Exposed Elastic instead of standard waistband

The MyFit Joggers, MyFit Leggings, and MyFit Riding Tights all have great waistband options included in the pattern, but sometimes an exposed elastic is preferred for finishing the waist. 

My husband recently asked for some base layers which was a perfect time to hack on an exposed elastic waistband. Exposed elastic is also a great option when using the MyFit Leggings or MyFit Riding Tights to make boxers. 


Step 1: Waistband options

When creating your pattern, select Yoga Waistband. This waistband is ideal, because it gives you a starting point for the length of the elastic as well as including a seam allowance along the waist edge. You will not need to print the waistband pages when printing your pattern. 

(This image is taken from the MyFit Riding Tights screen, though all bottom patterns have a yoga waistband option.)

Step 2: Measure the elastic you plan to use.

My elastic was 2" and I entered that as my waistband height on the next screen of the generator.


Step 3: Elastic Length

On the waistband pattern piece, the measurements are included for those who prefer not to print. I used the length of the yoga band as my starting point for the elastic length. Stretch your elastic before measuring, then before cutting, wrap that length around your "waist" location. Elastic stretch varies so you may need to add to this length. My elastic was very stretchy, so I was able to use this length. Alternatively, you can use the Elastic Waistband Calculator to determine the elastic length.

Step 4: Attach Elastic

Close your elastic into a loop by overlapping the elastic ends by .5" and sewing it together using a zig zag stitch over each raw edge. If you have a different method you prefer for closing elastic, like butting the ends together or using a fabric scrap to join the edges, use that method. 

Quarter the elastic and the waist opening of your pants.

With elastic against the right side of the fabric, match the quarter points.  If you are using a large seam allowance, place the elastic below the fabric edge, but still within the seam allowance. I used a 1/4" seam allowance, so put my elastic edge at the raw edge. If I had used a 1/2" seam allowance, I would have placed the elastic 1/4" below the raw edge. 

Sew using your selected seam allowance, being sure that if using a serger you do not cut the elastic with the blade.

Turn elastic up, and optionally topstitch the seam down to the pant using a zig zag or coverstitch. 


Switching to an exposed elastic is an easy and quick hack, I'm off to make a similar pair for my son to go under his soccer uniform. 


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1 comment
  • Great tip to use the yoga waistband to set this up:). I like to use my sewing machine and a slightly different construction for exposed elastic. First, the top and bobbin threads have to match the elastic because they will show. Then place wrong sides together after elastic is joined in a loop. Main fabric should be a little lower than elastic edge so the elastic is peeking out. Pin and sew with a slightly short straight stitch, stretching the elastic from both sides as you sew. Then flip the elastic up and the seam allowance will be completely hidden and it will be cleanly finished on both sides. Pin and topstitch close to the edge of the elastic in the same way, stretching as you go.

    Deborah on

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