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Video Quick Tip: Waistband Adjustment for Ready-to-Wear Pants

Produced by Evamarie Gomez; shot by Gary Junken

In the last installment of the Q&A video series, fashion designer Angela Wolf and Threads Executive Editor Judith Neukam teamed up to share two quick tips for adjusting the waistbands on ready-to-wear pants.

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Check back for more of Angela’s expert tips and advice.

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Quick Tips for Adjusting Shoulders


How to Sew with Faux Leather


NOW PLAYING: Adjusting the Waistband on Ready-to-Wear Pants


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  1. Lady_D | | #1

    My waistband problem is the opposite of that discussed in the video. Over the last 6 years, I've lost 32 pounds, resulting in a much smaller waist than what I started with. And, my weight continues to decrease at this time. I prefer elastic waistbands over those without elastic since the clothing stays on my body better and is more comfortable.

  2. user-3183659 | | #2

    I have a tiny waist compared to large hips. I cannot wear a store bought shift dress! It's as though I am short waisted when in fact, I am a pear. All my pants are large in the waistband and I rarely use belts. Any quick tips for this issue on store bought?

  3. KharminJ | | #3

    Back when I was "just a little bit" pregnant, and afterward anytime I had a bit of "pooch", I pinned or stitched a maternity panel from side-seam to side-seam, either inside or outside the pants to keep the sides of the front-fly under control. This would require you to leave shirts untucked, obviously, but may make favorite pants usable in a pinch.

  4. JeanneDes | | #4

    I have to buy pants big enough to accommodate my hips so I have a tip for what I do to reduce the waistband in ready-to-wear pants. This is definitely a quick and dirty trick.

    I add elastic inside the waistband from one side seam to the next around the back. I do not remove the waistband at all. I make a small slit inside the waistband close to the side seam--just as if you were ripping a buttonhole out. I do that on both sides near the side seam. Then I thread the wide elastic through across the back and fasten it at each end to my desired waist size. I secure it at both ends through all layers of fabric with a somewhat close zigzag.

    I find that the small adjustment across the back is evenly distributed, and feels quite comfortable. It never seems to actually show either. It's on the side seam. It might even be under the belt. It is quite discrete.

  5. Mayell | | #5

    I have the same problem with waistbands being too large. I am experimenting with adding stretched elastic to take up the extra fullness. It is taking a couple of tries to it small enough, but seems to be working.

  6. fabricstitcher | | #6

    Love the tip about adding elastic side to side. I will definitely try that. Lady d, good for you!

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