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Ripping out rows of stitches
s.gopalan
s.gopalan
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Date: 8/11/13 11:58 AM

HI, I hope someone can help with an unusual question I have. I have 2 favorite pants where the waistline elastic has become loose. I need to replace this elastic. However, there are about 6-8 rows of fine stitching over the waistband. Is there any relatively fast way of ripping these stitches, and if not, do I have any options other than tossing these perfectly good pants?
Thanks !

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usis

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to s.gopalan <<
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Date: 8/11/13 12:02 PM

Cut top threads every 1/2" with a seam ripper and then take hold of the bottom theads and give them a tug.

A wide strip of duct tape will help catch the bits and pieces of thread.

Good TV work. Watch and Rip!

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I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 8/11/13 12:54 PM

If you can open up the waistband (so you have access to the inside of the stitches), a scalpel type seam ripper makes swift work of slicing through long rows... but it's not much help for actually getting access to hard-to-reach areas (you'll need a regular seam ripper for that). Just yesterday I had to pull out several rows of boning casings in a corset, which would have taken forever with a traditional seam ripper. It took some wiggling to get the scalpel between the layers, but it sliced them apart lickety-split! (Only try to do one row at a time, though.)

Watch your SR's blade size; they actually vary a lot. I once bought one whose blade was HUGE! Fine for removing basting, but too thick to fit in regular stitches.

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~Gem in the prairie

beauturbo
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Date: 8/11/13 2:06 PM

Maybe you can cheat, particular if you don't wear your shirts tucked in, and the top of them will not show. My mother has had pants like that. On hers, instead of undoing all that sewn in elastic and trying to put new in, I just used the same stitching lines in there, as casings to run a bit of new narrow elastic through them, to draw them in a bit more.

Probably depends on how narrow it is between lines of stitching, and how picky you are for perfection, but if you even make a few slits on the back side of the waistband within the stitching lines there, you may be able to put some narrow elastic on a safety pin, and thread it through there and make it tighter that way. then just hand sew up the slits on the back of the sewn in one wide elasticated waist band afterwards. It won't look perfect, and would be more bulky around your waist, just because now two layers of elastic there instead.

But, it also would only take a fraction of the time compared to doing it right and pulling out and remaking the whole waistband too. So, depending on how you value your time or how nice and expensive the pants actually are/were, that might be another option.
-- Edited on 8/11/13 2:08 PM --

s.gopalan
s.gopalan
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Date: 8/11/13 6:34 PM

Thanks to each of you;these are possible solutions I could not think of. I will give one of them a try.

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usis

sewdoggie22
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Date: 8/12/13 1:10 AM

You might consider changing the look of the pants by adding a wide elastic on the outside. I did this with a pair and like it a lot. I found the elastic for $1.00/yd. It's about 4 inches wide. Measure your waist using the elastic, cut off what you need and stitch it together. Divide the elastic into 4 sections and mark with pins. Do the same to the pants. Place the elastic on the outside and match the pins, gently stretching the elastic as you sew. You may want to sew two lines of stitching.

Pj3g
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In reply to s.gopalan <<


Date: 8/12/13 10:45 AM

So timely that you should ask about tightening an elastic waistband. I have been kicking around in my head whether I should post a tip about using elastic to tighten up any waistband. Maybe I should.

Anyway, start here and then scroll right I've written below each photo what I did. You can just add elastic to the inside of your pants just as I did. I for one, am not going to be fussy about how something looks on the inside of a waistband that no one but me will ever see. So ripping out all those stitches for me would be a big no. Hope this helps.

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Thank you Lord for my Mother who taught me the joy of sewing, for my Father who encouraged my sewing, for the talent You gave me to sew, and for all the special people in my life to sew for.

s.gopalan
s.gopalan
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In reply to Pj3g <<


Date: 8/12/13 12:48 PM

Thanks a lot. This sounds like a clever idea, and would save me a lot of ripping.

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usis

Pj3g
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In reply to s.gopalan <<


Date: 8/12/13 3:57 PM

Glad it helps you. If it helps you, it might help someone else so I decided to write a tip on how to easily tighten up a waistband

You know, when we repair our own clothes, no one will ever see the insides. So I say to do it the easiest way possible.

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Thank you Lord for my Mother who taught me the joy of sewing, for my Father who encouraged my sewing, for the talent You gave me to sew, and for all the special people in my life to sew for.

Brine
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Brine  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/12/13 8:06 PM

One other option is what I did when faced with a similar problem. I cut off the entire waistband and replaced it with a contrasting colored casing, into which I inserted a 1.25" elastic. This works best if you consider it a "design feature" and add a pocket or other embellishment in the contrasting fabric as well

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Brine

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