Replacing the Elastic Waistbands

My daughter has some vintage skirts that had elastic waists that are now stretched out (old elastic cannot be removed), but the material still seems to be okay. The elastic is enclosed in material and she wants to know if it would be possible to put in new elastic and if so how could this be done?


We are not big on sewing so she may have to find someone to do this for her. Alterations are so expensive that it might not be worth it.

Please let us know if you have some ideas. Thanks

By cybergrannie from Ocala, FL

August 30, 20100 found this helpful

I've been sewing now for 45+ years. Use a seam ripper and carefully open the seam so as not to cut the fabric. Remove the stretched out elastic waistband and follow the directions on the following website.

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September 1, 20100 found this helpful

My daughter has a vintage skirt like that also, with the elastic stretched out. I can't remove the elastic, because it is one of those where after they put it in the waistband, they ranseveral rows of stitches through the elastic AND the fabric-I'd tear it to pieces trying to get it undone! I'm just planning to cut a new piece of elastic to fit & sew it into the inside of the skirt. If it irritates her skin, I'll sew a strip of soft fabric over that.

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September 2, 20100 found this helpful

Add a piece of matching or contrasting ribbon or fabric to the outside of the waist, and put in your elastic, then tack it down, or even easier, thread a cord belt through the ribbon/fabric using a button hole to enter/exit the fabric. Voila, a drawstring belt. Tie knots or use beads or whatever, to attach to the ends or use nothing but the small knot needed to keep the belt from disappearing.

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September 2, 20100 found this helpful

Hi and my daughter's is like lyonpridej in that it is sewed in several places and not loose in the band. Sounds like you and Thrifty Me have good ideas that we may try. It is a shame to discard these skirts as they are what everyone is looking for. She likes them because they are "vintage" and comfortable.

Thanks for your help and ideas.

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September 5, 20100 found this helpful

I have one just like you've mentioned. After looking at it, I decided just to do what hyonpridej is going to do, then or just put a drawstring in between the rows of stitching, as there is a wide enough space between rows of stitching that it could be slipped between the elastic and the fabric.

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September 5, 20100 found this helpful

By the way, what I did until fixing was wear them with a wide belt over the top of the waist band. You just have to adjust the "folds" so they look ok an do a little pulling so the waist doesn't stick out over the top of the belt.

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