Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sewing the elastic to the band

In the lingerie sew-along I orgnized a few years ago I’ve published this post on how I sew the elastic to the band. I’m re-posting it here for general information. I’ll try to gather a bit of those posts as a conclusion to my lingerie sewing month.

One of the most common problems in bra making is the rolling/flipping of the elastic to the inside. This is often caused because the elastic is sewn too low on the band. In one of the classes I took it was told that the maximum height of the band under the cup is 1.25 cm (0,5 inch). It was said that in a lingerie sewing contest  this was one of the things that got extra attention.
This is the way in which I sew the underband. It’s specially made as a tutorial, so only a partial bra is shown and non-matching colors are used for all parts.

Sew cups in the underband.
Sew the elastic to the  underband, pluche side up and picots pointing to the cup.
On the inside, sew the chanelling to the cup, on the very edge, almost onto the seam where you sewed the cup to the underband.
Turn the elastic and topstitch it with a triple zigzag.
The elastic attached.
The inside at this point.
Now topstitch the chanelling twice. Once close to the seam, once on the outer edge of the chanelling. After many bra's, this is still the most difficult part for me, sometimes I have to take it out because it shifts on the inside, and I won't get the wire through.
Finished on the inside.


  1. Thank you for so many clear pictures! This is perfect for referring back to. I'm going to "pin it."

  2. TFS. I am eagerly sucking up all the info I can on bra makiing.

  3. That's really interesting about the band height under the cup being a maximum of .5" - what about longline bras? Does that just require more fitting (vertical seams to allow for the proper circumference throughout the length) or are there really lengths that are just "wrong"?

  4. I wonder if the integrity of the garment would suffer at all if I could do the last under cup band zigzagging "after" I did the channelling top stitching, thereby allowing me to control where the zigzag goes. My purpose of this would be to avoid the zzzzz on the channeling. After all, it's not like that small bit needs to stretch.
    Previously, I would try just to avoid the channeling area with the zzzz.

  5. Thank you, your pictures make it look so simple. I'm sure it won't be when I get to this part.

  6. Why do you topstitch the channelling twice? I've always sewn it once to attach it to the cups, then flipped it up or down, depending on pattern, to secure the outer edge.
    I've just had a squiz at some of my RTW bras and it seems to go both ways. The pretty lacy ones are stitched twice, the plain and more "functional" ones are stitched once. Huh! Any ideas why?

  7. Thanks for the guidelines and the pictures helps to follow the step easily.

  8. Great tutorial and pictures! I like to use a 5/8" wide elastic on the bottom, so the band width must be 1.5" so that once the elastic is turned to the wrong side it lays just against the channeling. I also leave the band fabric behind the elastic when I turn it for extra support :)