Today we’ll give our loose, baggy jackets a sleek, flattering silhouette! We’ll sew a casing for the elastic waistline, insert the elastic, and pull it tight until we’re happy with the fit. The jacket is nearly complete at this point, so it’s easy to fit the elastic and know how it will feel in the finished product.
This is one of the design elements that sets this jacket apart from other sporty weekend jackets – it’s fitted in the waist! I have a thing against saggy, sack-like jacket backs. If the jacket is too baggy without waist definition, then the jacket is pulled out by my widest part (the rear) and from the side, all of me looks as wide as my rear end! A wide rectangle. Not the ideal look for someone with big hips! We look smaller and curvier when we show off our waists.
When we sew in the waist elastic, you get to try on your jackets, adjust the elastic, and get the perfect fit. Start with the elastic guide measurements, as you can’t make it larger once the elastic is cut, but you can shorten it. It’s easy to cinch the elastic tighter, pin the elastic end in place, and try on the jacket again. Repeat until you’re happy with the look!
If you had trouble finding two-inch elastic, and are substituting narrower elastic, you’ll want to sew your casing smaller to fit your elastic. Same thing if you are using elastic that’s wider than 2″ – although I rarely see elastic that wide. Two-inch is usually the widest elastic available at the fabric store.
Want to catch up on previous Sew-Along posts? Click the links below to read more:
- Join the Minoru Sew-Along: January 16th, 2012! (Find the Sew-Along badge here, too!)
- Why is the Minoru Jacket Pattern Not Suitable for Plaid Fabric?
- Guest Post: Caroline on Sewing Waterproof Outerwear
- Minoru Jacket Q & A
- Fabric Recommendations for the Minoru Jacket
- A Full Bust Adjustment on the Minoru Jacket, Courtesy of Alana
- Sew-Along Speed: How Fast Do You Want to Go?
- My Minoru Jacket Fabric Choices
- Five Ways to Tell if Your Fabric Is Water-Resistant
- Minoru Inspiration: Dots!
- Update: Minoru Sew-Along Starts on Monday!
- The Very First Minoru Muslin
- Minoru Sew-Along #1: Let’s Get Started!
- Minoru Sew-Along #2: Sewing Sleeves and Topstitching Tips
- What is Triple Stitch?
- Minoru Sew-Along #3: Gathering!
- How to Make Your Own Piping
- Minoru Sew-Along #4: Sewing the Hood
- Minoru Sew-Along #5: A Change in the Line-Up and Checking In
- Minoru Sew-Along #6: The Secret Hood Zipper
- Minoru Sew-Along #7: Sewing the Hood to the Collar (Quick Post!)
- Minoru Sew-Along #8: We Finally Get to Pull the Gathers!
- Adding Pockets to the Minoru Jacket: Amy’s Awesome Tutorial
- Minoru Sew-Along #9: Front Plackets, Front Zipper
- Flap Pockets on the Minoru Jacket
- Minoru Sew-Along #10: All About Cuffs
- Minoru Sew-Along #11: Little Hidden Pockets
- Minoru Sew-Along #12: A Useful Hanging Loop
- How to Make a Chain Hanging Loop
- Minoru Sew-Along #13: Sewing the Lining
- Minoru Sew-Along #14: Putting It All Together
- Minoru Sew-Along #15: An Alternative to Slipstitching Cuffs
- Minoru Sew-Along #16: Stitching in the Ditch
Let’s get started! Before we sew the casing, let’s make sure the layers are smooth. Lay down your jacket on the work table, and smooth down the lining. If the lining is pulled up when we sew the elastic casing, it will stay that way! We don’t want that. We want it to hang straight down from the neckline.
Bunched up – not good!
To keep these layers in place while we sew the casing, let’s pin above and below the stitching lines, through all layers. This will keep everything in the right place when we take it to the machine.
Feel through both layers, to line up the sideseams, and continue pinning.
It’s easier to pin above the stitch line first, and then pin below.
Now when we stitch the casing, we’ll sew along the top and the bottom, making a long open tunnel. Again, I like to start with the top row. It gives me one more chance to smooth out the layers when I come back to sew the bottom row!
You can either sew over your thread-traced lines, or pull them out before you get to them. I remember it was a bit tricky to take out the basting stitches on previous jackets, so I’ll remove each big stitch just before I get to it. It feels like I’m ‘chasing’ the row of basting stitches with my machine!
Backstitch at both ends. Now when we go to sew the second row, if you think your first row might have deviated from the markings, why not measure and re-mark the second stitch line? It’s better to take the time now and be sure, rather than rip out your casing stitches on the right side of your jacket!
Sew the second row of stitching. Here’s what it will look like, from the inside! (I just noticed my iron in the back of this shot. No, I don’t iron on the sewing table! I’m short on space so when I’m not ironing, the board is put away and the iron sits behind the sewing machine.)
Cut a piece of elastic according to the elastic guide, and pin a big safety pin to one end. We’ll use the safety pin to help push the elastic through the tunnel. (Bonus if you have a gadget that helps with threading elastic! I’ve only used safety pins but I love those gadgets that help turn tiny loops. Whatever you use that helps you thread elastic through casings, use it now!)
Now, reach up between the layers of lining and jacket, and poke the safety-pinned end into one end of the elastic tunnel. Use the safety pin to inch the elastic through the casing, until it reaches the other side.
Secure the elastic at both ends with a pin or safety pin. A safety pin is better, if you have two available!
One point to note: if you pin the elastic end through the outside of your jacket, it’s easier to adjust as you try it on. However if your jacket fabric is coated or waterproof, or if pinning through it will damage it, then pin on the inside!
Try on the jacket, and adjust the elastic as needed. (This is where it’s easier if you’ve pinned the elastic on the outside, although either way you’ll need to reach up into the lining to pull the elastic.)
Look at the jacket from all angles – does it look good from the side, back and front? Pull it tighter for a snugger fit and try it on again.
When you’re satisfied with the waistline, sew straight across the ends of the elastic, from top stitching line to bottom stitching line, to secure the elastic.
If there is a lot of extra elastic, trim it off. (I didn’t have as much extra as it looks like in the photo below, I didn’t trim my piece to match the elastic guide before inserting it into the casing.)
And that’s it! Our elastic waistline is done. Just one more post tomorrow, on hemming, and our jackets will be complete!