Rose pattern feature: waistband elastic options

Let’s zoom in on one of my favorite features of the Rose pattern: the waistband. Rose features a flat waistband in front, and elastic in back.

The waistband is constructed similarly to my Cleo skirt pattern, except that I designed it with two elastic channels rather than one — each taking a piece of 3/4″ (19 mm) wide elastic — to help create a wider waistband than Cleo. During testing, some of our pattern testers mentioned that they would love the option to just use a single piece of 1.5″ (38 mm) wide elastic, which is more commonly used for wide elastic waistbands, so we added some info to the pattern so that you can use wider elastic if you’d like as well.

Is two pieces of elastic better, or one?

The answer is: they’re both great options. I’ve written the pattern default as 3/4″ (19 mm) wide elastic, but included notes to help you adapt it for 1.5″(38 mm) wide. To give you a comparison, here’s a look at each elastic option (you’ll notice that it’s actually pretty difficult to tell by appearance which is which), along with some pros and cons!

Let’s start with my favorite, the double channel:

PROS (double channel)

  • Conforms to waist shape more easily — this is nice if you have more of an hourglass figure, which I personally think is a bit more comfortable
  • Doesn’t need to be stretched-and-stitched down the center – this can be a bit more difficult for beginners
  • narrower elastic costs less per yard

CONS (double channel)

  • 3/4″ (19 mm) wide elastic may be harder to find
  • Requires threading two pieces of elastic rather than one
  • you’ll need to buy more elastic (2 lengths rather than one)

rose pants / fanciful fabric

Rose pants / back view / made by Rae sewing patterns

Now for the single channel:

Rose shorts / made by Rae

These gold Rose shorts feature a single piece of 1.5″ (38 mm) wide elastic rather than the double channel, but it’s stitched down the middle so it looks like a double channel (it’s not!).

PROS (single channel)

  • 1.5″ (38 mm) wide elastic may be easier to find (?)
  • only have to thread one piece of elastic
  • you only need to buy half as much elastic as the double channel

CONS (single channel)

  • may not be as comfortable or conform to waist curves as easily
  • may require stretch-and-stitching down the center to prevent it from rolling
  • wider elastic costs more

Again, I’m not sure all of the “cons” are really “cons”…this may just really depend on your personal preference and how easily you can find each kind of elastic. Many of our testers said they loved how comfortable the double channel is despite initial misgivings over having to thread elastic through two channels rather than one. I’m happy to say the pattern now has the flexibility (get it?? eh? eh?) to include both!

Elastic source recommendations

For all garment elastic, I highly recommend Fashion Sewing Supply elastic. It’s super soft and stretchy — the most comfortable waistband elastic you will ever find. They carry both 3/4″ (19 mm) and 1.5″ (38 cm) wide elastic, as well as a number of other widths. This is my go-to shop for waistband elastic and garment interfacings. Not an ad, I just love this elastic.

For 1.5″ (38 mm) wide elastic, my friend Meg of Sew Liberated also recommends Dritz Soft Waistband elastic. Full disclosure: I haven’t used it. I used this elastic for the gold shorts, but it’s fairly stiff, so I can’t say I’m a huge fan.

How much elastic will I need?

For double channel / 3/4″ (19 mm) wide: we recommend a length of your waist measurement for 3/4″ wide elastic (Example: If your waist is 40,” you’ll need 2 pieces of elastic 20″ long, or 40″ total)

For single channel / 1.5″ (38 mm) wide: we recommend a length of half your waist measurement (Example: If your waist is 40″, you’ll need one piece of 20″ elastic)

Get your Rose pattern in my shop HERE!

2 thoughts on “Rose pattern feature: waistband elastic options

  1. The Dritz Soft Waistband Elastic is insanely comfortable and you MUST try it! Best elastic I’ve ever used.

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