How to Sew Foldover Elastic?

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Is anyone familiar with this stuff? I want to use it to finish off the
neckline on a stretch velvet top.  Imagine I need to trim the seam
allowance down for 1/2 inch.  Should I use a  very narrow zigzag
stitch on it? Should I stitch the outside edge first, or the facing

I have a RTW T-shirt where the foldover elastic seems to be encasing
cord that must be as thin as gimp thread. Then the 2 edges look to be
matched to the seam allowance edge on the fabric rightside and
stitched close to the gimp (like piping). Then the seam allowances
appear to be turned to the inside and everything stitched through from
the right side, so that you only see one row of stitching, sort of
like edge stitching next to piping.

Do  you think a narrow zigzag would serve as that final stitching?

another Sharon

Re: How to Sew Foldover Elastic?
I use FOE on just about everything I sew:o)  I'm not exactly sure, but the
piping thing you're talking about sounds like the FOE piping I saw on a
little girl's RTW shirt.  Only the way I saw it, it was in a seam, and
didn't have any kind of cording in it (though I have used the method with
and without cording, and haven't really been able to tell the difference by
just looking at it).

Normally, FOE is just used as a binding.  Just fold it over the edge of the
garment, and stitch in place with whatever stitch you want.  I have used
straight, zig zag, and 3-step zigzag many many times.  I also have found it
is useful to hold just a tiny bit of tension on the FOE when sewing it on
stretchy fabrics, to keep the garment edge from stretching while sewing
(does that make sense?).  Don't stretch too much, or you will get gathers.

Most RTW shirts I have seen use a straight stitch to attach FOE (my mom has
some nice RTW rayon/cotton knit dressy tees, with FOE at the neckline), sewn
at the very edge of the elastic (not the folded edge).  This is the least
visible.  But most home sewers that I know of use a narrow zigzag, or 3-step
zigzag, because it is easier to catch the underside FOE that way.  This is
also a bit stretchier, but if you put the tension on the FOE, the straight
stitch is still stretchy enough to go easily over your head.

Here's some FOE piping, as well as a FOE-bound neckline, on a pr of pjs for
my DD (please forgive the crooked stitching on the neckline--I'm much less
careful when I know what I am making will just be slept in;o):

and the whole rumpled outfit:

Feel free to email me if this doesn't make sense...I'm up way too late with
kids that just won't go to bed! ;o)

Kyla (de-lurked, outta boredom at 2AM!)
Mama to Isaac(3), & Ash (20mo)
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Re: How to Sew Foldover Elastic?
Welcome aboard, Kyla.I thank you for coming in and giving me such good
info. You have too much expertise to stay out there any longer, girl!
Love the pix of the stylish jamies!. Your DD is very fortunate to have
such a talented Mum.

May I ask what your source for FOE is? I just happened to luck into
this that I have. Also, I have some others questions which I will ask
here in the group so that we all have the benefit of your reply.  

Am I correct in thinking you only make one pass at stitching, sewing
through both sides of the FOE and the fabric at once? Do you hand
baste to control everything before stitching? If no basting, how do
you control all the layers at one time, keeping the fabric edge snug
against the fold? (Sounds like a practised skill.)

Then, I'm not clear as to your meaning  when you say "hold just a tiny
bit of tension on the FOE when sewing it on". I gather you aren't
talking about setting the machine tension up or down, but that you are
pulling slightly on the FOE and fabric with your right hand as you
stitch. Correct?


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Yes, this is what I hope to do.

This is the least
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Sounds like my grandkids.  8-) They are real nightowls.

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Here I should have said that the final pass was probably done with a
coverstitch, judging from the stitching on the bobbin side.

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Thanks for your help, Kyla. You probably make a lot of adorable things
for your kids. What other sewing do you like to do? Tell us all about

another Sharon

Re: How to Sew Foldover Elastic? (WOAH-LONG!)
Ok, I'm gonna answer this tonight, even though I'm getting a little loopy,
and should be sleeping!!;o)

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*I was buying it through co-ops, to get a particular kind that is very wide,
and plush, to use on diapers.  But now that I am using it for more
decorative things, I get it from a lady on eBay (NAYY!): She always has a lot of colors, and when
you order from her, she sends snippets of all her other FOE, like swatches,
so you can see all the colors:o)  I've also bought from: , and (also NAYY to both of
those, but I have been happy with the service:o)

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*Yes, that's right.

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*Nope, I don't baste it.  It does take a little practice, but it's pretty
easy.  Actually, now that I am thinking about the mechanics of how I do it,
I do stop-go-stop-go a lot, repositioning each time.  It helps to fold it
along the line before sewing it on, so it already kinda knows where it's
folding, especially for the narrow shiny stuff.

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*You got it!  That was hard to explain; I didn't want to say "stretch it",
because if you stretch, it will gather the fabric (try it on a scrap, it's
fun! LOL), but it does help to pull *ever so slightly*.

Thanks for all the complements!  I sew a lot of clothes for my kids, but not
much for us grownups.  I *should*...I'm a size 6 and over 6 feet tall.
IMPOSSIBLE to find well-fitting clothes for me;o)  I actually have a
business sewing cloth diapers and clothing for babies, though I am closed
down right now (I'm recharging my batteries, so to say;o).  I also make
jewelry, which is my main focus during this time of year, because there are
a lot of craft fairs and shows to sell at.  Other hobbies include making
soap (my *relax and release* hobby), and quilting (exactly the opposite of
relaxing for me!  hehehe).  Oh!  And web/graphics design.  I'm spread out
all over the place, but I have always been one of those people that when I
set my mind to learn something, I LEARN it, all the way, and then jump on to
the next thing.  My most recent big sewing project was making curtains for
my church.  It was a difficult fabric to work with, and a LOT of it....I
hated it, but it WAS very rewarding to see the place transformed when they
were put up:o)  I am about to embark on a dyeing project; I bought what
seems like MILES of white cotton fabrics (knit, denim, twill, cord, french
terry...), and I'm going to start dyeing it all to make clothes for my kids,
now that it's starting to get cold here:o)   Oh!  And my grama wants a
fleece caftan for Xmas...don't know what that is, but I've got some printed
Malden Mills 2oowt here that I'm prepared to chop up as soon as I find

I'm having a birthday in about three weeks (turning 23 on Dec. 18th), and I
am just learning how to drive (have my behind-the-wheel test on Dec. 4th).
I have two little kids: Isaac is 3, Ashley is 20mos (both born in March).
They keep me busy!!  I live in Los Angeles, with my hubby of almost-5 years.

Most important things about me: I speak before I think, and hobble around
with my foot in my mouth often;o)  I don't bruise easily, take criticism
very well.  I'm a compulsive post-snipper (one of my FEW pet peeves, but I
generally keep it to myself:o)  But the most most important thing is that I
am in love with Christ, and everything I do in my life gets run by Him
first:o)  I fully hold on to the golden rule of *Do unto others as you would
have done unto you*.

Oh, yeah, and I like to talk...a LOT...;o)

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Re: How to Sew Foldover Elastic? (WOAH-LONG!)
So very nice getting to know you, Kyla. Wheeu, I think you should
change your email name from 'bluegreen' to 'bluestreak'. You are
another lady bursting with energy - taking care of your two tykes and
all that you do on top of it. It's no wonder you can wear a size 6. I
admire it and wish I were more like it, from my space on the timeline.
This gran has slowed down quite a lot and has the figure to show it.
Loved your family album. Your children are adorable, tow-headed (i.e.,
blondes) like all of my kids/grandkids.

I originated in Wyoming, married a tow-head from Pennsylvania - moving
to Africa and then to Pennsylvania with him where we've lived some 30+
years raising our son & daughter who've graced our lives with 5 GK. My
longest activity has been choral music - a choral society & a church
choir. I was downsized a few years ago. Rather than start over with
some company earning a measley 2-weeks vacation/yr. I came home, got
involved in volunteer and church work, and took up sewing again. (Who
can stand a pittance of 2 weeks vacation when the GKs and all the rest
of the family live out of town?) From time to time friends find me
interesting jobs of short duration that change the routine. We look to
be here for another 6+ years until DH decides to retire. Where then,
who knows? Maybe here with our church family, central PA with FIL and
SIL near DD, or out west closer to son and brothers' families.

Thanks so much for the FOE sources and sewing guidelines. I'll get to
work on them when we get back after Thanksgiving.

Happy thanksgiving to you and your family. Good luck with the driving
instruction. I'm sure you'll do well!

another Sharon


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