How to Mend: How to Replace Elastic Waistband


Everyone has an old piece of clothing, like pajamas, sweatpants, skirts, etc., with a stretched-out or worn-out elastic waistband.   It may be a favorite garment.  You can save it and bring new life into it again by replacing the elastic in the waistband.

If after checking the item, you may discover that the elastic has been stitched to the waistband. The old elastic could be carefully ripped out with a seam ripper and replaced, but this would be very time-consuming.  Cutting out the old elastic from the fabric is also not an option.  Replace Elastic in Pants - FB

A quick and simple solution is for the new elastic to be inserted into the casing without removing the old elastic. This is a time-saving mending technique you will learn how to replace a sewn-in elastic waistband.

Do you need tutorials on how to fix or mend other clothing items, i.e. repairing ripped jeans, sewing on a button, repairing a zipper, fixing sock holes, etc?  On our mending tutorial page, you will learn some everyday life skills along with some basic sewing skills.  

Back to today's mending project - repairing the elastic waistband.

This tutorial will cover a quick and easy way to replace the elastic in a waistband without removing the old elastic.  Watch this video tutorial or keep reading this post for a photo tutorial with step-by-step written instructions.

Watch our video tutorial below or click the link if you prefer to watch How to Mend: How to Replace Elastic Waistband in Youtube.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

how to replace elastic in the waistband

what You Need:

A tutorial on How to repair an elastic waistband


First, check to see where the elastic is sewn in.  Of course, it is sewn along the entire waistband, but usually, it is also tacked down.  It may be at the back seam and/or the side seams.  This tacking must be removed before you can insert the new elastic.


After completing step 1, with a seam ripper, open the elastic casing about 2 inches either at the back seam or a side seam. Be careful not to rip the garment as you make the opening.Replace Elastic in Pants - How to Replace Elastic Waistband


To determine the proper width of the elastic, measure the casing size. To measure the casing, use a ruler and measure from the top edge to the stitch line.  The width of the elastic should be a little smaller than this measurement.

The length of the elastic will be the waist measurement plus one inch.


Attach a safety pin on one end of the new elastic. Replace Elastic in Pants - Attach Pin to Elastic

Insert the safety pin with the elastic attached into the opening. Replace Elastic in Pants - Insert into Casing

Begin pushing the safety pin through the casing making sure it does not twist. Replace Elastic in Pants - Push Elastic Through Casing
The other end of the elastic must stay outside the garment and not go into the casing. To make sure the other end of the elastic stays outside the garment, use a pin to secure it to the garment near the opening.


When the safety pin and elastic come out the other side, overlap the two ends of the elastic one-half inch making sure it is not twisted. Stitch around the outside of the overlapped elastic and place an "x" in the middle. Replace Elastic in Pants - Stitch Elastic Ends Together This will make sure the elastic is secure and will lay flat.


Sew the opening closed with either a straight stitch or zigzag stitch. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end. Replace Elastic in Pants - Replace Elastic Waistband To make sure the elastic does not twist inside the casing while wearing the item, tack the elastic in a few places, usually at the seams,  using a straight stitch.  In the above picture, you can see a few tacking stitches if you look carefully.

Now the garment is ready to use.
Replace Elastic in Pants - Repaired Elastic Waistband

The elastic in elastic waist clothing such as pants, skirts, pajamas, sweatpants, etc., is easily replaced using this method.

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to replace elastic in an elastic waistband.  If you did, you may want to check out our Fix It Yourself Pinterest Board. 

 Have a great day! Happy Sewing!


If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.


Supporting Products and links: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

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