How to join the elastic ends

How to join the elastic ends

How to join the elastic ends so that they don’t fall apart inside your waistband or cuff?

Before setting to work, preshrink your elastic by pressing and steaming, and then choose the method that you like the most.

No overlap, method 1

  1. Place the elastic ends together so that they meet.
  2. Sew the abutted ends together with a zigzag stitch. Use a stitch length of 1 mm and stitch width of 3−5 mm.
  3. Stitch edge-to edge, catching both elastic ends with the machine needle.

This method works great with thick elastic where you want to avoid bulk.

No overlap, method 2

  1. Cut out a 5×7 cm (2”×2 ¾”) piece of thin fabric that doesn’t fray, like lining fabric.
  2. Mark the center on the fabric piece, match a cut edge of elastic with the marked line and stitch 1 cm (3/8”) away from the elastic end.
  3. Do the same with the other cut edge of elastic.
  4. Align the elastic ends and sew them together with a wide zigzag stitch. Cut off the excess fabric right next to the seams and elastic edges.


  1. Overlap the elastic ends by about 1.3 cm (1/2”) to shape a round.
  2. Stitch the layers together with a wide zigzag stitch.

The technique is good for thin elastic and it ensures the ends are held together securely.

Plain open seam

  1. Fold the elastic in half, match and pin the ends. Stitch on the sewing machine, backstitching at the beginning and end.
  2. Lay the seam allowances open and stitch down each elastic end 8 mm (just under 3/8”) away from the seam.

With this method, you can also stitch around the perimeter of the seam allowances laid open.

Find more sewing tips here:

How to sew buttons on without making a knot first

How to make a topstitched elastic waistband

Tips for accurate first fitting