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Used to be, you had to cover elastic with fabric to get fashionable suspenders. No more! With Dritz® FOE (Fold-Over Elastic – NOT Fraternal Order of Eagles) a stylin’ pair of ‘penders is a whip-it-up project you can do in under an hour. In fact, these are so easy and inexpensive, you could make a pair for nearly every outfit in the closet in nothing flat. There are 10 solid colors and 12 patterned options of Dritz® Fold-Over Elastic. From brights to pastels, colorful to classic. Something for any occasion or outfit. 

Suspenders or “braces” have long been a favorite of grown-ups from jolly ol’ St. Nick to hard-workin’ loggers to button-down attorneys. For young children just learning to dress themselves, they’re an easier alternative to a belt in the pants-holding-up category.

Our thanks to brand new premium Sew4Home sponsor, Dritz®. We’ve had fun playing with their Fashion Elastics this week, and we’re looking forward to bringing you more great projects in the future. Leave us a comment below and let us know which Dritz® notions you’d like to know more about.

Our supply list below gives you click-to-buy links for the new elastics available at Jo-Ann.com. You’ll find a great variety of all the Dritz® Fashion Elastics (and more) both online and in store at Jo-Ann Stores as well as your other favorite fabric retailers. Dritz® is the Sew4Home go-to brand for sewing notions and tools: easy to find, easy to use, always economical. 

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies


Supplies listed are for ONE pair of suspenders, adjustable for an average size range of about 3T – 5.

  • TWO packages of Dritz® Fold-Over Elastic; we used Green/Gray Foulard for our “boy suspenders” and Coral/Tan Stripe for our “girl suspenders”
  • TWO 1″ metal sliders; we used a conventional outdoor gear slider, but you can also try the ¾” Dritz® Vest Sliders. For the 1″ wide patterned FOE, the softness of the elastic allows it to feed through the slightly smaller opening. For the ⅝” solid FOE, will easily fit through the Vest Sliders.
  • FOUR 1″ Dritz Mitten or Suspender Clips
  • All-purpose thread to match or contrast with elastic
    NOTE: We used matching thread on our green suspenders and contrasting thread on our pink suspenders. The look is up to you. 
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Scissors
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins

Getting Started 

The Dritz® FOE comes in 1 yard lengths per carded packed. You will start will two. Cut each 36″ length down to 31″. As mentioned above, this sizing is for young ones.

At Your Sewing Machine 

  1. Find one 31″ length of FOE elastic. Slip one raw end through one slider, weaving it under the center bar.
  2. Fold back the raw end ¼” and pin in place. 
  3. Fold this end back onto itself, going past the slider just far enough to allow your presser foot room to stitch – about 1″.
  4. Stitch in place close to the fold, using a zig zag or straight stitch.
  5. Slip the opposite raw end of the elastic through one suspender clip. (Yes… we know in the photo below that end is still just pinned – just close your eyes and imagine it’s really stitched down.)
  6. Thread the raw end back through the slider, weaving back over the center bar. The stitched down end is now hidden between the two layers of elastic. 
  7. Repeat with the second 31″ length of FOE elastic so you have a matched set.
  8. Slip each remaining raw end of each elastic length through a suspender clip. 
  9. As above, pull the raw end through and fold it back ¼”. Then fold this end back onto itself, going past the loop of the suspender clip just far enough to allow your presser foot room to stitch. Zig zag in place close to the fold…
  10. … or use a straight stitch. Repeat for the second length. 
  11. Working on the non-slider ends, stack the two lengths on top of one another right sides facing up. 
  12. Measure up from the folded end 5½” and place a pin through both layers. This is your back pivot point. 
  13. Using this pin, pivot apart the two lengths of elastic until there is about 5″ between the suspender clips.
  14. Pin the lengths together with an “X”.
  15. With the suspenders still right side up, slip the “X” under your presser foot. Topstitch through both layers, running your seam parallel to the edges of the elastic to form a diamond shape. 
  16. You can use matching thread, as we did with our green Fold-Over Elastic.
  17. Or, use a contrasting thread, as we did with our pink striped pair. 


Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever

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