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Waistband-drawstring. HELP needed.

momcat50 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I promised 4 of my son’s college-bound friends flannel pants for the dorm. I let them pick the fabric. (That was fun.) I bought the elastic with drawstring in already. I have forgotten how to compute how long to make the piece of elastic. What is the rule of thumb for cutting this kind of elastic the correct size? I have their waist measurements and length needed for pants. Now I need to get the elastic ready and have them done before next weekend. I let them do the measuring for each other over their street clothes while I watched. Very enlightening – Hearing them compare waist measurements was more like hearing guys compare brands of motor oil or math problems.They just were what they were. NOT at all like getting measurements for the last school play. The girls fretted, agonized and held in tummies.



  1. ElonaM | | #1

    In her booklet, "Elastics Update,'" Nancy Zieman says to cut drawcord elastic 2" smaller than the waist measurement.

  2. user-222038 | | #2

    Sounds like you're having fun! 

    I recently made a couple pair of jammie bottoms with that kind of drawstring.  I'd go with the previous poster's advice on size.  But the drawstring itself is a little bit of a problem.  One knot at the end isn't enough to keep it from disappearing into the casing (no matter how small you make the hole)!  You might want to try attaching something fun like small pom-poms or "fuzz balls" made from scraps.  These would be softer than toggles or clasps.

    Sounds like those college kids are going to be en vogue this fall in the dorm!

    1. kai230 | | #3

      I'm having a problem w/this, probably because my waist size has fluctuated a lot. I do not want elastic that is 2" smaller than my waist. Maybe I don't understand what this is, but don't you use the draw cord to get it to your waist size? Oh, maybe the draw cord is what determines the waist? I have a few elastic pants that are bigger than my waist, and I cinch them w/the cord. There's no way to go the other direction if the elastic is too tight. Perhaps I'm missing something.

      1. ElonaM | | #4

        This drawcord's appeal is partly a matter of the "look," I think. And partly, it's practical, because you (or the manufacturer) can make a huge waistline that will fit just about anyone from big to small, because the drawstring can be used to cinch it up, if desired.

        However, I don't see any reason you can't make it any length you want. For yourself, why not pin around your middle a length 2" inches smaller than your waist , wear it for a while, and see how it feels?

        1. kai230 | | #5

          The thing is that I don't like my waist cinched up, so the minimum inches I'd want would be my waist size, not smaller, esp if I plan to go out to eat in them! In fact, I prefer the elastic to be bigger, and use the cord to adjust. I think we are talking abt the same thing.

    2. rjf | | #6

      Take it from a retired college teacher, you should be warned that those jammies sometimes appear in the classroom!  Along with a stray bagel and/or cup of coffee.                                                                                  rjf

      1. user-222038 | | #7

        Funny you should say that...I am a college teacher, and I do see those jammies in the classroom from time to time!

        1. anneelsberry | | #9

          My mom laughs about her former sorority sister who was known to roll up her jammie pants, put on an overcoat and shoes and go to class. Of course, this was in the 50's when women weren't allowed to wear pants on campus until after 4:00 in the afternoon.

          Heck, now at the U of Arizona, you're more likely to see pajamas than anything else.

    3. betsy | | #8

      To prevent a drawstring from being pulled out of the casing, stitch it to the pants at the center back seam. (the same goes for hood ties, stitch through the casing and tie at the "top" of the hood", where a  center part in the hair would be). As far as measuring for the pants draw string, have you tried using a length of elastic approximately 6"-8" less than the waist measurement, then stitching matching fabric ties (maybe 3/4" x 10" or 12") or draw string cord (the same length)  to each end of the elastic? This way, you have the snug of the elastic for most of the waist, but nice-looking ties coming out of the button holes, 1"-1 1/2 " on either side of the front seam.  Remember to sew the buttonholes through reinforced fabric BEFORE you sew the top edge of the pants down to form a casing. Good luck!

    4. reddragonfly | | #10

      I am currently making a pair of drawstring pants and I saw a very neat solution to the problem of losing the drawstring at the last sewing expo I attented.  The instructor had used one of those little plastic things that are usually used on outerwear to cinch things up.  You know the plastic tube with a piece inside that you can release to slide it up or down things.  She had used one to fasten her drawstring pants.  She would simply slide the plastic toggle up and down the two drawstrings to tighten or loosen or remove the pants(which she did!)

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