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How Can I Make My Pants Waist Smaller Without Sewing

Sewing is an artsy method of doing a lot of things with fabrics. You can create new clothes, sew torn clothes, create designs, sew a soft toy and do so much more with sewing. But sewing is not a very easy job and sometimes you need a solution in minutes and that is when you can turn to simple hacks that do not need sewing but can get the job done. 

How Can I Make My Pants Waist Smaller Without Sewing

You can reduce the waist of your pants using safety pins and a small piece of elastic. It is not rocket science and can be done in 10-15 minutes. So, the next time your pants look like they need a fitting, try this method. Grab a scissor, a fresh piece of elastic and get going. Do remember though, this no sew method may not need a sewing machine but it definitely needs some good cutting skills. Read on to know how to make your pants’ waist smaller without sewing. 

How to Reduce the Waist?

What you Need:

This process will help you reduce your pants’ waist by 3-4 inches. Here is what you will need to execute it.

  • Tailor’s chalk
  • A pair of very sharp scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Elastic
  • Safety pins


  • The first step is to iron the waist of your pants. Remove all the wrinkles and folds, so that there are no miscalculations in size.
  • Turn the pants inside out and lay it flat on a surface. 
  • At the back of your pants, mark two points 5-6 inches apart.
  • Measure and mark these points so that they are centered properly on the back seams. Consider the pant seat as center to mark these points.
  • With a sharp pair of scissors, cut the stitches on the marked points and proceed to cut the fold on the waist.  
  • Make sure that the cut stays on the inner side only and is not visible on the outside. 
  • This cut should end 1 cm before the top of the fold. This means, do not cut the waist fold completely. Start at the bottom and leave space at the bottom. 
  • Cut at both the points similarly and keep the cut length the same.
  • Now is the time to measure and cut your elastic. Your elastic cannot be wider than the cuts you have made.
  • Once you have chosen your elastic, measure it to cut. Its length has to be less than the distance between the two cuts. The length of the elastic also depends on how elastic it is. If the elastic is too tight, cut it as long as the ¾ distance between the two cuts. If it is not too tight, cut it as long as ½ the distance between the two cuts.
  • Insert the elastic into the seam through one cut. Pin it using a sewing pin. Pull the elastic out of the other side. Secure it with the pin on this end as well. Now take safety pins and replace the sewing pins with safety pins. 
  • Your pant’s waist will crumble at this point, indicating that your waist size has been reduced. If you do not see wrinkles or they are not enough, you may want to further reduce the size of your elastic and re-pin it.
  • Your pants are now ready to be worn. This is an easy and convenient way of reducing the waist size without sewing. 

How do I make My Pants’ Waist Smaller with Sewing?

The above-mentioned method is the easiest way of reducing your waist size but it does not offer proper finishing. With that method you also stand the risk of pricking yourself with the safety pins, if they open by chance. Following is an equally simple method of reducing the waist size but this one uses a sewing machine. To execute this method, you will need a sewing machine and basic sewing skills. Let’s see how to use this method to reduce your pants’ waist size.

  • Turn your waist inside out and wear it. Stand in the front of the mirror and pinch it at the sides. 
  • Pinch your pants equally on both the sides so that your waist correction stays balanced after sewing.
  • Mark the pinched waist with a tailor’s chalk so that you will know where you have to sew once you remove the pants.
  • Remove the pants and lay it flat on a surface. Hold the fabric of your waist at the points that you had marked. Pinch and secure with the help of pins. Do this for both sides. 
  • Mark the line on which you need to sew. Remember from the pinched area you have to narrow down your stitches towards the side stitches of your pants.
  • Thread your sewing machine with a matching thread and set the stitches to small, straight stitches.
  • Secure your fabric under the sewing foot and remove the pins. Sew on the lines that you have marked. 
  • After sewing on both sides, your pants are now ready to wear. 

In this method, you stitch the sides of your pants but you can also reduce your pants’ waist by stitching at two points at the back of the pants. This process needs more finesse because the stitches will be visible, so you will have to professionally tuck in and if you are not sure if you can do a fine job, stick to stitching on the sides. 

How to Reduce the Waist of a Skirt?

You can use both the above-mentioned methods to reduce the waist size of the skirt. There’s one more method to work with skirts and this applies to skirts that already have an elastic. You can simply remove the elastic and replace it with a good one. One more thing that you can do with the elastic is, make a cut in the fold of the waist, pull out the elastic and pinch it as much as you want to tighten your waist. 

You can secure this pinch with a pin or you can sew it. You can also cut the extra elastic that you have held in the pinch and sew the ends of the elastic together. Choose any method based on your comfort and expertise and your skirt will be good to go. 

How do you Make a Dress Shorter without Sewing?

Don’t be surprised, this is completely doable. Again, it is a smart hack and may not be as flawless as sewing. You will need a pair of scissors, an iron and a hem tape to shorten your dress without sewing. Following are the few steps that will give you a short dress in no time.

  • Cut the hem of your dress to the new length. 
  • Iron the cut hem to straighten all the wrinkles.
  • Fold the hem inside. Make this fold of ½ an inch. Now iron the hem.
  • Make another fold of the same size and iron again. 
  • Now is the time to seal the hem and this will be done by a hem tape.
  • Open the hem tape and insert it under the fold of the dress. 
  • Iron the fold and hold the iron in one place for a few seconds, until the hem tape fuses to the fabric. 
  • The amount of time you need to iron the hem depends on the type of material you are working with. Lighter materials need less time as compared to thick fabrics. 

This method can be used to reduce the length of any kind of straight dress be it a skirt, a frock, a sundress or a simple wrap around.

No sew method is simple and provides easy solutions to those who do not know how to sew. These little tricks make life easier when it comes to fixing the waist or the length of your dress. All the methods mentioned in this article may not be permanent but they can definitely save the day.

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