Finishing one, starting another…

Perhaps you remember this dress, from my Sister’s Sewing Projects, a vintage dress pattern from 1978, Simplicity 8510, which I first blogged about here.  I decided before I start anything new, I must finish the old projects …

This dress still needed its elastic waistband.  I found many ways to do that on line and in my reference books – I decided to make a casing for the elastic.  I cut a strip of the same fabric as the dress, and since it frays easily, I hemmed the edges with a zig zag.

imageI measured down from the arm holes on both sides, 8″ in this case, and I sewed the casing on and ran a length of elastic through.  I have left it open here so we can check the tightness or looseness of the elastic, then I will hand sew it closed.


I used this little gizmo to thread the elastic through the waist line casing.



Next, I have to make a small change to my Sewaholic Nicola dress.  I love everything about it, except the lace casing I sewed on the outside.  I rumples up too much when I bend and every time I move my arms the waist line slides up and doesn’t come down.  I am hoping an elastic waist line will keep it in place!

I picked off the lace casing carefully.


Different method this time…  I sewed the elastic right onto my waist line seam allowances.  First I marked the elastic at the half way point and halves again – that is where the centre back and side seams will land.  I pinned those marks to their corresponding seams.


Then I gently stretched the elastic out to cover the distance between my centre front opening and my side seam and again and again until I worked myself all the way around my waist line.

Finished!  with gentle gathers.



I’m on to my next project now – another post for my DESIGNIN’ DENIM theme – a denim skirt using my Sewholic Hollyburn pattern.  I have my pieces cut out and have looked on the internet for ideas.

I’ve added an extra inch of insurance.
Not much of a Jeans skirt back pocket yet, but it’s a start.
Jeans skirt front pockets and belt loops. I love it when inner pockets are one piece that you fold over.

Not your usual Sewholic Hollyburn, but here are some examples of Jean skirts that I might copy.  The A line one is perfect – the other one is too straight and has a yoke, but I might be able to copy some of the top stitching details.  Oh yes … both are too short for me.   🙂

image image
image image

Next weekend, Jeans skirt back pockets!

By the way – do you have a favourite method for sewing in waist line elastic in a dress – please share!

Happy Sewing!

26 thoughts on “Finishing one, starting another…

  1. What lovely dresses. Your sister is very lucky to have someone to make her frocks. I love the colour of your skirt fabric. What a gorgeous pink.

    1. Thank you. She picked out the dress fabric herself. It looks very nice on her.

  2. I like channels, but also prefer much wider elastic. I find that the narrow type just vanishes into my belly, and doesn’t give enough definition. Inch wide actually feels like it’s meant to be there, and looks intentional, if you get me!

    1. Yes, I have done many pull on skirts with an inch wide elastic. Any wider and it folds over as soon as I bend or move!

      1. I’ve even put it onto all my opaque tights to stop the Nora Batty effect I get from having

          1. Oi! No laughing at my bumless plight missus…

            1. Haha, we each have our “crosses to bear”, as they say!

  3. I find it very satisfying when finishing UF0s – sometimes they need so little time to finish! That dress looks amazing!

    1. Thank you! It takes so little time to finish but I always have to encourage myself to do it in some way – like a new project!

  4. Nice skirts! I look forward to your denim version – I feel one of these coming on!

    1. I haven’t had a denim skirt project in a long time. This one will be a mix of many things and not just one pattern.

  5. I have just made a dress with a drawstring in a channel and like you found it unsatisfactory. My solution was to halve the length of the drawstring then cut that in half and replace with a length of elastic and resew the drawstring to the elastic and feed through the casing. Elastic on the inside, drawstring showing as usual on the outside. Have you seen the Marilla Walker Evan skirt ? I’ve made that, jeans styling, it’s a great pattern.

    1. Good idea with the elastic. It is functional and fashionable. I haven’t seen that pattern yet, but I will google it. Looking forward to seeing it!

  6. It always feels so great to finish a couple of projects then to have a clean slate to start something new! Your sister’s dress looks fabulous!

    1. Thank you! I’m enjoying doing all the details on the denim skirt (now that the boring stuff is done)!

  7. I use either of the methods you tried out. And like you I can’t be bothered with the tie that slpis out of place, but you could add it back on now if you want to keep the lace channel and tie feature, knowing that your now elasticated waist will stay in place. I always stitch elastic in place at seam points, following the seam, because it helps prevent the elastic from twisting, another pet hate of mine!

    1. That’s right, I could add it on now. I was just settling for the tie belt. Hmm, I’ll have to think about that one! I sew the elastic on at the seams too when I do waist bands for pull on pants. It really helps prevent the roll.

  8. Jobs all well done ~ and such patience with all that lace picking. YEAH ! ! !
    How positive & satisfied you should be! 😀

  9. It’s neat isn’t it when you find little tricks to do something, thinking of your little gizmo to thread the elastic through the waistline casing. I’m amazed how not even thinking twice you decide to re-do something because you’re not happy with it. That’s awesome 👍I’m trying to figure out when you have the time. These aren’t small projects, but if you love what you do, such as in your case, you make the time. Good and informative post. 😊

    1. Well the more you do things, the more tricks you learn and gizmos you find! Thanks for the compliments!

  10. I do love the look of the lace, but like you, I have the same problem. The “vintage” dress you made for me I made many years before and found that when you wear it the elastic is a little higher than your waist and there is a bit of a hang to the material. When we were talking about what to do with the waist, this is why I opted away from the lace. I think that the lace would probably be more suitable for something with not so much of a gather. Thanks again sis, another beautiful job. See you soon so I can add another beautiful dress to my closet.

    1. You’re welcome! It is fun to throw in something for someone else every now and then. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  11. I love the denim skirt and wanted to let you know that if you’re looking for an event to wear the denim skirt to you can always join us here at the Calgary Stampede. Yee Haw!!! 🙂

    1. Thank you! I’ll bring my CS sunglasses, cowboy hat and boots, and my plaid shirt! (My horse doesn’t fit on the plane.)

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close