching the end of the edge and backstitching or, if the edge is round, overlapping the first 1/2 inch of elastic.
Trim threads and elastic.
Check for any places the stitch may have missed the fabric between the elastic.
Tips & Warnings
- It is prudent to backstitch over the first and last inch of material to ensure a stronger attachment.
- Straight stitches do not stretch, so they may only be used for straight flat edges.
- Heed all manufacturer's warnings for the sewing machine.
- Photo Credit Sewing Machine Needle image by C Agoncillo from Fotolia.com
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