Friday, May 24, 2013

Installing Cased Elastic

This is the method I use for installing elastic in MOST of my patterns.  Occasionally I zig-zag into the seam allowance and then turn, however, I really only use that for doll diapers and keychain diapers.  The things where it'll be too tight to get my/your hand in there to retrieve the bodkin or pin or to cut the elastic lengths after installing.

My mother taught me this method of installing elastic when I was a kid and we were making hair scrunchies.

First you sew your casing channels (after turning for T&T diapers).  I usually use 3/8" polybraid elastic, and sew my casings just a tad under 1/2" wide.  I don't measure, but instead have it gauged off my presser foot's edge.
 You can use a bodkin:
Or a safety pin:
 
Feed your elastic in through your turning hole in T&T diapers and your front opening in serged.
 Guide it to the entry to your casings.
 Feed it through your casing channel all the way to just past the end.
 Then set your stitch a little smaller and sew back and forth a few times to tack down the end securely about 1/2" in from the end of your elastic (or just inset from your bodkin or safety pin.)
 The secured first side:
 Then detach the bodkin or safety pin from the elastic and remove it through your opening (don't leave them inside the diapers folks...).  ;)
 Now you're ready to stretch your elastic to your desired tension.
 Stretch to where you want it and then use a safety pin to secure the elastic in-place about 1/2" from the end of your casings.
 Sew back and forth again to secure your elastic in-place and remove your pin.
 Now cut off your elastic leaving a little bit after the seam lines to keep it secure.

Do that for the sides and back elastic and then just close up the front opening.  That is it.  :)

22 comments:

  1. I probably shouldn't mention how many times I have sewn my bodkin into a diaper, huh? ;)

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  2. How do you get the two legs to be the same? One leg of my diaper turned out much snugger than the other...TIA!

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  3. Wouldn't it be easier to just turn right side in and thread the elastic that way, then turn right side out again? I'm a newby, but I think that sounds more simple since you can see what you're doing.

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    1. Fair enough! Lol
      I just did it this way and aside from being stuck with clear elastic instead of polybraid, it worked just fine. Thanks for the tutorials!!

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  4. Your tutorials have been SO helpful to me! Thank you so much for sharing. I've used your sized fitted patterns to make my first cloth diapers and for some reason I cannot get the elastic to lay flat. I'm using your cased elastic method and regardless of what I've tried (ruffled vs non-ruffled), after one wash my leg elastics have rolled over on themselves inside the casing! I even ripped out one whole seam on one leg to fix the elastic, hand sewd it back up, and then washed it only to find it had rolled over on itself again! I've tried making my casings a little smaller and a little larger. Still happens. I'm just not understanding what I'm doing wrong for this to keep happening. I will add that I'm using a layer of poly fleece sandwiched in between to layers of flannel so there is some bulk in between but I read to really trim off the excess before turning so I did and still, my elastic folds in on itself after one wash. I'm using 3/8 in. polybraid elastic. Please help! I don't know what to do because with the elastic rolled the way it is I'm afraid it will be so tight on my baby's legs it will be uncomfortable.=( I've searched everywhere and can't find an answer to my question.

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    1. Either your casings are too wide, your fabric isn't pre-shrunk, or your casings are too narrow. Which is it? ;)

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  5. Quick question-- how do you secure the ends of the elastic when you use this method on diapers with PUL? I am nervous to use pins, but nothing else holds the elastic securely.

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    1. I actually DON'T usually bother securing it with PUL. I bunch the fabric to one side of the casing and just sew down the elastic. However, using a single pin in the casing won't cause you any problems. Just heat-seal in the dryer when you first wash the diaper. There are more holes from all your sewing anyway.

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    2. Thank you very much! Your patterns and tutorials are immensely helpful.

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  6. Thanks so much for the tutorial! My only question is, do you measure and cut your elastic to a specific length before you guide it through the casing? If so, would you mind sharing your measurements for the back and leg elastic pieces?

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    1. Nope. I don't cut it at all before installing. I just do elastics by feel.

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  7. Do you have hints or tricks for elastic with diaper covers. I want to attempt the snap in cover style and am having trouble with the leg elealstic and dont seem to have enough material.

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    1. My fold-in casing cover templates have specific tutorials to go along with them with lots of photos of that process. :)

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  8. Hi I am wondering which nappy pattern is the best for newborns with a pocket to insert soaker. And also which nappy pattern is best from newborn to 2years also with poker insert. I just made my first nappy newborn from your universal newborn pattern and thank you so much for your patterns they are great. I am using pul with bamboo terry as my lining and mircofleece for my insert.
    Cheers Tracey Free

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    1. Microfleece isn't an absorbent fabric. It is a stay-dry wicking fabric. Do you mean that the bamboo terry is the insert and the microfleece is the pocket inner part of the diaper? Because that would make more sense.
      As for which is the best pocket pattern for a newborn. I think the XS squaretab from the size pocket AIO patterns would be the best overall fit with the easiest stuffing ability. :)

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  9. I did this with the mock grobaby pattern. My lining was athletic wicking mesh but the dapers leaked. I think the problem may be that the lining was not completely covered and was touching the clothes. How do you make sure that the lining is completely inside. Is there a trick to doing a rolled casing? I took some apart and added gussets. That took care of it, but it would be nice to be able to do it without the extra step of gussets.

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    1. You don't need to do a rolled elastic. What you need to do it just control how the inner and other line-up AFTER you turn the diaper and before you sew the elastic casing channels. So that the outer extends just a little bit past the inner WHILE you're sewing the casing channels and then also while top-stitching. Also, for diapers like AIOs, Pockets, and AI2s, you need to feed your elastic above the inner seam. JUST under the top PUL layer and above the seamed together inner and outer and above the inner liner.

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    2. Thanks! That explains a lot! Other diapers I had made were either gussets or were encased in FOE. We were attaching the elastic to the inner lining. Just to be clear, the pul should 'roll' toward the inner lining.

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    3. Rolled elastic is a completely different method of elastic than I use. I use cased elastics as shown in this pictorial. The pul should extend a small amount out past the inner lining yes. Go look at some of the pictorials for pocket diapers or AIO/AI2s if you want to look more closely at that.

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    4. This photo from the sized pocket AIO tutorial shows what I am explaining at the leg elastics: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RD1v97Nsx48/UVOPqLY6hWI/AAAAAAAACt8/6h-eNtuQDiY/s1600/100_3037.JPG

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  10. hola me encanta mucho tus explicaciones muchas gracias para las dudas a qui tambien te puedo escribir ya que soy nueva en esto

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