Waistbands should keep your (sweat)pants up

A while ago I bought 4 pairs of sweatpants for my daughter. Even though they were bought in the same shop at the same time and 3 were the same model, 2 fit just fine and the other 2 simply slid down her legs and ended up at her ankles when she was wearing them. Not ideal…

To solve this problem I wanted to make the waistbands narrower. One possibility is to take out the elastic and replace it with a piece that is the correct length. However, the elastic was attached to the rest of the pants at the same time as the waistband. This is nice because it prevents the elastic from twisting inside the waistband, but has the disadvantage that I’d have to unpick the whole overlocked waistband seam to get the elastic out and then reattach the whole thing with new elastic. Especially the unpicking part of that activity is not very high on my list of fun stuff to do.

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Waistbands that were made narrower by adding an extra piece of elastic to the back.

So, I figured out another method to make the waistband narrower by adding a tunnel at the back of the trousers and threading an extra piece of elastic through that tunnel. This cinches in the back of the pants. They now stay up, so problem solved.

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Tunnel construction.

The new piece of elastic has to be narrower than the original waistband. My elastic was 2 cm wide and I cut the (woven) fabric for the tunnel 4 cm wide and slightly longer than half the circumference of the waistband. A narrow edge of each side of the tunnel was pressed to the inside. The finished tunnel needs to be wide enough to easily thread the elastic through. I first attached the long sides of the tunnel to the inside of the back waistband by stitching closely to the edge. I used a regular straight stitch and thread that matched the colour of the pants since the stitching is visible on the outside of the waistband. Then the elastic was threaded through the tunnel and secured at one of the short edges. The elastic was then pulled as tight as I needed it to fit comfortably around my daughter’s waist instead of sliding down. The other short edge was secured and the excess of elastic was cut off.

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Yay, the waistband now stays around her waist where it is supposed to be!

This was a pretty quick fix for this problem and the print fabrics add some fun to the waistband so I think I’ll use this technique again when faced with more too wide waistbands.