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How to Make Pants Looser at the Waistline

By Erin Watson-Price ; Updated April 18, 2017
Loosen the waistline of your pants with a little ingenuity.

Gaining weight around the holidays doesn’t have to mean a new wardrobe. Getting pregnant doesn’t have to mean rushing out for expensive new maternity clothes to accommodate a baby bump 1/5 its possible size. For slight fluctuations in weight that make the waistline of your pants uncomfortable but not impossible to wear, try making a temporary extender. Purchasing a waistband extender can cost as much as $10 to $15 dollars for one color, but with a little ingenuity, you can recycle your junk draw and your closet to create an inexpensive solution.

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Quick Fix

Insert one end of a hair band through the buttonhole of your pants until you are holding a loop on each side of the waistband.

Thread the loop on the inside of the waistband through the loop on the outside of the waistband and pull tight to secure the hair band to the pants.

Place the remaining loop over the button of your pants to secure.

Put Old Bras to Good Use

Cut the hook and eye connector off a neutral-colored, worn-out bra. The more fabric you cut, the more you can loosen the waistline of your pants. When cutting, give yourself a 1/4 to 1/2-inch seam allowance.

Fold over the cut edge of the bra pieces and sew a seam to strengthen the fabric and prevent it from fraying when you where it.

Sew seamed edges to the edges of the waistband.

Things You Will Need

  • Hair band
  • Bra
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine


Add another hair band to the first for more room. If you are pregnant, use an elastic headband to wear your pants for as long as your legs still fit. To expand pants with a hook-and-eye closure, loop a hair band through the eye and catch the other end of the loop with the hook. Inspect the location of the button on your pants. Some pants have as much as an inch of fabric between the button placement and the edge of the waistband. If you have the room, attach a new button near the edge of the waistband or move the existing button.


If you cannot zip your pants, loosening the waistline will not fix this problem.

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About the Author

Transplanted Yankee Erin Watson-Price lives in Birmingham, Ala., and has been writing freelance articles since 1997. She worked as writer/co-editor for Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue's newsletter, "The Long and the Short of It." In 2007 she obtained a certification as a copy editor. Watson-Price holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

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