Creative Lifestyle, PenSeb&Rox, Tutorials, Tutorials & Freebies, Uncategorized

Tutorial: Make Waistbands Smaller Quickly and Attractively

collage_graphic

Today I have a quick tutorial on how I make waistbands smaller quickly and attractively.  I started using this method for ready-to-wear clothing that has the elastic stitched down. It works most of the time when you find yourself with pants (handmade or ready-to-wear) that need a smaller waist but for whatever reason you do not want to adjust the existing elastic. Or make other permanent changes.

DSC_8790

It might be due to all the work to remove and replace a waistband neatly on a cheap pair of pants (me!) or you don’t want to permanently alter the pants from their actual size for when the pants get handed down.

DSC_8785

Both of my kids get longer faster than they get wider and that means they will outgrow the length on pants long before they come close to the pants staying up on their own. At least in the case of pants without adjustable waists. I’m not going to invest large amounts of time to properly tailor a pair of casual pants that I bought on clearance or  down to us.

DSC_8857

In a pinch, I’ve stretched a piece of elastic across the back of a pair of pants and used a zigzag stitch to keep it in place. It takes a few minutes, does not look very pretty, but it works when you realized the shorts do not fit your kid and you are running out the door.

The nicer looking method I’m about to show you takes a bit longer but not too much. When I made this tutorial it took me 30 minutes to adjust 3 pairs of pants while taking time to take pictures along the way.

DSC_8775

Materials Needed:
Pants, shorts, or other bottoms
Coordinating thread
Fabric scraps
Elastic (see note about width in tutorial)
Plus the usual stuff like scissors, ruler, pins, sewing machine, etc.

DSC_8791

Step 1: Measure the width and height of the waistband of the pants while they are laying flat.

DSC_8794

Step 2:  Add 1/2″ to both the width and height you measured, then cut a piece of scrap fabric to those dimensions.

DSC_8796

Step 3: Fold the fabric 1/4″  towards the wrong side on each side of the strip and press. Stitch the two folds in place.

DSC_8798

Step 4: Fold the fabric 1/4″ towards the wrong side and press,  on both the top and bottom of the strip. There is no need to stitch.

DSC_8800

Step 5: Right side up, center and pin the strip in place on the interior back of the waistband. Stitch along the top and bottom of the strip. Be sure to backstitch at the start and end. In order to give the casing as much room as possible for the elastic I stitched as close to the edge as I could get.

DSC_8809

Step 6: Thread the appropriately sized elastic through the casing leaving the tail right at the start of the casing. Stitch that side in place, backstitching a couple of times, and making sure you catch the elastic really well.

I’m vague about the elastic width because you will pretty much want as wide as possible so it will pull the waistband in as needed but not so wide that you can not thread it through the casing. Since waistband heights vary, I can’t predict what size you will need.

Since elastic edges can fray over time you can zigzag over the edge or use a bit of something like fray check.

DSC_8824

Step 7: I used a pair of Pen’s pants that fit as a guide when pulling the elastic to the right size. Once I thought it was suitable, I pinned the elastic in place and tried the pants on Pen. After everything checks out stitch that end in place like you did at the start of the casing. Make sure you catch the elastic and backstitch a few times.

Tutorial: Make Waistbands Smaller Quickly and Attractively // pensebrox.com

DSC_8849

Step 8: Voila! Pants that will stay up!

DSC_8778-before

DSC_8843-after

Big difference don’t you think?

 

 

6 comments

      You’ll have to try it! So far I’ve only done it with kids pants but I really should do it with some of my own. 😛

    I need to do this with basically all of Louis’ storebought pants. His waist has seriously not changed in like two years, but his legs continue to grow. And now he’s in that weird stage where he’s between the 6T and Youth sizes…so nothing fits him well. And making pants for him hardly seems worth the effort sometimes because he keeps getting so tall so quickly! AGH!

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top