How To Measure Elastic For Waistband (2022)

Elastic is a firm fabric that is mostly used to make waistbands. Its most known feature is that it stretches. As a result, clothes that don’t normally fit you will if you change your waistband to elastic.

If you are looking to make elastic for your waistbands, you need to know how to measure them correctly. If you measure it wrongly, you will find that your clothes are either too tight or too loose to wear.

You don’t want to destroy your clothes by putting in elastic bands that are measured incorrectly.

How To Measure Elastic For Waistband?

To correctly measure elastic for the waistband, use a tape measure. Place it on your waist or wherever you would want your pants to sit on your torso. Let the tape measure go all the way around until the two opposite sides are touching. The number is the size of your waist in inches.

To cut the correct length of elastic for your waistband, measure an elastic band that is two inches less than your waist size. This will give enough room for your pants to stretch and fit comfortably.

Method 1. Using A Tape Measure

Step 1. For this method, you will only need your tape measure. Put it on your waist or wherever you like to wear your pants at and around your torso. Make sure that the two ends of the tape measure are touching and that it lies flat on your body. Do not pull it towards your body. Let it be snug around it.

Step 2. At the point where the two ends off the tape measure touch, you have the size of your waist in inches. Record the length in inches. Tape measures have two sides, the centimeters, and the inches side. Use the inches side, it is easier to work with.

(Video) The easiest way to measure elastic!

Step 3. Measure your elastic band to fit your waist. To get the appropriate length of an elastic waistband, deduct two inches from your waist size. This is the length of elastic that you need for your waistband.

This allows your waistband room to expand and fit you snugly once you fix it in your pants. If you go with the actual size of your waist, your pants will be baggy and loose when you wear them.

Step 4. Fix the elastic band onto your pants. You can sew it directly onto the pants or, make a waist casing that you will insert your elastic band through.

Method 2.Elastic Band On The Waist

Step 1. Get a large roll of elastic. Hold the free corner and put it around your waist where you are comfortable wearing your clothes. Make sure it goes around and has two opposite sides touching. Also, make sure not to stretch the elastic. Let it go around your waist as easily as possible.

Step 2. Place a finger where the two sides of the elastic touch around your waist. Place the elastic on your working table and cut at the point you have marked with your fingers. Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut the elastic band.

Step 3. Place the cut elastic band around your waist and confirm that it will fit snugly when you sew it on your pants. Again, do not pull the elastic band as you place it around your waist. Make sure the two ends touch.

Step 4. When you have confirmed that the elastic band will fit your waist, sew it on the pants. You can use either method to sew it. You can sew your elastic as an exposed waistband or hide it under a waistband casing.

(Video) Easiest way to measure elastic...

Method 3. Using Your Hips

Step 1. Take a long length of elastic. Wrap it around the largest part of your hips. Make sure it is not too tight so that you can comfortably wear it once you have sewn it onto fabric.

Step 2. Now, take the measured elastic and wrap it around your waist or wherever you want to wear your pants. If it is comfortable, then that is the correct measurement for your elastic waistband. If it’s too tight, release your elastic band slightly to get to a comfortable length.

Step 3. Cut the elastic and prepare to sew it onto the waistband of your pants. In this method, you don’t have to subtract anything from the measurement of your elastic. You are sure that the final measurement you have will fit even the largest part of your hips when you wear your pants with the elastic waistband.

Step 4. When you have the most comfortable length of the elastic for your waist size, it is time to fix the elastic onto your pants. When you are using elastic only as of the waistband, attach the waistband on your pants in four parts. The back front and on both sides, then sew it onto the pants. When you get to the ends of the elastic, you can sew them together, or use another piece of fabric to join them.

Alternatively, you can insert the elastic into a waistband casing on the pants. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic. Use this safety pin to push the elastic into the casing until the whole length of the elastic is in the pants. When you have the ends of the elastic band, you can use the same safety pin to keep them together or sew them together to ensure stability and comfort.

Step 5. Once you have fixed the elastic onto your pants, try them on to see if they are a perfect fit. If it is too tight, you can make the required changes. Rip up the end of the elastic and attach a piece of fabric that you can use to sew the ends together to make the waistband a little loose on the waist.

Or, you can iron the elastic waistline while stretched as far as you like to make it loose and more comfortable when you wear it. You can also slip your pants on a chair to expand the elastic to make it much easier to wear.

(Video) 3 Easiest Way To Measure Elastic Size | Elastic Measurement

Method 4. Follow A Size Chart

Step 1. Have your elastic band for the waistline of the garments that you want to sew ready.

Step 2. When you are using an elastic waistline chart, you need to have the correct waist size measurement. Whether you are making a waistband for yourself or a client.

Step 3. Check the chart to know the length of elastic band you need for each waist size. A size chart provides a waist size range and the length of elastic band you need for each. Use this for quick and comfortable sizing of elastic for the waistband.

You also don’t have to do so many measurements. One waist size measurement is enough to sew on your elastic waistband.

How To Take Proper Care Of Elastic Waistbands

Elastic waistbands have a shelf life. After years of continuously wearing your comfortable elastic waistline garments, the elastic starts to get loose. This is especially if you take good care of your garments.

On the other hand, without proper care, you will find that your elastic garments start losing their stretch in a few months.

One of the major aspects of care for elastic waistbands is washing and drying. Avoid washing in hot water and machine drying. Heat is a major factor in stretching elastic. Thus continued washing in hot water reduces the lifespan of the elastic in your waistband. Wash your elastic waistband garments in cold or warm water and let them air dry

(Video) Sewing tutorial: Flat front / elasticated back waistband. Practical examples & 2 cheeky makes!

Another aspect of care for your elastic waistbands is ironing. As mentioned, heat stretches out elastic, causing it to lose its firmness. When ironing, use low heat and a damp cover cloth over the elastic waistline. Also, do not stretch the waistband when ironing. Or, it will stretch further.

Do not use bleach on elastic. It eats into the elastic and causes it to lose its elasticity.

When your elastic waistband has reached its end, you can always replace it with a new one easily. And, continue to wear your garments.

How To Measure Elastic For Sleeves

Elastic is highly versatile. It is available in different fabrics and styles and can be used for many types of garments. It can also be used for different types of purposes.

Besides being a waistband, another common use for elastic is in the sleeves and cuffs of garments.

Like with every other component of a garment, you need to measure the elastic you need for sleeves. Measuring elastic for the sleeves is not as complicated as when measuring for a waistband.

Wrap the elastic around your sleeves. Pull or release to get how tight, you want the garment to be. With a pen, mark the point where the ends of the elastic will meet. Then, leave room for a seam allowance when you sew the fabric in the sleeves.

(Video) Learn How To Sew: Sewing Elastic (Episode 7)


How much elastic is needed for a waistband? ›

The elastic for a waistband should be approximately 2" smaller than your waist measurement.

How do you measure elastic for a waist skirt? ›

Measure your natural waist (smallest part of your waist). Now subtract about 2-3″ from that measurement. Waist measurement – 2″ = elastic length. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic.

How do you measure elastics for pants? ›

  1. Take a waistline measurement. Snug the measuring tape to the waistline to get an accurate reading. Add a 1-inch overlap to the final measurement.
  2. Before cutting the elastic, feed it through the casing and adjust the fit of the garment. Once the correct fit is done, cut, overlap and stitch the elastic together.

What is the ratio of elastic to fabric? ›

The standard sewing elastic ratio for the length of elastic to fabric length can vary from 1:2 to 1:3, depending on the kind of ruffles you need. The lesser the length of the elastic, the more ruffles you will attain through the stitch.

How thick should waistband elastic be? ›

How Wide Should Elastic Be? Here are some rules of thumb to follow: Waistbands: 3/4 to 1 inch for most garments, 1/2 inch may be wide enough on lightweight children's clothing. Necklines: 1/8 to 1/4 inch.

What is a standard size elastic band? ›

The standard thickness for a rubber band is 1/32. The following are common rubber band sizes ranging from size 8 to size 107.
Rubber Band Size Chart.
ClassificationLength (inches)Width (inches)
Size 32 rubber bands31/8
Size 33 rubber bands3 1/21/8
Size 62 rubber bands2 1/21/4
Size 63 rubber bands31/4
18 more rows
15 Oct 2021

What are the different sizes of elastic bands? ›

Rubber Band Sizes
Size No.LengthWidth
17 more rows
30 Jul 2019

What size is a 32 rubber band? ›

Alliance Size #32, (3" x 1/8") Advantage Rubber Bands 00721, 8 oz Bag of Approx. 160 Bands, Natural.

How do you replace an elastic waistband? ›

How to Replace Elastic Waistbands - YouTube

What elastic is best for skirts? ›

Woven elastic is firm when stretched and unlike braided elastic, does not narrow when stretched. It is great to use in skirts and pants waistbands as it doesn't overstretch and lose its shape. Woven elastic often comes in wider widths for a variety of uses and can be referred to as non-roll elastic.

What is a relaxed waist measurement? ›

Relaxed Waist – Measure around your hips, keeping the tape a bit loose. Inseam – Measure from the crotch seam to the bottom of the pants.

How much should elastic stretch? ›

Using Math: Generally, elastic is stretched between 3-8%, with 8% being used only in parts where you want the garment to “hug” the body (i.e. at the underarm near the armpit). So if you want to use math, then you can measure the length of what is being sewn and reduce it by 5%.

How do you measure your waist for stretching? ›

Stretch the waist flat and align the front and the back of the waistband, measure straight on the bottom and multiply it by 2.

How do you sew elastic to fabric directly? ›

Learn How To Sew: Sewing Elastic (Episode 7) - YouTube

What is the best stitch to sew on elastic? ›

Sew with a stretch stitch or a zigzag stitch, which will stretch along with the elastic. Finish the hem of the garment, if applicable. Mark the seam allowances at the sides of the garment piece. Fold the fabric between the marks into four equal sections.

How do you hand sew elastic into a waistband? ›

How to Hand Sew Elastic to a Bikini Bottom - YouTube

What widths does elastic come in? ›

Elastics come in all kinds of widths, from 1/4 inch to 3 inch and up. Your pattern will typically specify which width of elastic to use, but in general thinner elastics are used for things like swimwear and necklines, while wider elastic is used for waistbands for skirts and pants.

Which elastic is best for waistband? ›

Flat woven non-roll elastic is best for use in waistbands. Flat woven non-roll elastic comes in black or white and is available at most stores that sell fabric and notions in widths varying from ½ inch to an inch and a half.

What are the two main types of elastic waistband? ›

There are two general categories: cut-on casings and separate stitched-on casing waistbands. The casing is the “tunnel” that holds elastic in the sewn garment, whereas cut-on waistbands are folded down and topstitched from the right side.

Does cutting elastic make it narrower? ›

You can cut this knitted elastic any width and any length you want. Cut this 1-¼ Inch wide elastic lengthwise to a width of 1/4” without raveling, fraying or compromising the stretch. No more running to the store to have the exact width or stocking 5 types of elastic!

How do you measure your waist for stretching? ›

Stretch the waist flat and align the front and the back of the waistband, measure straight on the bottom and multiply it by 2.

What is a relaxed waist measurement? ›

Relaxed Waist – Measure around your hips, keeping the tape a bit loose. Inseam – Measure from the crotch seam to the bottom of the pants.

What is the best elastic for waistbands? ›

STRETCH LACE ELASTIC is soft and flexible. It conforms to the body, making it an ideal choice for waistbands and leg bands for lingerie and for making comfortable headbands. SPORT ELASTIC is soft and flexible. It is often used in sportswear and sleepwear.

How can I make my elastic waist tighter? ›

To shrink elastic waistband, there are two primary methods that include subjecting the elastic band to heat or sewing it to tighten the stretch. When it comes to shrinking elastic waistbands without sewing, apply heat either using regular iron, steam iron or a heating torch is an alternate option.

What is waistband width? ›

Measure Straight Across the Top of the Waistband

Measure across the top of the waistband from one side of the pant to the other. The Waist Width is equal to half of the waistband's total circumference. The front of the waistband should lie directly on top of the back of the waistband.

What size should my waist be? ›

Now that you've measured your waist circumference you need to know what it means. To have your best chance at maintaining good health, you should aim for: Men should have a waist circumference of 40 inches or less. Women should have a waist circumference of 35 inches or less.

Is a 20 inch waist small? ›

A 20 inch waist is well below the average waist size for women. In fact, 20 inches is a normal waist size for a 3 to 4-year-old child. So when you look at the facts, it appears that sculpting a 20″ waist is close to impossible for an adult woman. But that doesn't mean that some women haven't tried and succeeded.

What size is 34 inch waist? ›

What size is a 34 inch waist in Women's Jeans? A jean with 34 inches (ca. 86 centimeters) waist approximately corresponds to a US size 20 or XL size.

What size is a 32 inch waist? ›

For example: If you have a 32 inch waist, your size is a US-Size M or Euro-Size 42. US Size / Internat.

What size is a 28 inch waist? ›

Size 28 is usually a size 10.

Can you cut elastic without fraying? ›

Prevent fraying when making bands of elastic by overlapping the edges 1/2 inch and sewing a zigzag stitch over the edge of the elastic. Turn the elastic over and sew the overlapping edge on the other side in the same way.

Do you stretch elastic when sewing? ›

Make sure to stretch the elastic and fabric as you sew to prevent sewing tucks and pinches along the way. Once you go all the way around, the elastic waistband will look exactly the way it would if you'd sewn it into a casing.

Which is better knit or braided elastic? ›

Braided elastic has a longer life expectancy than other elastics such as knit elastic and can be a good option for an item you know will get heavy use. It can be encased in fabric or sewn directly onto fabric and exposed to skin.

How do I stop my elastic waist from folding? ›

How to keep elastic waistbands from twisting in skirts - YouTube

How do you tighten your waist without sewing? ›

Make Waistbands Smaller and Adjustable Without Sewing! DIY ...

Does elastic shrink in the dryer? ›

It withstands dry cleaning relatively well, as well as machine washing and drying. It shrinks very little, if at all.


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