How to Add an Elastic Gusset to Riding Boots

Written by ruth o'neil
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Riding boots are a necessary part of the rider's costume for horse shows. Boots help the rider to hold onto the stirrups. Sometimes, as a young person grows, her legs become a little tight in the calf of the boot. You can make the boots last just a little bit longer by adding an elastic gusset to the side of the riding boot that makes the boot expand some, giving the wearer a little more comfort.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Seam ripper
  • 3-inch wide elastic
  • Scissors
  • Clothespins
  • Heavy-duty thread
  • Sewing machine with heavy-duty needles

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  1. 1

    Take out a portion of the inner seam of the boot leg. Start at the top, and use the seam ripper to remove the threads and separate the two pieces of the boot. Remove 4 to 5 inches of the threads.

  2. 2

    Cut a length of the elastic to 7 inches.

  3. 3

    Lay the elastic on the inside of the boot on one of the sides that you took apart. Allow the elastic to hang over the top and the bottom 1 inch. Let the elastic overlap the underside of the boot by 1/2 inch. Use clothespins to hold the elastic in place.

  4. 4

    Topstitch down the side of the boot and the elastic. Taper the seam down to form the first half of a "V."

  5. 5

    Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the other side of the elastic and the boot. Make sure to taper the seam to form the second side of the "V."

  6. 6

    Double stitch across the bottom of the elastic ¾ inch to secure it in place.

  7. 7

    Fold down the top edge of the elastic to the inside of the boot 1 inch or until it is flush with the top of the boot, and sew across the top edge.

  8. 8

    Repeat all the steps with the other boot.

Tips and warnings

  • Buy elastic that matches the color of the boot.
  • Use a very sharp sewing machine needle and a heavy-duty sewing machine to work on the leather of a boot. A sewing machine with a free arm makes this project so much easier.

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