How To Make A Garter Without A Sewing Machine

Tools Required

To make a garter without a sewing machine, you’ll need a pair of scissors, a ruler, a fabric marker, and a varying width of elastic.

If your fabric selection is stretchy and requires a seam allowance take the time to press a crease line on each side. Only do this if your fabric needs it. For example, if you are using a sturdy piece of fabric like cotton or upholstery it won’t require any creasing.


Before you start, measure the circumference of your thigh, just above the knee, with a fabric or measuring tape. This will be the length of your garter.

Divide the measurement of your thigh by the number of your garter. For optimal comfort, cut the elastic measurement a few centimeters more than the thigh measurement. Also, double the measurement of the fabric so it overlaps.

Pointers for Cutting

When you’re cutting the fabric, keep in mind that your garter needs to fit nice and snug, but not too tight. Avoid stretching the fabric when you cut it. Cut it on the edge so that all edges are even and clean.

Before cutting the fabric, check the specification of the chosen fabric to ensure you don’t run into any surprises. Make sure the fabric doesn’t have any exposed threads. This will cause the cuts to unravel.

For an attractive, stylish garter, the cuts should all be even in length and width. This can be easily done using a ruler or measuring tape to ensure accuracy. Measuring and cutting carefully will save you a lot of time with the finishing process later.

Gathering and Assembly

Gently gather each end of the elastic, and sew it to the fabric, leaving at least two inches of the end elastic free from the stitch. Stitch each end of the elastic in place. Your fabric should fit tightly around the elastic ends.

When the gathering and assembly process is complete, your garter should feature a snug and secure fit. This can be easily checked by pulling lightly on the end seams. Make sure to double-check and ensure that the stitch has been done properly.


After the garter is complete, it’s time to work on the finishing touches. Pinch the end seams and trim them on the edges. This will help give your garter a professional, clean look.

If you want, you can add a few decorations, such as a small ornament, to give it some character. Or you can add a few decorative stitches for a unique look.

Sizing and Fitting

When fitting a garter, it’s important to adjust the fit correctly. The fit should be snug and secure, yet it should not feel restrictive when worn. Avoid making it too tight as this can cause discomfort when moving around.

When checking the fit, ensure that all the seams are secure and tight and that the fabric isn’t bunching. If necessary, make adjustments to ensure the garter fits perfectly.

Care Instructions

To ensure the longevity of your garter, make sure to clean it properly. Hand wash it in cold water and air dry it on a flat surface. Heat-based washing techniques, such as ironing and tumble drying, may damage the elastic and fabric.

For extra care, iron your garter with a pressing cloth at medium heat to keep it looking neat and crisp.

Alternate Construction Techniques

For those who are familiar with hand sewing methods, there are alternate construction techniques that can be used. Instead of gathering the fabric, you can stitch the elastic directly onto the fabric pieces, or alternatively use the technique of topstitching.

However, these methods require more material to make a garter. If you plan on using these construction techniques, make sure that you measure the fabric pieces thoroughly. This will avoid any additional costs for purchasing more material.


Due to the stretchy nature of the fabric and elastic, it’s important to consider your safety when making and wearing a garter. Check the fabric carefully for any rips or tears before stitching elastic. If fabric is stretched or pulled too hard, it can damage the fabric.

When fastening the closure of the garter, make sure to do it securely so that the fabric doesn’t pull away. A poorly fastened garter may come apart and cause an embarrassing gust of wind.


Making a garter without a sewing machine is not as difficult as it may seem. With the right tools and materials, anyone can create a stylish garter with ease. Just make sure to follow the guidelines outlined here, and you’ll be able to make a unique garter that’s perfect for your next party or gathering.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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