All About Elastics!


Hi All!
Today I wanted to do a post about elastics today. I’ve done a little highlight about Bliss Wires, and Bra Tulle, and now I thought I’d give a moment to talk about elastics, the elastics I like, and what I use in my bras.
In general I use all the same strapping for my bras, either 1/2″ or 3/4″, whatever width you like. You want something with a bit of stretch, and a nice plush underside to go against your skin! If you are using the strap elastic for the front strap of your bra, you want to make sure that you reinforce it with ribbon, or something non-stretch, because your front strap shouldn’t stretch!
Apart from the strap elastic there is band elastic (there are other special elastics that are more decorative – but I won’t get into those now!)
Of the band elastics there are three main types of elastics that I use and that I offer in my Etsy Shop: regular elastic, fold-over elastic, and fold-over elastic with a picot edge!
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The first type of elastic, regular, is really straight forward, this is your ‘band elastic’ that you use on the bottom band of the bra, and on the top band /underarm, you can also use this elastic to finish the neckline.
These are elastics that you sew onto the right side of your fabric, then flip to the inside, so only the picot edge is showing (if you want the picot edge out!). For this type of elastic you want a nice amount of stretch, but a great amount of rebound, something that bounces back really well. And a nice plush side for against your skin.
Regular elastics are a stronger and firmer option than fold over elastics, because they are thicker elastics, and I would recommend them for larger sizes (especially in the 3/4″ width).
I used 3/8″ regular elastic on this Plunge Bra from Week 35!
I like to use a combination of 3/8″ and 3/4″ band elastics, with the 3/4″ band elastic for a wider and more supportive element on your bra band.
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The next type of elastic is fold over elastic, I love using fold over elastic. One of the types I use is a plain fold over elastic, which comes flat at 3/4″ that you fold over your unfinished edges of your bra to a finished width of 3/8″. It gives a nice sharp edge to your bra.
I love this type of elastic, it gives a great edge and it has a very soft and gentle pull, and I like using it with the matte side out, but the shiny side is a good other option. This elastic is not as supportive as regular elastic, but is always a great option for necklines, and can be used for the band.
This is the elastic that I used in my Black Beauty Bra.
I have this in my plain fold over kits, with 3/8″ folded elastic and either 3/4″ straps and 3X3 hook and eye or 1/2″ straps with 2X3 hook and eye.
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The other type of fold-over elastic I use is picot edge elastics.
These elastics are a gentle, fold over elastics, in both 3/4″ and 3/8″ finished width. They have a lovely matte soft outside. These elastics are not as supportive as a regular elastic but, they are lovely and soft and have the cute picot edge! This is the elastic I used in my Snow White bra.
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These are all elastics that I use and love and elastics that are available in findings kits on my Etsy shop and with every bra kit!
I wanted to do the post to explain a little more about them because I’ve been getting lots of questions! So now you know a little more about the elastics!
If you are interested in making a bra, and the kits don’t have the right combination of elastics, or enough elastics or channelling or fabric for your project- you can always send me a custom order request and I can make a kit special to your needs with the elastics that I have!
What are your favourite types of elastics? Do you like using regular, or fold-over? What widths are your favourite?
Let me know!
Erin
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10 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Thank you for your answer, Erin!
    Olga

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Hi Erin, and thank you for this very informative post! I have fold over elastic in my stash but i'm hesitant to use it in my bras because it seems weaker than the regular picot elastic and i'm affraid, as you say, that it won't give the necessary support. How do you supplement for support when using it? I love how it looks on your bras and I would like to use it in mine and still get a functional bra. Any tips? Thank you!
    Olga

    • Reply

      Hi Olga! Thanks for the comment!! Unfortunately there isn't anything that you can do to increase the strength of an elastic. BUT there are a few things that I like to do when I'm using fold over elastic. Firstly I like to use a very heavy duty powernet or power mesh for the backband that will give great support and tension (no stretch mesh!). Secondly I like to make sure that I use a non-stretch fabric for the frame/cradle, so you don't have to worry about elastic support there.

      Also fold over is a great option along the neckline. If I'm using it for a neckline or for my front straps and I don't want it to stretch out, I put a strip of ribbon, twill tape or some strip non-stretch material inside (with fold-over it will be completely hidden!) and that will take away the stretch and re-inforce it.

      That being said, I don't know that there is anything that will replace a high quality regular style elastic, especially in the 3/4" width for larger cups that need the extra support.

      But if you don't end up using the fold-over for all the elastic on your bras- it is lovely for panties too!!

    • Reply

      Hi, I´d like to ask about powernet / power mesh. Is it stretchy? (I guess it must be if you use it for backband). How does it differ from stretch mesh?
      I live in Finland and I must order all lingerie supplies. "Makebra" is a good webshop (Finnish) but I need some things they don´t have, so I have to order from abroad as well, and I´m a bit confused about all terms regarding fabrics etc.

      Thanks for your superb blog, btw! 🙂

    • Reply

      Hi Jenni! Yes powernet/powermesh is stretch and will generally have a stronger amount of stretch than a stretch mesh (although you can take that with a grain of salt because all companies will have different names and different manufacturers for their product, so it is always good to test fabrics first!)

      For me the difference is that powernet/powermesh, is much stronger and more supportive, it can be used for the back band in bras but it can also be used in foundation garments like spanx to give the 'tummy control' or compression effect.

      Stretch mesh on the other hand, is a might lighter weight fabric. It also has spandex stretch but it's not nearly as strong. I like to use stretch mesh for the body piece of a tankini (for a covered-but sheer look) or for other design elements, it has a nice drape. I don't personally find that it gives the amount of structure and support that I like in the back band of my bras.

      Let me know if that helped!

    • Reply

      This helpes a lot! Thanks!!! 🙂

  • Reply

    Thanks for posting this, I'm wanting to start sewing bras but feel rather overwhelmed.

    If I wasn't so far from Canada (I'm in Australia) I'd come to a class. If anyone wants to start bra sewing courses in Adelaide I'll be there front and centre!

    • Reply

      Thanks Elizabeth- bra making can be really overwhelming especially when it comes to supplies!

      It seems like there are so many of you lovely sewing ladies from Australia! Maybe one day I'll have to around the world to meet you all 🙂 🙂

    • Reply

      That sounds like a wonderful plan 🙂 just need to find a fabric store here to do a couple of classes! Australia is awesome. Its nice and warm today (max of 34 celsius), much nicer than the coldness of Canada this time of year 😛

    • Reply

      Sounds like a plan for the future- and definitely during Canadian winter- you're making me so jealous with those temperatures!

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