How to 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 to Make Pants Waist Smaller Without Sewing?

Method 1. Using Heat

This method is mostly used to make a pair of jeans pants waist smaller.

Step 1. Turn your jeans inside out as it causes less wear on the jeans when washing.

Step 2. Put your jeans in your washing machine.

Avoid sharing the wash with any other clothes and don’t use fabric softeners. You may use liquid laundry detergent.

Step 3. Adjust the settings on your washing machine to the highest water temperature that is possible and run the jeans through the wash cycle.

Step 4. Once the wash cycle has finished, remove your jeans from the washing machine.

Step 5. Transfer them directly to your dryer.

Step 6. Dry the jeans completely using the hottest setting possible.

Do read the care label instructions for your pants. If the instructions say do not tumble dry you risk damaging your garment if you do. Follow care instructions on the label when drying them.

Step 7. Once they are dry try on your jeans, they will feel at least a little tighter!

wash your pants in hot water

Alternatively, you could soak your jeans in a bucket of hot water.

Step 1. Dunk the jeans into the water.

Step 2. Use a wooden spoon to submerge the jeans completely.

Step 3. Wring them out after the water cools.

Step 4. Transfer them directly to your dryer.

Step 5. Dry them on the hottest setting possible until they are completely dry.

Method 2. Boiling Your Pants

This method is a variation of the above method. When you can’t wash your pants with hot water, you can boil them.

get a large saucepan and make sure that your pants can fit into it

Step 1. Turn your jeans inside out to reduce the amount of fading that will occur.

Step 2. Choose a pot or saucepan that’s clean and large enough to fit the jeans. Fill it halfway to three quarters full of water. Place it in the cooker and bring it to the boil.

Step 3. Carefully submerge your jeans fully into the boiling water, using tongs if you have them.

Step 4. Let them soak in the boiling water for 20-30 minutes.

Step 5. Carefully remove your jeans from the boiling water, using tongs if you have them. Lay them flat to cool off and wring out the excess water.

Step 6. Transfer them to your dryer. Dry them on the hottest setting possible until they are completely dry.

Step 7. Try on your jeans. You will find they fit snugger and feel tighter!

Method 3. Using Your Belt Loop

Step 1. Wear your pants to the waist level as you normally would. When you have worn your pants, you realize that the waist size is slightly larger and the pants are loose on you.

Step 2. Take the belt loop closest to your button and pass it over it to hook it. This effectively reduces your pant’s waist size.

Take the belt loop closest to your button and pass it over it to hook it

Step 3. With the loop on your button, pass it through your buttonhole. Your previously loose pants now fit comfortably and snuggly. You can use this method if you can’t find a belt as fast as you would like. Or, when a belt is going to prevent the outfit from looking as good as it should.

Method 4. Using A Rubberband

Step 1. Wear your pants normally to the waist level.

Step 2. Take a rubber band and pass it through the buttonhole if the pants waist size is too big and you can’t button up easily.

Take a rubber band and pass it through the buttonhole

Step 3. Tie a knot on your rubber band to hold it firmly on your pants.

Step 4. Take your rubber band and hook it around the button on your pants to hold the pants around your waist snuggly and comfortably.

Method 5. Using Safety Pins

Step 1. Wear your pants to see how they fit. This also helps you to identify how large your pants are at your waist.

Step 2. Grab one side of your pants around the waist and see the amount of fabric that is excess. Repeat for the other side.

Step 3. Mark the area on the pants that touches your waist. This is where the pants would fit you perfectly if they were the right size.

Step 4. On the marked side of the pants, insert a safety pin. Do the same for the other side of your pants.

insert a safety pin

Now your pants fit tightly onto your waist. This is a fast way to make your pants waist smaller without sewing. You will need to cover your pants with a long T-shirt so that your waist is not visible.

Method 6. Using Elastic

Step 1. Wear your pants and close the button to see how they fit around your waist.

Step 2. Pinch the excess fabric around your waist that makes the fabric of your pants lose. Do this for both sides of the pants.

Step 3. Estimate how big the excess fabric of the pants is in inches. You can do this by pinching the backside of your pants and putting a mark on the two sides where the excess or loose fabric meets. Take off your pants and measure how long it is between the two marks.

Step 4. Now, take your elastic band and cut as long as the space on your pants you want to seal.

Step 5. Put your pants back on. Hold two belt loops of the pants, preferably at the back, and pass the length of your elastic through them.

Step 6. Tie a tight knot to hold the elastic in place and also to reduce the waist size of your large pants. Your pants will now fit you comfortably.

Step 7. You can decide to wear a long T-shirt to cover your ingenuity with the elastic band. Or, you can tie the elastic band around two belt loops on either side of the pants instead of the back for the same effect.

Method 7. Using Binder Clip

Step 1. Wear your pants and close the buttons as you would fitting pants.

Step 2. Hold your pants by the top of the waist. Starting on one side, pinch the pants until you have that side fit your desired waist size.

Step 3. Clip your binder onto one side of your waist at the desired point.

Step 4. Repeat for the other side and you now have your formerly large pants perfectly fitting.

Step 5. Wear a jacket or a long T-shirt to hide the binder clips.

Method 8. Fold the Waist

Step 1. Wear your pants and close the button. This helps you to identify the size of the excess fabric around your waist.

Step 2. Holding your pants on both sides at the top of your waist, pull them up then fold them inwards. If the pants aren’t too loose this will help them fit around your waist comfortably.

pull them up then fold them inwards.

Step 3. If the pants are still too loose, you can make another fold around your waistline.

Step 4. You can make the fold inwards or outwards for the same effect.

Method 9. Taking In The Sides Of Your Pants Using A Dart

Step 1. Put your pants inside out. Do up the button and zip.

Step 2. Using both hands, pinch and gather up the same amount of excess fabric on each side of the waistband at the top of each side seam. Use a binder clip or large safety pin to hold the excess waistband in place.

Step 3. Next use pins to taper down into a triangle shape, wider at the top into a pivot at the bottom, to connect the new inner edge of the waistband down onto the side seam.

Step 4. Remove your pants. Using chalk to draw a line just outside your pins will give you a guide to sew along.

Step 5. Repeat on both sides.

Step 6. Now take your needle and thread. A denim/jeans needle is recommended as it will be much easier. You will also want a thick thread, such as a denim thread or topstitching thread.

Take off your pants and place them on your working table

Step 7. Beginning at the top of the waistband, go in with your needle and thread. Go over the top of the waistband several times with loops to ensure you get a tight hold at the beginning of your stitching. Now follow the chalk line with a straight stitch to create the triangle dart shape wide at the top and tapering down to the end on the side seam.

Step 8. Once you get to the bottom of your dart turn the material over and start stitching in the opposite direction coming back up to where you began. This will form a double stitch making a much stronger hold on the material.

Step 9. Repeat this on the other side.

Step 10. Turn on your pants the right way round put them on, and they should fit better!

Comparison of the Methods to Make Pants Waist Smaller

Using heat, through hot water or boiling, is an easy and effective way to shrink pants. The advantages of this method are that you probably have all the tools you need i.e., a saucepan and dryer. This method does not require any special knowledge.

However, the downside of this method is that it doesn’t last. With wear, the jeans will go back to their original shape. Also, each hot wash and dry will diminish the strength and appearance of your jeans. It is advisable not to use this method too often.

While some people love this quick hack others have pointed out that using your belt loop isn’t totally foolproof and that it can create a slightly unattractive and potentially uncomfortable frontal crease on your jeans! It is better for high waisted jeans and more resilient material than denim.

Using a rubber band, safety pins or a binder clip are quick and simple solutions when you’re in a hurry, but the result may look bulky and may not feel very comfortable.

You will probably want to wear something long that will hang down over your pants! Similarly, you can turn the waistband over inside or outside, which is a useful hack if you have none of the above tools available to you. Again, you may well want to wear something long to cover this.

Using elastic is a great method for getting the waistband of pants to fit. It is quick and simple and requires no sewing. As the elastic is tied inside it is much more discreet than some other methods.

Of all the methods shown here, sewing darts in your pants creates a more professional, high-quality alteration. Also, the results are permanent.

Although this method does take more time and involves hand sewing once you have mastered it you can easily make any waste smaller with a more professional looking finish.

How to 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.

one uses a sewing machine

Step 1. Turn your waist inside out and wear it. Stand in the front of the mirror and pinch it at the sides.

Step 2. Pinch your pants equally on both the sides so that your waist correction stays balanced after sewing.

Step 3. Mark the pinched waist with a tailor’s chalk so that you will know where you have to sew once you remove the pants.

Step 4. 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.

Step 5. 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.

Step 6. Thread your sewing machine with a matching thread and set the stitches to small, straight stitches.

Step 7. 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.

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.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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