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Marieke Sew-A-Long : Day 5

June 26, 2008

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Day 5 : Adding Elastic to Underarms

Day 4 : Putting the Dress Together

Day 3 : Pockets & Straps

Day 2: Fusible Interfacing

Day 1: Getting Started

It’s day 5 on our journey!  We are almost at the end of this project.  Day 5 is an optional day.  You do not have to add elastic to the underarms of your dress if you do not want to do so.  It helps the dress fit a little more snugly.  This day also has a lot of judgement calls.  You will have to make some decisions, as the directions are relatively sparse in this area. 

First, decide what size elastic that you are going to use.  I’m using 3/8″ elastic.

Second, decide how long you are going to make the gather and its casing.  We are going to make a 3 inch casing to hold 2 inches of elastic. 

These are all calls you will have to make.  Remember, I’m making a 86/92 size. You may feel that the larger sizes need more elastic.  You may also decide that you want to add less elastic.  The call is totally up to you.  You will still complete the steps the same way that I do…your mesurements will just be a little different than mine.

Now, get your dress out.  You’ll also need a marking tool of some sort, elastic, ruler, a safety pin/bodkin, and your machine.

When you attempt this part, you will probably want to use thread that matches your dress.  I’m going to keep using my multi-colored thread so that you will easily see what I have sewn.

Again, I’m using 3/8″ elastic.  If you are using smaller/larger elastic you will need to correct the measurements accordingly.

First, measure two lengths of your elastic to two inches long.  This will give you one for each side.  Set these pieces of elastic aside.

Now, we have to measure and draw our casing placement.  I’m going to make a 3 inch long casing a little more than 3/8 of an inch from the top-stitching under each arm.  This means that the mid point is 1&1/2 inches.

Now, draw a line at the beginning and the end of the three inches.  This will allow you to see where the closing stitching will go. 

Use your ruler to measure down a little more than 3/8″ from your top-stitching.  You’ll need to make sure that it is large enough for the piece of elastic to slide in.  Make a mark so that you know how far down that point is.  Your casing is going to be curved to match the arm hole, so I suggest measuring this way at the midpoint and on each end of three inches.

Now, connect these marks by placing your ruler on them and drawing a line.  Again, it will curve with the armhole.  Make sure that your end marks touch this line.  You’ll end up with a nice little drawn box.

Here’s what you should have so far:

I have drawn pink lines on the pictures so that you can see the boxes better.  My chalk lines are very light.

Now, take your dress to your machine and stitch the bottom line of the box.  This will give you a casing between the top-stitching and your newly sewn line.

You will now use your safety pin or bodkin to run your elastic into this casing.  Make sure you pin the edge without the safety pin to the dress slightly beyond the vertical line at the edge of your box.  You will want to sew this line first.  I went back and forth a couple of times to secure it.  Then, pull the elastic out the other end, remove the safety pin, and sew that line of stitching.  This will give you an entire box of stitching, and secure your elastic in place.  You will repeat these steps for the other side.

You should now have elastic in both sides, and this ends our day.  Your results should look similar to mine.





If you have any questions, just leave it in the comments section and I’ll try to answer it!

Don’t forget tomorrow is our sixth and final day of Marieke.  You’ll have a complete dress on Friday!

Don’t forget to add your link if you want others to see what you have completed on this day:


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Carri permalink
    January 31, 2009 10:33 pm

    I’m so behind, but I’m almost done. A quick question about the elastic – did you stitch the lining and dress together to make the casing? And then slip the elastic up in between the lining and dress?

    Of course, right when I finished this and tried it on my daughter, she said she really liked it but now wants and old fashioned patchwork dress!!!!


    thanks for the tutorial – it was really great!

    • February 1, 2009 12:32 pm

      Yes, you stitch a casing and you run the elastic between the lining and the dress. I can’t wait to see your finished dress!


  1. Marieke Sew-A-Long: Day 6 « The Adventures of Wondermommy

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