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Lets talk sewing tool chest supplies. what are your top 5 notions to always keep stocked? Clear elastic is one of my top 5 and if you’re not using it yet, let me share some ideas and purposes that may convince you to stock up.
The most commonly used clear elastics are available in ¼” and 3/8” widths. Some clear elastic is rated for swim too, but don’t assume it is, it will be advertised as such. I use sewing machines for all my sewing and I find a zig zag stitch that is slightly narrower than my elastic width works the best for me. Jersey and stretch needles both work well in applying this elastic.
So what are we using all these elastics for? Glad you asked!
I'm an athletic wear lover and clear elastic goes great here! Leggings waistbands are one of the common areas for clear elastic because it gives just enough grip to keep your leggings from sliding off your booty, without adding bulk. When applying in a waistband, don’t stretch your elastic, apply it with a 1:1 ratio to your band.
You might be familiar with the ruched booty trend, thanks to the infamous Tik Tok leggings (speaking of, have you shopped ALD’s fab selection of unique honeycomb knits??) Just a scrap piece of clear elastic sewn in the center back seam helps hold that ruched look together!
Clear elastic can also be useful in sports bras too, as pictured above. It can stabilize and tighten your neckline, so nothing “pops” out during those downward dogs! Bustier people will find clear elastic useful in their straps for added support too… I cannot personally attest to this haha, but plenty of others have.
Similar to sports bra uses, clear elastic can be used for additional support in swim tops. For the classic triangle bikini top, I like elastic on both “sides” of the triangle. This makes for a much more secure bikini that I can feel safe splashing around in.
Now here is the important thing to note, not all clear elastic is rated for swim. If you are making swimwear to sell, I would not recommend regular clear elastic. However, I have used non swim elastic in my personal suits successfully. Non swim elastic will not hold up to long term chlorine use and sea salt, but works just fine for fashion bathing suits that only get worn a few times a year (because I have plenty others to wear!).
I like using clear elastic in underwear too, depending on the look I'm trying to achieve. If I want thinner leg bands, translating to minimal panty lines, I use clear elastic folded into the seam
Cut a few inches of elastic and sew onto the off shoulder side of a shirt to make a loop for hanging in closet - that's what the hanger's notches are for
Sew clear elastic into shoulder seams of garments or spaghetti straps that can use reinforcement, like a tunic length shirt in a heavier knit etc. I am wearing a heavy maxi below that could use elastic in the straps. If I wear the dress for more than an hour or 2, my neckline gets lower.
Using clear elastic to produce gathers in one step is actually pretty simple with practice.
Peplum tops and dresses with tiers need clear elastic sewn into the seam allowance where the tiers join to support the weight of the skirt/tiers
Do you have other uses for clear elastic? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below! Plus get ideas from other sewists!
Pre-Order Open Now
Do you need some clear elastic to keep on hand? Now's your chance!
Amelia Lane Designs just opened a pre-order for a 200 yard spool (on the open pre-order page, here)
If 200 yards sounds like a lot you'll be surprised how fast it goes with so many uses!
But it's always in stock in smaller quantities in the Notions Collection.