Have you ever used FOE (fold over elastic)? I'd been mildly interested, but I don't really sew enough clothing to justify ordering any. Then I saw some at the sewing expo a few weeks ago, and was sorely tempted... and when I saw the "remnants - all you can stuff in a bag for $10" bin, I fell for it. I think I scored a great deal - I got at least 45 yards, of several different widths and colors. Plenty to play around with now!
My first attempt to use it was for this simple circle skirt for the kid. Happy St. Patrick's day! I followed the basics of the MADE tutorial (could not be any easier!). When it came time to do the waistband, I cut a length of FOE about the same length I would for normal elastic if I was using a casing. I pinned it at 4 places, and stretched the FOE as I sewed it down with a zigzag stitch. Super easy, super quick!
The only problem is that it somehow turned out WAY too big! I wasn't about to redo it (me? rip out zigzag stitching? not on your life!), so I just made two really ugly tucks on the sides. On the upside, it will be really easy to let those tucks out, so this skirt should last for *years*! So I guess the stitching makes it so that the elastic doesn't un-stretch all the way back once you've sewn it down. Is there some magic formula for how much shorter you should make it? I guess I can answer my own question - for about a 19" waist, I had to take up about 4 or 5". So, about 25% less. There you go.
I did look around youtube to see if there were any videos about how to use FOE. I found a few, but nothing about how to measure it to fit a waistband. I loved the Angry Chicken video, but even hers didn't say anything about it. Oh well, I'm okay with trial and error!
And speaking of other new things to try - what do you know about laminated cottons? I picked up a couple of these remnant pieces at the expo ($1.50 each, for two extra chubby fat quarters), but they curl up like crazy! I can't imagine trying to sew when the fabric is like this. Especially for a laminate - aren't you supposed to avoid using pins? Any hints for how to get them to lay flat? I tried to press them, but it just seemed to make it worse. Should I wash them, or throw them in the dryer? Any other advice? I'm not even sure what I'm going to make with them, maybe snack bags?