How To Replace Elastic In Pants

When you wear pants, they need to fit right. Otherwise, they will fall in a puddle at your ankles. One of the most time-tested methods of ensuring that pants fit just right is elastic bands. Elastic bands are fitted on different types and sizes of pants for both a proper fit and comfort.

Elastic is durable. However, it becomes loose after washing and wearing the pants for a while. If your pants are still in good condition, you can replace the elastic in your pants to continue wearing them.

How Do You Replace Elastic In Pants?

Replacing elastic in pants is easy. Find the point on the pants where the elastic was inserted. Rip the seam and pull out the elastic. Wrap your new elastic band around your waist for a comfortable fit. Cut off the excess.

Using a safety pin, insert the new elastic band through the waist of your pants. In the end, sew the ends of the elastic together and push it into the pants. Stretch it out to fit in the pants. Then sew shut the opening.

Method 1. Replace Encased Elastic

Step 1. Measure the height of the casing on the pants waistline which holds the elastic. This allows you to know the height of the elastic band that you need. Since you are not going to open the whole casing, you need an elastic band as wide as the one already in the pants.

Step 2. Using a tape measure, measure your waist. Wrap the tape measure around your waist above the hipbone. Make sure that the tape measure is flat against your body. Your waist size plus two inches is the length of the elastic band that you need to insert into your pants.

Step 3. Check your waistband for a seam and a likely opening hor your elastic band. Rip open the seam to create an opening from which you will remove the old elastic band and insert the new one. Pull out the old elastic band to create room for a new and firmer elastic band.

Step 4. Insert the new elastic band. You can use a pencil or a safety pin to insert the elastic into your pants. Attach a safety to one end of the elastic band. Push it in through the opening you made on your waistband. Pull and push the safety pin with your fingers until it gets all-around your pants and gets to the opening. Remove the safety pin and pin both hanging edges.

Step 5. Overlap the hanging edges of the elastic band. These should be the additional inches you made over the length of your waist. Pin them together on either end of the overlap as you prepare to sew them together to fasten your elastic. Leaving them loose will not improve the fit of your pants.

Step 6. You can sew the edges of the elastic by hand but a sewing machine stitch is firmer and better. It will also save you lots of time. Insert the sewn end of the elastic into your pants. Spread the elastic evenly over the waistline. Pull the elastic band gently over your pants until is evenly spread. Now, seal the opening on your waistline by sewing it shut.

Step 7. You can also use sew the elastic band in place by sewing on the sides of your pants. Add a few stitches on the seams of your pants to hold the elastic in place. This provides extra comfort and stability when you wear them.

Method 2. Replacing Exposed Elastic On Pants

Step 1. Sweatpants and pajamas are the pants that commonly have exposed elastic. Pants with exposed elastic have the elastic as the waistline. It may have some writing on, and be a different color from white to mask the elastic look and feel. Cut the elastic of your pants to ready it for a new elastic band. You can cut just below the old seam.

Step 2. Take your new elastic and wrap it around your waist where you want your pants to fit. Pull the elastic so that it is tight but comfortable. Hold and mark the exact length of your waist and cut off the excess elastic.

Step 3. Pin the new elastic on the sweatpants. While pinning, make sure to pin on about ? inch of the fabric of your pants. Pin in the front and back then on both sides of the pants to make sure that the elastic is fully stretched. You can pin on the outside or the inside of your pants.

Step 4. You are now ready to sew your elastic on your pants. This kind of elastic is best sewn with a sewing machine. It helps to enhance accuracy and save time that you will take if you sew by hand. As you sew around the elastic, stretch it out as far as you can.

Step 5. When you have finished sewing around, sew the ends of the elastic together to keep it firm. This also forms the back seam of the waistline of your pants.

Method 3. Without Removing The Old Elastic

Step 1. You can also replace elastic in pants by just adding in a new one without removing the older and loose elastic band. This enhances the fit and comfort of the pants. To do this, you will need a smaller elastic than the original.

Step 2. Measure the height of your pant’s waistband. This is the original height of the original elastic band. When you are cutting your new elastic band, cut its height to half of the original elastic band’s height.

Step 3. Insert the new elastic into the pants. Rip open the seam on the waistband. Push the existing elastic band higher, so that the new elastic band settles below it. It will be easy to push up the old elastic as it is loose.

Insert the new elastic band into place using a safety pin. Attach it to one end and push it into the waistband gradually until you have it around and out on the other side.

Step 4. Bring together the hanging ends of the elastic and sew them together. Then, insert them into the pants. Pull the elastic to remove any bunching on the waist. Also, straighten the older elastic so that you don’t have bulges of elastic on your pants.

Step 5. Seal the seam or opening that you used to insert your elastic. Your pants are now firmer and more comfortable with two elastic bands in them.

How To Tighten Elastic Waistband

If you have a loose elastic band or a larger garment with an elastic waistline, you can easily tighten the elastic for it to fit you.

First, wear the garment. This helps you know the fit you need from your garment. You can see how much larger it is than you or how loose the elastic is. Wear the garment inside out, so that it is easier to work on while you are wearing it.

On the waist, look for a seam that you can cut and pull out the elastic from the waistband. Tear the seam and pull out the elastic. Pull the elastic until you are satisfied that it fits perfectly.

Now, you have the length of the elastic in your hands, and your garment or pants are tightly and comfortably fitted. Fold the excess fabric that you have in your hands and use pins to secure the elastic.

Remove your pants, and sew the folded excess elastic. Then push it back into your waistline through the still open seam. Stretch the elastic to remove any bunching on the waistline of the garment. Stitch the seam shut.

Wear your garment and it will fit snugly. You have successfully tightened the elastic waistband.

How To Stretch Elastic?

If you have a garment that doesn’t fit because the elastic waistband is too tight, you can easily stretch the elastic to make it fit. In a few minutes, you will have an extra garment in your wardrobe. The easiest way to make this kind of garment fit is to remove the elastic.

Without the option of removing the garment, you can iron the elastic. Heat enhances the stretch levels of elastic. Pin your garment to an ironing board while it is stretched as needed. Set your iron to the highest heat settings. Iron the elastic with a wet covering cloth on it. Iron for intervals of about 10 seconds for ten minutes to stretch the elastic.

You can also leave out the iron and pin the stretched elastic waistband to an ironing board. Stretch your garment to the required length and pin it on an ironing board. Leave it on the board for about 24 hours. If it doesn’t stretch as required, you can insert the garment into a chair with the elastic first.

This will stretch it out to the width of the chair easily.



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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