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Elastic Guide

Elastic can be used for many projects and garments. It is perfect for keeping clothes in place. There are many varieties of elastic that each has their own unique purpose. Our guide will help you learn about the different types of and ways to use elastic.

Uses for Elastic:

Elastic can be used for many garments and sewing projects. The main reason to use elastic is for waistbands. Depending on if it’s a waistband for pajamas, lingerie, baby clothes, a swimsuit, or for a pair of sports shorts – you should also be aware of what elastic you’re using. Elastic can be heat resistant, resistant to perspiration, and even resistant to elements such as sunlight and chlorine.

Types of Elastic:

  1. Elastic Thread: You can use elastic thread for sewing and on your bobbin. You’ll want to wind the bobbin by hand, as using a machine can cause the thread to stretch.
  2. Clear Elastic: This elastic is great for stitching in swimwear, aerobic wear, lightweight fabrics, and even in shirtsleeves to help them stay on hangers.
  3. Round Cord Rayon Elastic: Cord elastic can be great to use in the bottom of sweatshirts and sweaters. It can also be used for beading, other jewelry projects and making button loops. Need a snug fitting seat cover? Use cord elastic to get that perfect fit!
  4. Waistband Elastic: Just like it sounds, this elastic band is used inside waistbands to keep them tight and from rolling down the body. Able to retain its shape well, choices like the Non-Roll Ribbed Waistband Elastic, are great for athletic wear and kids pants.
  5. Braided Elastic: Braided elastic is lightweight and narrows when stretched. It tends to have a longer life expectancy than others, so it’s typically used for heavy use areas.
  6. Knit Elastic: Knit is softer and more comfortable than braided. When stretched, it does not narrow so it tends to be more shrink resistant. It’s great to use in garments that will be washed and worn a lot.

Tips for Using Elastic:

  1. To prevent your elastic from becoming loose over time, it helps to stretch it our a few times before cutting.
  2. To avoid tears, use a ballpoint needle.
  3. Use a stretch or zig-zag stitch when sewing elastic to fabric to allow it to move freely.
  4. Keep elastic out of direct sunlight and avoid storing it when fully stretched out to protect it.

Lessons Learned from a Life of Sewing

When sewing becomes your job, your hobby, your life – it’s not surprising you’ll end up learning a lot of life lessons. Here is what we at Banasch’s have discovered.

  1. Stay active – It’s been proven time and again that sitting for hours every day will cause weight gain and can lead to back and hip problems. It is important to remember to stay active and flexible. This online guide will guide you through some easy yoga moves for quilters and sewers.
  2. Create more with less – A cluttered sewing room can often lead to a cluttered mind. Often times our best work comes from making the most out of what we already have, not buying more fabrics, more needles, or more equipment. Learn how to purge your sewing room with these tips.
  3. The need to create is human nature – The ability for human beings to create beautiful works of art is astounding. To you, sewing may be your work of art. If so, then follow your passion and sew!
  4. Learn from your mistakes – Mistakes are not the end of the world. Sure, they can be detrimental to a business or might cause you to loose a client.  But in the end, unless you can learn from your mistakes and accept that they are going to happen, you may never reach your potential.
  5. Live in the moment – If you are a tailor, it can be easy to let your mind wander from project to project before completing one. Enjoy what you are working on and learn to live in the moment!
  6. Take it step-by-step – Learning a new sewing skill, or even finishing a big project will take time. If you are new to the sewing game, this advice article for beginner sewers will help put it into perspective.
  7. Don’t be afraid of something new – Are you thinking about starting a sewing or alteration business? Go for it! This article with pricing strategies for an alteration business can help give you some ideas for how.
  8. Don’t let sewing be an area of stress – Sewing is good for your mind and body! Embrace the benefits of sewing. 

How to Choose an Iron

Many sewers agree, if you’re not spending the same amount of time at both your sewing machine and your ironing board, then you are cheating yourself and your customers out of quality work. If you’re in the market for a new iron, how do you know what iron is right for you? We’ve compiled a list of factors that should play into your choice.

  1. Purpose – Most home irons are designed and marketed for general use on most fabrics. Professional sewers and tailors are a smaller portion of this market compared to users who just need to touch up the collar of their shirt. Commercial irons tend to have more advanced temperature settings, heavier soleplates, narrower tips, and a much greater steam capacity.
  2. Soleplate – The soleplate should also be a concern when choosing an iron. Soleplates of commercial irons are much heavier. Dry irons have smooth, holeless soles. Dry irons are ideal for delicate fabrics because they will not imprint steam holes. There are a few different theories surrounding Teflon soleplates. Some sewers say never choose a Teflon plated iron because they scratch easily. But if you are seeking a home iron with extream heat capabilities, then a Teflon soleplate might be the best option.
  3. Shape – The nose of an iron can be the defining feature according to some professional sewers. Take the Industrial Gravity Feed Iron for example. It has a pointed nose, perfect for doing the precise work you need.
  4. Weight – You can make your job much easier by choosing a heftier iron. Many professional sewers seek out the heaviest irons they can find to help them smooth out seams and folds. Irons such as the Naomoto HYS-58 Gravity Feed Iron or the Reliable 2200IR/i30 Steam Iron are great choices if weight is the main concern for you.
  5. Steam – If you need a steam iron with an intense, long-lasting steam power, most gravity feed irons will be the best choice. If you can, take a look at the pattern of steam holes on the soleplate. Look for irons that have a nice concentration of steam holes at the tip, and evenly spread holes on the rest of the plate.
  6. Temperature – Most standard home irons only have 3 temperature settings – low, medium, high. Other commercial irons will have more advanced temperature settings to help if you know you will be working with a variety of fabrics and textures.
  7. Auto Shut-Off – We made this its own category because it can often make or break a sewer’s sanity. It can save the day in a pinch. But if the iron constantly shuts off during a longer sewing project, it can be irritating. Keep this in mind as you continue your search.

Check out Banasch’s selection of irons, tools, and accessories. If you have additional questions on selecting the perfect iron for your sewing, do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-543-0355.

Measuring Tips for a Bodice

As we grow (whether we want to or not) and our taste in clothing matures, we must find a way to alter patterns and garments for a better fit. There are a few simple rules we recommend following when altering the bodice-front of a garment for a better fit.

Use a formula called the “length-before-width” rule when altering the bodice of a garment. If the needed length changes are made ­first, then the needed width changes will then be at the right level on the body. If the first changes are made to the width, then when the length measurements are checked and need to be changed somewhere on the pattern, the width changes may now be at the wrong level and need to be redone.

Measurements for bodice-front LENGTH:

  • Center front – waist to neckline over bust elastic
  • Full bodice length – waist to side of neck over bust elastic
  • Bust height – waist to bust point level
  • Shoulder slope – this is only necessary if square or sloped shoulders are an issue
  • Side seam – waist to ¾” below armseye joint

Measurements for bodice-front WIDTH:

  • Shoulder width – end point of collar bone to neck
  • Shoulder tip to tip – between end of both collar bones
  • High chest – from armseye to creases
  • Full bust – side seam to side seam across bust level
  • Waist – side seam to side seam across from of body

School Uniform Measurements

School may just be getting out, but many parents are already wondering how many more uses they can get out of their children’s old school uniforms. There are certain measurements needed for school uniforms that may be different depending on a school’s specific uniform guidelines. Be aware of your child’s guidelines before you take measurements. For example, a school might specify that a skirt, shorts or skort length be no more than 2” above the center of the back of the knee. And pants should not reach below the heel of a shoe. And if the garments have loops, then a belt must be worn. Boys’ shirts and pants tend to be worn a little fuller than girls’. In the event a tie needs to be worn, there needs to be a better fit in the neck.

Take measurements in the following areas:


Boys (7-8 not shown on diagram) 


  1. Neck Circumference – Measure around the neck at the Adam’s Apple, add ½”
  2. Sleeve Length – From the top of the art, measure to the finished sleeve length
  3. Chest Circumference
  4. Upper Arm – With a relaxed arm, measure horizontally, midway between the shoulder and elbow
  5. Natural Waistline
  6. Hips – keeping the measuring tape parallel to the floor, measure around the fullest part of the hips, slightly below the waist
  7. Pants side seam length
  8. Shorts finished length


Girls (8-10 not shown on diagram)

  1. Bust/ Chest – Measure across the widest part of the back, underarms, and across full bust line
  2. Natural Waistline
  3. Sleeve Length – From the top of the art, measure to the finished sleeve length
  4. Hips – keeping the measuring tape parallel to the floor, measure around the fullest part of the hips, slightly below the waist
  5. Upper Arm – With a relaxed arm, measure horizontally, midway between the shoulder and elbow
  6. Back Waist Length – measure from the prominent backbone at the base of the neck, down the center of the back, to the natural waistline
  7. Finished Length – Take the back waist length and continue measuring along to the finished length of the dress/pants.
  8. Pants Side Seam Length
  9. Inseam – Starting on the inner leg, measure from the crotch to the finished length
  10. Outseam – Start on the outside of the leg, measure from the waist to the finished length.

Banasch’s Inc. has all the supplies you need to create a new uniform or repurpose an old hand-me-down. Visit our online catalog today.

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