Being able to let out a waistband on an elasticized waist is a simple sewing project that can save you lots of money on alterations — and maybe even new clothes. You can usually adjust up to 3 inches in an existing waistband. Stretch out the elastic waist of the garment and make sure there is enough fabric to make it the size you need.
Things You’ll Need
Sewing machine with a size 70-75 needle
Elastic, in the same width as the garment being altered
With the stitching removed, the elastic will pull freely through the waistband. Pull up a section of elastic and pin it on the left and right to prevent it from retracting into the casing. Cut through the elastic.
Cut a piece of elastic the same width as the elastic in the garment and the length you want to extend the waist, usually between 1 1/2 and 2 inches. Set the sewing machine to a wide zigzag stitch and a short stitch length. Unpin one side of the elastic and pull it out enough to maneuver easily. Hold the two pieces of elastic close together, not overlapping, and stitch together with a zigzag stitch catching each side of the elastic.
Stretch the waistband and elastic out straight, and stitch through the center of the elastic all the way around the garment. If the garment had several rows of stitching that you had to remove in Step 2, replace those rows as well.