HOW TO SEW FOLD OVER ELASTIC TUTORIAL
Need an efficient way to sew hems? Fold over elastic is a great lingerie elastic alternative. It’s affordable, easy to use, soft against the body and gives your hems a clean finish. Whether or not you’re an experienced lingerie seamstress, this lingerie sewing tutorial will show you how to sew fold over elastic in 4 easy steps!
WHAT IS FOLD OVER ELASTIC?
Fold over elastic also known as FOE is basically the stretchy version of bias type. FOE comes in array of widths, colors and prints. It is typically used to finish the edges on a garment. Although FOE comes in various widths, from my experience I’ve learned - the wider the width, the easier to sew!
There are typically two sides of FOE; one side is shiny and the other side is matte. There is no right or wrong side. If you take a closer look at the FOE you will notice there is a center line. This center line marks where you would typically fold the FOE in half before or while sewing.
WHERE CAN YOU PURCHASE FOE?
FOE can be purchased both in-store and online. Whether you’re sewing for yourself, loved ones or a business, you typically want to find the cheapest FOE by the yard. I don’t mean cheap as in poor quality but as in the lowest price you can find. Most of the time if you shop for FOE in-store it retails for around $1.20 USD a yard. If you shop for FOE online and possibly on a spool, you can find it for $0.20 USD a yard. That’s a huge difference and a whole lotta money saved. If you really wanna save even more, you can get your sellers permit and buy FOE at wholesale pricing.
Here are a few great resources that sell FOE at an affordable price:
- Joann’s Fabrics
PREPARING YOUR PATTERN
Since FOE doesn’t need to be turned in or flipped while sewing like most lingerie elastics, the seam allowance isn’t necessary. If the sewing pattern you’re using for this lingerie sewing tutorial includes a seam allowance, trim the seam allowance off. After preparing your pattern, cut out your fabric.
CHOOSING YOUR STITCH
When sewing FOE, I highly recommend using a zig zag stitch. Most sewing machines by default come with both; a regular zig zag stitch and a 3-step or multi-step zig zag stitch. Although the regular zig zag stitch is a great alternative, it limits the stretch of the finished hems, may cause the fabric to bunch or tunnel and if stretched too much, the zig zag stitch itself may break.
The 3-step or multi-step zig zag stitch is composed of 6 small stitches; 3 to the left and 3 to the right. These 6 small stitches will keep the fabric flat while sewing, prevent tunneling and stretch with the finished hems. The 3-step or multi-step zig zag stitch is best used for sewing garments with stretch including but not limited to lingerie, swimwear and activewear.
HOW TO SEW FOE TUTORIAL
If you’re a beginner lingerie seamstress, I would highly recommend pinning the FOE to the hems before sewing. Begin by sandwiching the fabric in-between the FOE. This will help ensure you catch both the fabric and the FOE while sewing.
1. Before turning on your sewing machine, place the hem with the FOE under the presser foot. Drop down your presser foot.
2. Turn on your sewing machine and double check your stitch length and width.
3. Remove the first pin and slowly start stitching on top of the FOE making sure the fabric stays sandwiched in-between the FOE. Pull the FOE slightly towards you while sewing to prevent warped hems. Repeat for other hems.
4. Quality check your finished hems. Slightly pull the fabric away from the sewn hem to ensure the fabric was caught in-between the FOE.
Are you having trouble sewing with FOE? Have a warped hem? Did the fabric not catch in-between the FOE? These are all common mistakes almost every lingerie seamstress makes whether or not you have years of sewing experience. If your finished hem is warped, you will need to slightly pull the FOE towards you a bit more the next time you sew. If the fabric didn’t catch in-between the FOE, I would recommend sewing slower next time and making sure your fabric is in-between the FOE while sewing. If you have to sew and stop every 1” to make sure you’re catching the fabric in-between the FOE, that’s totally okay! If you’re still having trouble sewing your FOE please leave me a comment below and I’d be more than happy to help you.
FOE is a great alternative to most lingerie elastics. It’s basically a 2-for-1 stitch and will save you a lot of time especially in production. There are various ways to use and sew FOE so don’t limit yourself to this lingerie sewing tutorial.
WANNA LEARN MORE?
If you loved this lingerie sewing tutorial and are eager to learn more, be sure to follow How to sew Lingerie over on the Alexandrea Anissa Lingerie Pinterest account. This board is updated daily, and includes everything you want and need to know about sewing lingerie.
WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN A VIDEO SEWING TUTORIAL? DO YOU USE FOE FOR SEWING LINGERIE? Please leave a comment on the bottom of post with your answers. Be sure to tag your posts with #alexandreaanissa or #cheekythrills so I can check out your amazing garments.
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