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Tips & Techniques > Tighten Up Any Waistband Easily With Elastic

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Posted by: Pj3g
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About Pj3g star
Member since: 2/14/11
Reviews: 42 (tips: 9)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 17 people
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Posted on: 8/12/13 11:39 AM
Last Updated: 5/11/14 3:03 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 18 people   
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For years I have used elastic to tighten up all kinds of waistbands. I've added elastic to jeans, dresspants and even pants that already have an elastic waistband. Recently I "saved" a beautiful skirt that I had just finished making for my GD. After all my work making the skirt the elastic waistband was too big. It was a wide pretty metallic elastic. So to make the waistband fit my GD I sewed narrower elastic to the inside of the wide elastic. I didn't have to rip out a single stitch and it was such an easy fix too. It was after that when I started thinking about posting this as a tip especially for new sewers so they will know fixing and repairing can sometimes be quick and easy. You don't always have to do it the way a book says.

Click here to see photos and explanations of how to sew in elastic The details are written below each photo. Scroll right to see a total of five photos including the waistband on the skirt I made for my GD. Oh, in case you're wondering, it's totally comfortable to wear too!

If ever you need to remove the elastic it comes out easily because you've used a long stitch length to attach it. Just rip out the stitches on the short ends of the elastic, pull on the bobbin thread on each long side of the elastic--they fly right out and you're done!

Now, if a waistband had easy to get at elastic inside a casing, well then I would rip open a small section of the casing to get at the elastic and replace it or shorten it. But for all other waistbands I just add elastic to the inside of the waistband like shown on the photos.

Updated with another idea - May 2014:
The waist and leg openings on my GD's swimsuit bottoms were much too big. I used Dritz 3/8" Lightweight Clear Elastic which says on the package back that it is suitable for swimwear and chlorine. I stretched and sewed the elastic to the inside of the waist and leg openings. It worked perfect and now her swimsuit stays up. I used a size 16 ballpoint needle and it went through the thick bindings of the suit wonderful.

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Pj3g said... (8/2/14 12:32 PM) Reply
s.gopalan -- I always try to answer a question if someone asks on my reviews. Don't know how I missed yours because I do have my notifications set to let me know if someone comments. So sorry for the long delay on your question. Anyway, I use whatever elastic I have on hand. For the width, I would say the wider the better because it's more comfortable to wear. However, the width of the elastic should be smaller than the width of the waistband you're sewing the elastic into. For instance, if the width of the waistband is 1 & 1/2 inches, then I would probably use 3/4 or 1 inch elastic. Hope this makes sense.
s.gopalan said... (5/20/14 12:27 PM) Reply
Thanks for a great and practical tip. What is the general rule for how long a piece of elastic is needed, relative to the waistline-is it 1/2 in., 3/4 in.,or other?Thanks
s.gopalan said... (5/20/14 12:27 PM) Reply
Thanks for a great and practical tip. What is the general rule for how long a piece of elastic is needed, relative to the waistline-is it 1/2 in., 3/4 in.,or other?Thanks
Patti B said... (5/19/14 9:36 AM) Reply
Nancy Anne said... (12/20/13 3:18 PM) Reply
Wonderful tutorial! I'm pretty innovative when it comes to fixing clothing easily, but this never occurred to me!
Erin D said... (9/3/13 11:05 PM) Reply
This is a nice tip. Unpicking some waistbands is a total nightmare-thanks for posting this!
meels1 said... (8/16/13 11:54 PM) Reply
Thanks for the photos. I've sometimes wondered if this would work, and now I can see it's very successful.
sewpatty said... (8/15/13 1:50 PM) Reply
Great tip. Thank you.
nitsel said... (8/13/13 11:37 PM) Reply
Thanks for sharing this great, time-saving idea! Your pictures and explanations are clear and easy to understand.
maria 6705 said... (8/13/13 8:15 PM) Reply
Great idea! I'll be trying it soon.
JEF said... (8/13/13 11:36 AM) Reply
Wonderful tip!
PollyBee9 said... (8/13/13 9:04 AM) Reply
Perfect timing. I have shorts that are a bit too big for a client's daughter and I was wondering how I could easily fix it and still be able for it to be removed when she grows, hoping that next summer she can just remove the elastic and get another year's wear. Thanks
NonieA1 said... (8/13/13 4:53 AM) Reply
Thank you for sharing. I like the idea of just doing it exposed as no one is really going to see it except you. Great tip.
Melinda In Tulsa said... (8/13/13 2:04 AM) Reply
This is a great tip, thank you 👍
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