How To Make An Elastic Waistband Bigger

If you have gained some weight, likely, some of your clothes can’t fit you now. This also applies to clothes with an elastic waistband, and you are wondering if there’s anything you can do to make them bigger.

Yes, you can make your elastic waistband bigger. There are several ways to do this and ensure that your favorite clothes are still comfortably wearable even after gaining weight. You may need to use a sewing machine for some methods, while for others, all you need is a seam ripper, a needle, and a sewing thread.

And, other methods that don’t involve sewing.

How Can You Make An Elastic Waistband Bigger?

How Can You Make An Elastic Waistband Bigger?

First, measure your waist size and measure your clothes waist size. The difference between the two is the amount of elastic you need to increase the size of the waistband on your clothes. Rip a hole in the back seam of your pants and pull out the elastic waistband in it.

Snip the part of the elastic that you have pulled out and sew it together with the extra inches of elastic that you need to make sure that your pants fit you again.

Method 1. Adding More Elastic

Adding More Elastic

Step 1. Establish how big you want your elastic waistband. This is the case if the garment you are working on doesn’t fit anymore. So, using a measuring tape, measure the size of your waist. Then, measure the waist size of the garment. The difference between these two measurements is the amount you want to expand your waistband by.

Step 2. Now that you know how big you want your waistband, find a position in your garment to expand it. It is common to use the seam at the back of the garment to insert elastic waistbands. Rip a hole at the back seam of your waistline and pull out a section of the elastic waistband.

Step 3. Hold the elastic band that you have pulled out firmly. You can use pins to keep it from coiling back into the waistline. When it is firmly held outside the garment, make a cut on the elastic with scissors. You have created room for additional elastic to make the existing one bigger.

Step 4. You need to have at hand a new roll of the elastic band. Make sure that it is the same size as the one that is already in the garment. This makes it easier to join it to the existing elastic band. You will cut the additional inches you need to expand the waistline so that it can fit you. Also, add about an inch on the additional elastic to allow for a seam allowance when you sew it on.

Step 5. On your garment, use pins to attach this additional piece of elastic to the ends of the elastic that is exposed and you already snipped in preparation. Allow for your new elastic band to overlap both sides of the exposed band by about ? inches on both sides of the elastic band. Keep them attached with pins before you begin to sew.

Step 6. You can remove the pins that you had used in the beginning to prevent the elastic from going back into the waistband casing. Bring your garment to the sewing machine. Using a zigzag stitch, fix the additional piece of elastic onto your original elastic waistband. Remove the pins while sewing. When it is properly fixed, push the elastic band back into the waistband casing.

Step 7. Before you seal the stitches on the seam that you ripped open, put on your garment to check that it fits. If they are still small, you will need to repeat this process with an additional piece of elastic. If they fit, you have successfully made your elastic waistband bigger. You can now stitch back the seams you had ripped open.

Method 2. Fixing A New Elastic Waistband On The Old

New Elastic Waistband On The Old

Step 1. This method is suitable for certain types of fabrics. You can use it on yoga pants and sweat pants. To start, you will need to measure an elastic band equal to your current waist size. To do this, wrap a new roll of an elastic band around your waist and cut where the two ends meet.

Step 2. There are different types of elastic in the market. Get one that will work well with the current garment that you need to make the waistband bigger. Also, ensure that it will be comfortable for you when you wear it. You can rub it against your skin to feel its texture to ensure that it is comfortable on your skin when you wear it for long periods.

Step 3. Sew on the elastic at the point where the two ends meet. Now, you have an elastic waistband that is ready to be fitted onto a garment. Bring your elastic to the sewing machine and use a zigzag stitch to join the two ends.

Step 4. With the sewn part as the center of the garment, place your elastic band on the garment. Then, using straight pins attach the elastic band onto the garment. Attach with pins on both sides exactly at the seams, on the front, and at the back. This ensures that you make the elastic completely proportional to the garment you are fixing it on.

Step 5. Now, sew the elastic band onto your garment. You will have the pins as your guideline around the pants. Also, consider how the original elastic band was sewn into the pants and make sure to use similar stitches and patterns. This creates uniformity between the old and the new waistline.

Step 6. You now have a new waistline on pants that didn’t properly fit you. You have successfully made an elastic waistband bigger by adding another elastic waistband on it. You can now continue wearing your pants comfortably.

Method 3. Iron The Elastic Waistband To Make It Bigger

Iron The Elastic Waistband To Make It Bigger

Step 1. You will need an iron, ironing board, and pins. You will also need your pants or garments with an elastic waistband that needs to be made bigger.

Step 2. Stretch the elastic waistband on your pants to the desired length. Still stretched place it on the ironing board and mark with a pen the desired length after the waistband has been expanded.

Step 3. Now pin your garment’s waistband on these marks you have made on the ironing board.

Step 4. Switch on your iron and set it to the highest heat settings. Heat makes elastic stretch. Now, iron your waistband as it is pinned onto the iron board. Press every section on your waistband for about ten seconds. It will take you about 10 to 15 minutes to have pressed your garment properly.

Step 5. Remove the pins and garment from the ironing board and wear them. If it is still tight, continue ironing until it fits comfortably.

Method 4. Using A Chair

Using A Chair

Step 1. This is another method that doesn’t involve sewing that you can use to make an elastic waistband bigger. It is also a long process. You have to wait at least 24 hours before you can wear your pants to check if the waist is bigger. All you need is a chair and your pants.

Step 2. Insert the waist of your pants into a chair with a wide base. Stretch the pants as wide as the chair and let the chair put them on. Leave them in that position for 24 hours to stretch the fabric into a new position.

Step 3. Remove the pants from the chair and wear them. If they are still too tight, put them back and allow more time. When they are now comfortable, you have made an elastic waistband bigger without sewing.

How To Shrink Elastic Waistband

If your elastic waistband is loose, you can quickly shrink it back to fit you. To do this rip open a stitch on your garment and pull out a few inches of the elastic. Fold it up and try your garment on to feel the new fit.

If it’s still too loose, pull out an extra inch of elastic then confirm that it fits. When it properly fits, cut off the excess elastic band and seal the seams you use to pull it out.

How To Stop Waistband Elastic From Twisting

When you are fixing your elastic band into the waistband casing, you don’t want it to be twisting. It gives you more work and your pants are not comfortable with a twisted elastic waistband.

To stop your elastic band from rolling as you are inserting it into the casing, sew a closing stitch on the lower part of the casing. This leaves only enough space for you to insert the elastic band gently and as straight as possible.

When you get to the other end and release your safety pin, the elastic band will remain as it went in.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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