How To Pick the Best Elastic for Your Sewing Projects

ELASTIC VARIETY

There are a lot of types of sewing elastic out there and knowing how to pick the best elastic for your sewing projects will affect the quality and final results of whatever you are making.

In this post I’m going to go over:

  • different types
  • what each one looks like
  • how to use each one

There are three basic types:

Here are four specialty elastics

All are used in different applications and serve a specific purpose.

They come in all kinds of widths, from 1/4 inch to 3 inches and up. Your pattern will typically specify which width to use, but in general, thinner ones are used for things like swimwear and necklines, while wider ones are used for waistbands for skirts and pants.

TYPES OF ELASTIC GUIDE

Here is a table showing the different types  and when you can use them.

Print this out and display it in your sewing room for a quick reference. 

DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THE PDF

chart
BRAIDED ELASTIC

BRAIDED 

Elastic Description

  • Parallel ribs
  • Narrows when stretched
  • Looses stretch if sewn into
  • Rolls more easily

Uses

Sleeve and Neckline Casings

 

KNIT

Description

  • Cross woven
  • Soft to the touch
  • Does not narrow when stretched

Uses

Waistbands (pajama bottoms, men’s briefs, skirts)

Lightweight-medium fabrics

WOVEN ELASTIC

WOVEN (Non-Roll)

Description

  • Horizontal & vertical ribs
  • Firm
  • Does not narrow when stretched
  • More durable

***Tip: use a stronger needle when sewing into it

Uses

Waistbands of pants and skirts with heavy fabrics, houseware items, outerwear

LINGERIE

Description

  • Decorate loops on the side
  • Soft to the touch

Uses

Underwear, bras

SWIM 

Description

  • Does not rot or perish
  • Heat resistant
  • Chlorine resistant

Uses

Swimwear, leotards

FOLD OVER 

Description

  • folds in half
  • soft against the skin

Uses

Leotard, underwear, headbands, hair ties, DIY watch bands

CLEAR

Description

  • Thin and clear

Uses

Gathering knit fabric, shoulder seam stabilizer

Extra Tips 

 

Picking the Right Type

  • First, consider if you will be sewing through the elastic or placing it in a casing. Remember, the braided and woven elastic doesn’t do as well being sewn through.
  • Knit or braided types are better for lighter fabrics, while woven is better for heavyweight fabrics.
  • Use specialty elastics like lingerie, fold-over elastic, and clear elastic for your projects that have special requirements.

Picking the Best Size Elastic

  • Pick the size based on the size of the casing or insertion area and the location on the garment the elastic will be.
  • Neckline elastic needs to be much thinner than waistband elastic, for instance! Your pattern will most likely recommend the width needed.
  • Don’t cut it lengthwise. You’re much better off just getting one that is the right width.

Cutting the Length

  • Test stretch your elastic to check how much it stretches and if it recovers well.
  • You may need a shorter length of braided elastic to accomplish the same stretch as a knitted elastic.
  • Thinner elastics stretch more than wider ones, so take this into account when cutting your length.
  • Use a safety pin to join elastic and test before cutting.

I hope you foun this helpful.

Please send me a note if you have any questions while choosing the elastic for your projects.

Have fun sewing!

jan3

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Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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How To Grow Comfrey and Use It Safely // A Must in Everyone’s Garden

ELASTIC

Growing comfrey in your garden can offer a wide variety of uses and benefits and it’s an herb that I think everyone needs to have growing in their garden. This herb is not only medicinal and will add so much to your herbal remedy tool belt, but it’s also a very attractive plant.

What is Comfrey?

Comfrey is a perennial herb (that comes back every year). The genus name for comfrey is Symphytum, and means to “heal together”.  It is well known to assist healing in any part of the body that is torn or broken. Otherwise known as knitbone or slippery root, comfrey plants have been used medicinally since 400 B.C. to stop heavy bleeding and to treat bronchial issues.

 

COMFREY IN GARDEN

Growing Comfrey Plants

Growing this herb is super easy. Propagation can be done with seed, division, or separation. Sow comfrey seeds in fall or early spring directly in the garden or in a cold frame and pot seedlings to be over-wintered inside.

Division of comfrey herb plants may occur at any time, however, spring is suggested. Divide by cutting off 3 inches (8 cm.) of root below the soil level and then plant directly into a pot or another area of the garden.

Propagating Comfrey

I find the easiest way is to find a start. You may need to get a start from someone who already has it growing, as I have not seen it in any nurseries or garden centers.

All you need is a piece of the root and you’re good to go. As comfrey can be an aggressive spreader, you may want to plant within a physical barrier and deadhead flowers to rein in its spreading habit. MAKE SURE WHEN YOU PLANT THIS HERB, THAT YOU PLANT IT SOMEWHERE THAT YOU’LL WANT IT TO REMAIN. Because the roots go down so far, if you ever want to move it, most likely after you dig it up, it will come back.

We made a BIG mistake once in our garden and rototilled a few plants up and we had bits of the root all over and then we had comfrey everywhere. We finally got it under control and have this herb growing where we want it. I find it doesn’t spread if the root it left alone. In fact, I find that weeds do not grow around it either. (Very interesting).

This herb requires very little maintenance once established. It is generally frost and drought-hardy and primarily disease and pest-resistant.

We have grown this herb in our garden for years and use it frequently.

Comfrey Benefits and Uses

As mentioned above, the comfrey herb plant has a long history of medicinal use. Useful not only for staunching blood flow and arresting some bronchial ailments, but comfrey has also been used to heal broken bones. Comfrey tea is often ingested for internal illness and poultices are applied to external ailments. Comfrey contains high amounts of allantioin (also found in nursing mother’s milk) and is said to increase the rate of cell growth, which in turn increases the number of white blood cells. The application of allantoin has been shown to heal wounds and burns more quickly and promotes healthy skin with high mucilage content. I have personally seen it heal chemical burns, and sunburns, and assist rapid healing in deep wounds with no scaring.

COMFREY PESTAL

A Personal Experience with Comfrey

When my son was in his teens he hit his face pretty hard on a rail while skiing and his lip was pretty messed up (not the first time this has happened), he asked if we had any comfrey to put on it. Even my kids know the many benefits of this plant.

Typically, we would just go out and pick a leaf from the garden, but at the time the comfrey plants were under 2 feet of snow. Luckily I had some already blended up in the freezer.

In the fall I took a bunch of comfrey leaves and washed them and blended them up to make a thick paste. I then spooned it out into ice cube trays and froze it. Then I just popped them out into zip bags and put it in the freezer for times just like this. Then all we have to do is take a cube out, thaw it and apply where needed.

My son just took a blob of green goop and placed it all over his top lip, and sat there while he did his homework. He did this a few times and by the third day, you could hardly tell he even had an injury.

I could go on and on about this amazing plant and give you several more personal experiences on how it has helped us.

COMFREY POULTICE

In a nutshell, comfrey leaves and roots are used externally as a poultice or ointment for:

  • bruises
  • broken bones
  • wounds
  • pulled muscles and ligaments
  • reducing inflammation
  • sprains
  • sunburn
  • burns

I use comfrey to make a wonderful healing salve, which is very easy to make. You can find the tutorial and recipe for the salve HERE.

Having this herb growing where you have easy access to it is a good step in being a little more self-reliant. I feel much more at peace with my comfrey plant just outside my door!

LEARN MORE ABOUT OTHER HERBAL REMEDIES HERE IN MY ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES BOOKLET

Benefits of Comfrey in the Garden

Comfrey is not only good for our bodies, comfrey can be helpful to our garden soil and other plants as well. Comfrey can be made into a “compost tea” which is beneficial for fertilizing your garden. Some of your livestock will happily munch away on this plant, particularly chickens and pigs as well.

This herb is an excellent mulch and fertilizer. It is well balanced with a good combination of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. When you use comfrey as mulch, it will mine those nutrients from deep under the soil, and then return them to the soil where other plants can access them.

It is very easy to mulch with comfrey. Simply chop it down, and if possible, chop it into smaller pieces. Lay the pieces around the plants you want to mulch and the comfrey will quickly decompose, allowing the nutrients to go back into the soil.

How to Make Comfrey Tea Fertilizer

If you don’t want to use comfrey as a mulch, you can make comfrey tea to use as a FERTILIZER FOR YOUR PLANTS, NOT FOR YOU. Do not ingest this tea, rather, it is a liquid plant feed.

  1. Place your plant matter – the leaves, stems, etc – into a container and cover it with water. Put a lid on it to contain the odor. You’ll want to let this mixture brew for four to six weeks.
  2. To use it, mix it with 1/3 ‘tea’ and 2/3 water and use it as you would any other liquid fertilizer when you water your plants.

Spring is here and this is a great time to get your hands in the dirt. So be thinking of a place in your garden where you can plant this baby. If you live in Utah, I would love for you to stop by and I can give you a start. Just send me a note if you are interested.

jan3

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Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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Roasted Veggie Orzo Salad Recipe | Simply Delicious

roasted veggie orzo salad

Oh, baby, this warm roasted veggie orzo salad is packed with nutrition and flavor and is super easy to make. The creamy dressing combined with roasted vegetables, and the small pasta pellets is an amazing combination your palate is going to love.

This recipe can be modified to make it vegan and gluten-free if desired.

Makes a great leftover meal the next day and the salad is good cold or reheated.

Feel free to add whatever vegetables you want to roast. I give some other options below.

The dressing for this roasted veggie orzo salad is also really good on other things. You’ll see when you make it and taste it how versatile and yummy this would be on other things, and it is so simple to make!

roasted veggie orzo

What is orzo?

Orzo is a thin, oval, rice-shaped pasta that is often used in soups in Italian cuisine, but you can use it in pasta dishes, soups, grain bowls, and other places where a small pasta can come in handy. Here are some tips on how to cook it.

Roasted Veggie Orzo Salad Ingredients

  • 3 cups COOKED orzo (quinoa, rice, or gluten-free orzo)
  • 2 diced red pepper
  • 4 diced large carrots
  • 1 small head of cauliflower (chopped)
  • 2 zucchini (cubed)
  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup feta (optional vegan feta)
  • parsley: garnish

Other veggie options: asparagus, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli.c

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup hummus (EASY TO MAKE RECIPE HERE).
  • 2 TB lemon
  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TB water
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)

This roasted veggie orzo salad dressing can be used and is so yummy for all kinds of other salads and dressings, and it is so simple to make!

warm roasted veggie orzo salad youmakeitsimple.com

Instructions Roasted Veggie Orzo Salad

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Cook orzo following directions on the package. Drain and set aside.warm roasted veggie orzo salad chopper
  3. Chop the vegetables and place them in a big bowl. ( I LOVE THIS FOOD CHOPPER). It comes in so handy when making soups, salads, and snacks. I use it all the time).
  4. Drizzle a little olive oil over the veggies, add salt and pepper and mix well to coat veggies.
  5. Place the coated vegetables on a large cookie sheet (You may need two pans if your cookie sheets are small). THE VEGGIES DO SHRINK DOWN QUITE A BIT.

  6. Roast the veggies for 30 minutes.

  7. Warm chickpeas up in the microwave for a minute with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.

  8. Add all ingredients into a large serving bowl.

  9. Mix dressing together and pour on top. Garnish with parsley!

roasted veggie orzo salad

This roasted veggie orzo salad is a really good salad for parties, family gatherings, and luncheons. 

Roasted Veggie Orzo Salad Recipe | Simply Delicious

roasted veggie orzo salad

This warm roasted veggie orzo salad is packed with nutrition and flavor and is super easy to make. The creamy dressing combined with roasted vegetables, and the small pasta pellets is an amazing combination your palate is going to love.

This recipe can be modified to make it vegan and gluten-free if desired.

  • Prep Time15 min
  • Cook Time10 min
  • Total Time25 min
  • Yield8
  • Serving Size1 cup

INGREDIENTS

SALAD

    • 3 cups cooked orzo (quinoa, rice, or gluten-free orzo)
    • 2 diced red pepper
    • 4 diced large carrots
    • 1 small head of cauliflower (chopped)
    • 2 zucchini (cubed)
    • 1 red onion (diced)
    • 1 15 oz can chickpeas rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 cup feta (optional vegan feta)
    • parsley: garnish

SALAD DRESSING

    • 1/2 cup hummus
    • 2 TB lemon
    • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 TB water
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • salt (to taste)
    • pepper (to taste)

INSTUCTIONS

1

Preheat oven to 425° F.

 
2

Cook orzo following directions on the package. Drain and set aside.

3

Chop vegetables and place them in a big bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil over the veggies, add salt and pepper and mix well to coat the veggies.

4

Place the coated vegetables on a large cookie sheet (You may need two pans if your cookie sheets are small). THE VEGGIES DO SHRINK DOWN QUITE A BIT.

5

Roast the veggies for 30 minutes.

6

Make the dressing while veggies are roasting.

7

Warm chickpeas up in the microwave for a minute with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.

8

Add all ingredients into a large serving bowl and mix well.

9

Enjoy!

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Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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The Perfect Pom Pom Tutorial // 2 Simple Methods // 3 Sizes

the perfect pom pom

In this craft tutorial, I show you how to make the perfect yarn pom pom. Oh, there are so many fun things you can do with a colorful pom pom. I’m going to go over 2 simple methods and 3 different sizes that you can make, and I’ll give you some really fun ideas of what you can do with these colorful balls of color.

Materials & Items Needed

  • yarn
  • sharp fabric scissors
  • paper scissors
  • recycled cracker box/cereal box/oak tag paper
  • wide mouth canning jar (large pom pom)
  • pencil/pen
  • fork
  • large serving fork
  • 2 empty toilet paper rolls
pom pom sizes

Here are the three different sizes and how to make them.

Mini Pom Pom Instructions

  • Take the fork and hold it sideways in your less dominant hand. Leave a small tail and start wrapping the yarn around the fork prongs. DO NOT WRAP TOO TIGHTLY!

 

  • Continue to wrap the yard until you get it plump as shown in the photo above. Do not over wrap. Cut the yarn.

 

  • Cut another piece of yarn about 12 inches/30 cm. Slide the bundled yarn up a little being careful not to let the wrapped yarn fall off the fork. Stick the end of the yarn into the center bottom space in the prongs.

 

  • Pull it out to the other side and bring it up between the top center space in the prongs.
  • Wrap the two ends of the yarn around twice to form a half knot and pull it tight. NOT TIGHT ENOUGH TO BREAK THE YARN! Slide the yarn bundle off the fork.
  • Wrap the two yarn ends around to the other side of the yarn bundle and repeat the half knot. Pull tight and knot. Cut the tails to the width of the bundled yarn.
  • Take the fabric scissors and start cutting the top center of the yarn loops until you’ve cut the whole bundle of yarn loops. Having a pair of SHARP scissors makes this process a lot easier. (Check out the VIDEO TUTORIAL WHERE I SHOW YOU A TIP ON HOW TO SHARPEN YOUR SCISSORS).
  • Now cut around the edges of the yarn bundle to form a circle. Shake it and turn it sideways. Flatten out the yarn strings and cut the circle edges. Repeat this process until you have a symmetrical ball to your liking.
  • Roll it between your hands to fluff and even it out.
medium pom pom

Medium Size Pom Pom

Repeat the steps for the mini pom pom, but USE THE LARGE SERVING FORK.

large pom pom

Large Size Pom Pom

  • Make the circle templates. Trace the canning jar top onto the cardboard paper twice to make two circles. Cut out the circles and set them aside.
  • Take the two toilet rolls and clamp them with your fingers as shown in the photo above. Place the end of the yarn between the two rolls. Start wrapping the yarn around the rolls. (Don’t wrap too tightly). ****Note: Wrapping two strands of yarn will make the process a lot faster. You can also make a variegated pom pom by using two different colors.
  • Wrap until you have a plump center as indicated in the photo. The more you wrap the more plump the pom pom will be.
  • Using the same techniques as with the smaller pom poms, tie off the pom pom.
  • Slide the yarn bundle off the tubes, once you tie off one side. Then bring the ends together on the other side and knot them off.

  • Cut yarn loops and flatten the yarn bundle by smoothing out the strands of yarn to the outside.
  • Take one of the circle templates and center it on the yarn bundle. Then take the other template and place it on the bottom to form a “yarn sandwich” with the yarn bundle in-between the two templates.
  • Start trimming the yarn around the edges of the template. Remove the templates and shake out the bundle.
  • Turn it sideways and flatten and smooth out the yarn strands. Repeat the sandwich process and flipping until you have a round pom pom.
  • Trim and clip the ball until you have a fluffy even ball.
pom pom ideas

What to do with the finished pom poms

Here are five fun ideas of how you can use these cute colorful pom poms.

pom pom garland1- Make a pom pom garland.

 

pom pom headband2- Sew a mini pom pom onto a baby headband. (SO CUTE).

pom pom gift package3- Use them to decorate a gift package instead of a bow.

You may be interested in some other fun ways to decorate a gift package. 

cat pom pom 4- Cats love to play with the mini pom poms!

pom pom zipper pull5- Attach a mini pom pom to a piece of twine to make a unique ZIPPER PULL.

 

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Please reach out if you have any questions.

Get out a pair of sharp scissors, and a ball of yarn, and have fun making pom poms!

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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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