Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sewing with FOE (Fold-Over Elastic)

Sewing with fold over elastic, or FOE, might take a little practice, but it is very fun and simple to work with if given the chance. It's also ideal for projects like diaper covers, so I wanted to share a few tips in case it's a new notion for you.

First, I always sew FOE with a 3-step zig zag stitch. This stitch will insure that you catch the fold on the inside as you sew much easier than a straight stitch. It also holds the trim down more evenly and smooth. In addition, it is a stronger stitch for a product that will be stretched.

 As you sew, you'll want to stretch the FOE taut in the areas where you want stretch or gathering, for example with this project, in the leg areas and back as seen in the cover with the pink trim. The green has not been stretched. Obviously this would completely effect the fit and function of the item. Hope the picture will allow you to compare what you are sewing. Note, I am using a cotton fabric that has been laminated on the wrong side here, a polyester fabric would gather even more.
(The extra pieces of lavender fabric you see in the picture above are for snap next step!)
Now for finishing. This method was taught to me by a lovely and talented seamstress named Denise on Diaper Sewing Divas. I thought I would share here in case you aren't a member of that sewing board.
You will continue sewing the FOE, guiding it so it neatly overlaps where it was started. The image on the right shows this with contrasting colors of FOE. I like to stop/start on the back of my covers, but it can be done anywhere. Once it overlaps, bring the FOE around to the back, flatten open and continue sewing to secure it in place.
 The back or inside will look like this. And I'm a strong believer of reverse stitching at the beginning and ends of all of my sewing, which can clearly be seen here. One of those things mama really ingrained in me when she first started teaching me....and yes, I've done the same with my girls! ;)
 Trim the excess and it's finished. Again, the images below are of the same step, just the one on the right has contrasting FOE to help demonstrate more clearly.

Hope this helps those of you embarking on the new territory of FOE! It really is a lot of fun to work with and there are many different ways to use it. Don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions. I'm very happy to have you sew along and very happy to help!


Dorian said...

Thank you Kristy, I am enjoying your tips and tricks for making diapers/covers. I want to make some for my next child, but haven't started just yet. This was very helpful though.

Pam @Threading My Way said...

This is the second time today I've come across a 3 step zig zag. Prior to today, I had never heard of it. I'll have to find it on my machine... Pinning this one, too...

ChrisW Designs said...

I have the 3 step zig zag on my machine BUT rarely have used it....GREAT tip!!
- ChrisW Designs

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