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How to elasticize the back of pants

Alipye | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi, I would like to put elastic in the backof my pant’s waist, but don’t know how to finish it nicely.  How do you treat the two ends of the elastic.  I want a smooth transition from the front to the back, so what happens to the two cut ends of the elastic?  Is there a good guide somewhere on how to insert elastic in the back of pants.  I have Sandra Betzina’s book, but it is not very clear. So, if anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear from you.

Merry Christmas and a Joyous 2008 with lots and lots of well made garments in your future.


  1. rekha | | #1

    This is how I do it, but it may not be the best way.

    I sew one end of the elastic band and hook a safety pin at the other end which I will use to draw out once the casing is done.

    Next, I fold the waistband and sew the edge to the pants, leaving a small area so you can sew the other end of the elastic band.

    Draw out the elastic through the casing and stitch it on the other end.

    Next, mark the waistband and elastic with chalk at half way points; divide again and mark quarter way points. Pin the band (+ the elastic in the casing) at these points.

    Stretching the band from one pin to the next, sew the top of the waistband. For additional support, you can stitch along the middle of the waistband.

    Hope this helps

    1. Alipye | | #3

      Thank you for your advice, I will try it next time I need to.


  2. starzoe | | #2

    I like to insert the elastic into the waistband like this: first, be sure that the waistline can be pulled over the hips if you don't want to have a closure. Apply the front waistband ** to the pants and sew the seam attaching the back waistband to the pants (right sides together). This leaves the inside of the waistband still loose. Decide on how much elastic you need, cut to length and then sew one end at each side seam. At this point you can try the pants on to see if you need more or less elastic.Now, fold the waistband to the inside and hand-stitch the edge of the band to the stitching line. OR, at the side seams, at this point, ** leave an inch or so free at the side seams, open the seam allowance and stitch in the ditch to secure the inside of the back waistband.You can also, after **, attach the back waistband completely after sewing one end of the elastic in place, securing something (safety pin or cord) to the other end and draw the elastic through the waistband and secure it at the other side seam, closing the slit with hand stitches.

    1. Alipye | | #4

      Thanks for the detailed instructions.  I am trying to visualize the process.  I am going to print it out and try it next time I need it.


      1. starzoe | | #5

        Before attempting new techniques it is helpful to do it in miniature - in the case of the pants elastic, try it on a small tube, maybe 12" diameter, and a piece of fabric for a waistband and some narrow elastic.

        1. Alipye | | #6

          Thank you, will do, it is always helpful to do a trial piece, but how often we take the time.


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