Brit + Co Guides Logo

How to tighten an elastic waistband without sewing

When sweat pants have too large of a waist band, here's how to reduce them without sewing.

20935
STEPS
TOOLS

We'll thread this shoe string through the front of the waistband to create a cinched look.

We'll thread this shoe string through the front of the waistband to create a cinched look.

Snip a vertical cut all the way through the band.  I started about 1/2 inch from center.  The slit is small, just needs to be large enough to thread a shoestring.

Snip a vertical cut all the way through the band. I started about 1/2 inch from center. The slit is small, just needs to be large enough to thread a shoestring.

Slits are about an inch apart.

Slits are about an inch apart.

Here's all slits cut, three on each side of the center seam.

Here's all slits cut, three on each side of the center seam.

Begin threading a shoe string from the outermost slit working toward center.  For the first outermost slit, stick the string through the front to the back.

Begin threading a shoe string from the outermost slit working toward center. For the first outermost slit, stick the string through the front to the back.

Then from inside out and from outside in, etc.

Then from inside out and from outside in, etc.

Thread through the rest of the slits.  If you started correctly, the last slit will end with the string coming out.

Thread through the rest of the slits. If you started correctly, the last slit will end with the string coming out.

All done and ready to cinch and tie.

All done and ready to cinch and tie.

Now a cute little waistband that fits.

  • Elastic waistband
  • Scissors
  • Shoe string