How to attach elastic with zig-zag stitch

For a clean finish on your brief or top of the bra cup, the zig-zag stitch allows the elastic to stretch as when used on stretch fabrics like jersey or mesh.

1. With the right side of the fabric facing up, place (pin) the elastic on the edge of the fabric with decorative side facing in.

2. Sew the elastic with a zig-zag stitch to secure the elastic into place. You want the stitch as close to the decorative edge as possible and the edge of the fabric not to poke out past the elastic otherwise you'll be trimming the fabric before the next step. Keep your groove of your foot in line with edge of the elastic to ensure a straight stitch.

how to attache elastic with zig zag stitch

3. Turn the elastic back on itself so the elastic is now underneath when the right side of the fabric is facing up. You should just be able to see the edge of the elastic peeking out from the fabric. Secure with second row of zig-zag, the zig-zag should be near the edge of elastic so the elastic doesn't flip up and the edge of the fabric doesn't poke out. 

 

 

How to fix the curve of the leg flipping up

I'm in the process of sewing up the first toiles of the patterns that will available to buy in November this year (2016). I finished #2 pattern The Penelope, a tanga with fold-over elastic, and the curve of the front leg of the elastic, instead of sitting flat, stood up vertically, perpendicular to the brief. 

Has this ever happened to you? And do you know how to fix it? There is nothing worse than having spent all that time and effort sewing up a pair of briefs, for there to be an error and not know the reason why.

On this particular brief, it was all down to the elastic, it was too heavy and it didn't stretch very much. It was the type of elastic that would be best used on the top wing of the bra or maybe even the top of the bra cup.

As you stretch the elastic when stitching around the legs if it's too heavy it takes it's original form, it's not soft enough to sit flat. 

Other reasons that the elastic may flip up:

1. Would be if the curve of the leg is too sharp, so you would need to make the leg curve shallower.

2. The elastic is too wide so the elastic can't sit flat around the curve, so the only way it can sit is if it flips up.

I hope that helps? Also if you are new to elastic and can't gauge if an elastic is heavy or not, hold it up to the light and stretch it, the lighter it is then more light will shine through it. So a dense heavy elastic you won;t be able to see through it.

How to fix skipped stitches

Having made a toile of the 'Betty' Brief (which pattern will be made available in the up coming months) I suffered what is every seamstresses nightmare - skipped stitches. Even though I know it's fixable it still annoys me, especially if I don't notice it straight away.

how to fix skipped stitches

So what causes stitches to skip? And most importantly how do you fix them?

1. Needles, needles, needles - if you didn't get it, then I shall repeat and say neddles, 9 times out of ten it will be your needle. Needle tips only really last about 6 hours of sewing. Even if you can't see an obvious bluntness, if you've sewn a few sets of bras and briefs then it's time to change your needle.

2. Needle again - yup still on about the needle. Have you go the correct one for your fabric? Just as there are many different fabrics, there are many different needles to go with your fabric. Choosing the right size needles is important to the fabrics you're about to sew.

3. Thread - What thread are you using? That thin 6 pack that comes free with the machine? Change it. It does make a difference, buy the best thread you can, your sewing will thank you, and remember to use the same quality, on the bobbin and on the spool.

4. Pulling - How's your grip on that fabric? Relax, let those feet feed your fabrics through and not your hands. Don't pull it!!

5. Dials - This is usually the first thing people want to change, but to be honest, you will rarely have to, (unless it's really obvious), most machines will have been set to a factory mid point for you.

6. Go away - weirdly sometimes going away, grabbing a cuppa, sitting back down and re-threading your machine for some reason sometimes works.

6. If stitches are still skipping, it may be time to take it in somewhere and get a tune up.