This past weekend I pulled out a favorite old tshirt that had seen better days and some fold-over elastic with the intention of making a pair of So Zo undies. It was easy breezy cutting out the tiny pattern pieces from the tshirt and then sewing the first couple of seams. When it came time to sew the elastic onto the raw edges of the fabric, I took Zoe’s advice and started with a three-step zigzag. It was my first time working with fold-over elastic, and I’ll save you the suspense – it was a disaster. Had I read forward in the instructions, I would have noted that in the next paragraph Zoe recommends practicing on scraps of fabric first. Yes, that would have been a very good idea. A bit deflated, I cut off the offending bits and put the undies to the side. Since the fold-over elastic was still out, I decided a quick no-sew project would do me some good. Before even a half hour was up, I was the proud owner of a dozen or so fancy new hair ties.
Have you seen these cute hair ties out and about yet? I was first introduced to them this past summer during a girls’ weekend away (the one that had me rushing through the making of the first ombre striped shingle dress). My trendy friends were all about them. They gushed about how comfortable they were on the wrist and how they didn’t put creases in your hair. I was intrigued, especially since I recognized that they were just pieces of sewing elastic. I decided I’d make some as soon as I got home, but then I promptly forgot. Until now.
Have some scrap fold-over elastic laying around and want to make your own no-crease elastic hair ties? It’s simple!
First, cut your elastic to length. To determine the right length for you, you can either cut willy nilly until you get something that works or you can take a more scientific approach. If you’re opting for the latter, I’d recommend taking your scrap piece of elastic, folding it into a loop, and then tying it into a loose knot close to one end. Try it on your wrist and in your hair. Is it too tight? Too loose? Adjust the knot until you get it just right. (Remember to keep that knot somewhat loose so that adjusting is easy, but not so loose that it won’t stay put!) Mark or cut the elastic just outside the final knot, untie it, and then measure the resulting length. I marked my ends with pins and found that I liked an elastic length of about 8″ (20 cm).
Now you just tie your cut piece of elastic into a knot! If you want a cute little bow, wrap the elastic around something wrist sized, like a seam roll, so that you can have a bit more control when tying the knot.
Or, skip the bow and go for a simple knot.
Finally, the raw edges of the elastic will fray if left unfinished. I don’t know the rules about what one should and shouldn’t say about potentially risky behaviors involving fire on the internet. I could imagine that I should at least start by saying I do not recommend that you do anything that may cause you, those around you, and the stuff around you harm. I truly don’t! That means I can’t recommend what I did next. But, I’ll write it out anyway for posterity’s sake. So, yes, to finish my raw ends, I held them one by one near a flame, and within a second they neatened right up. Really, all I had to do was get the elastic near the flame. If I had held the elastic too close to the flame, it may have caught on fire, and fingers would likely have been singed! Not to mention the mess (and potential fire) that hot, melty, flaming elastic would make! So, really, I can’t recommend this method at all. Please don’t play with fire. I take no responsibility if you do!
Anyway, that’s it! A snip and a knot and you’re all finished! It’s no wonder I turned to making these little guys after the three-step zigzag mess, right?
You can proudly wear your new fancy hair ties in your hair or on your wrist, or you could put a few of them around nice cards and give them as gifts. The holidays are coming up after all!