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Zill Fitting

How to sew elastic in your zills

Good fitting zills are a must when practicing and absolutely vital when performing. To make sure your zills fit snugly and comfortably, try the following technique.

1. First, cut a length of elastic long enough to fit snugly around your finger, plus ½" for seam allowance. When I say snug, I mean you probably will have blue fingertips after playing the first few months. In addition to keeping the zills on your fingers, snug elastic will also ensure that the don't rotate on your hands while playing-something equally frustrating.

2. Holding the ends, slide the zill on your finger and snug it up. A friend is invaluable in this step to mark with a pen on each end of elastic where to sew. Remove your finger from the elastic and stitch the elastic together on your marks or use a small safety pin to secure. Use heavy duty thread and sew securely.

3. Trim the elastic ends fairly close to the stitches and then turn the entire elastic loop inside out so the seam allowance is toward the zill. This is a little tricky, especially with new elastic, but it looks much neater and will snug up the elastic when you put the zill on.

Customize zill elastic so that you have slightly larger loops on your thumbs than on your middle fingers. Keep your zills in a bag just large enough to hold them, but not so large that they jumble around and get out of order. Some dancers mark their zills with a bit of nail polish on top of the thumb zills.