Exposed Elastic Skirt Tutorial

I can’t stand the unsightly ruffled, raw-edged mess that always seems to happen to me on the inside of an exposed elastic project.

Maybe it’s just me, but it CAN’T look nice, at least, I can’t slow down enough to make sure that each ruffle is expertly laid down

precisely the same distance from the other…I

‘m not patient enough, especially because no one else will ever see it.

BUT, it still bugs me.

exposed elastic skirt

Photo Credit: Alaina Pierce Photography





So I dreamed about an exposed elastic technique… and this 1/2 circle skirt was my successful attempt to see if my dream technique would work…successful.  Here’s the inside of my skirt:  {isn’t it pretty!?}

exposed elastic tut 12a

So, here’s my easy tutorial on how to do it!

Exposed Elastic Skirt tut 1 copy


OK, so I started by making the complete waistband with my 3″ elastic.  I measured how I wanted the elastic to fit on my waist and then marked with disappearing ink where the two ends should meet.  (You can see my marks in the  below picture.  I then serged my ends just in case, and then folded on end under and stitched a rectangle to secure it to itself.  I thought this way made it less likely that I’d have a hard seam poking me in the back while I was wearing my skirt.

Next construct your skirt!  I cut out a 1/2 circle skirt, but this technique would work on any skirt, from cull circle skirt, to just a regular 2-sided a-line skirt.




expossed elastic tuta


Once your waist band is ready, and your skirt is ready to have the waistband put on, divide your waistband and skirt (top) raw edge into quarters by marking the front and back center and the two sides.  (please see the next two pictures.)


exposed elastic tut 1a

exposed elastic tut 2aa

Next, just as you would put a yoga waist band in, you’re going to match the skirt’s 4 markings to the wasit bands 4 markings.  BUT this time, you’re going to match the marks with wrong sides together.  In the below picture, you can see the mark on the inside front-center of my skirt.  I match that mark to the front-center waistband mark, with the wrong sides matching…

exposed elastic tut 3a exposed elastic tut 4a

And repeat this same matching method for each of the 4 markings, like below.  (I also wanted to make sure that by mistake, none of my raw or serged edges would be seen, so I lined up my skirt just a hair above the edge of my elastic.  see below

exposed elastic tut 5a

Next, attach the two as you would a regular yoga band, stretching the elastic evenly, as you pull the skirt fabric through.  As in the picture below, make sure your skirt fabric lays flat to the elastic.  If it doesn’t, you’ll need to stretch your waistband more as you sew.  I usually hold one hand on my starting pin, and stretch with the other hand that is on the next upcoming pin.  Once I reach my right hand, I swap hands.  (hope that makes sense!)

exposed elastic tut 6a

This is what you should have after the waistband and skirt have been joined, with wrong-sides together.

exposed elastic tut 7aa

The next and last step is ti flip your waist band out, so the wrong-side of the waist band is on the right-side of the skirt.  see the next two pics:

before: (wrong-side to wrong-side)

exposed elastic tut 8a

after: (wrong-side of elastic to right-side of skirt)

exposed elastic tut 9a

All that’s left is to stitch the elastic down to the right side of the skirt fabric using the same method as before.  make sure the skirt fabric is straight and flush with the elastic by stretching the waistband as you sew.  Make sure that you’re using the longest stitch on your sewing machine to allow for maximum stretchability!

exposed elastic tut 10a

That’s it…erase your marks, and you’re good!

exposed elastic tut 11a

Enjoy your pretty skirt from the inside and the outside!

exposed elastic tut 12a


exposed Elastic Skirt tut copy