Expand Jeans Waist: How To Make Pants Bigger Around The Waist

As you age or partake of too many holiday or birthday treats, your waistline tends to add to its girth. You may not see this transition take place immediately as your stomach likes covert expansion instead. It goes little by little until you finally realize your favorite pants no longer fit.

How to make pants bigger around the waist: There are at least 7 good ways to expand your pants at the waist. One way is to let them out at the center seam in the back. At that point, there is a little seam allowance that will help you continue to wear your favorite pants a little longer without enduring the pain of a diet.

To learn how to let your pants out at the waist and other ways to expand them at that point, just continue to read our article. It has the information to help you maintain the fit of your clothing without buying new.

Can Pants Waist Be Let Out?


The good news for those not wanting to concede the battle of the bulge is that yes they can. All you need to do is look for the center seam that has the seam allowance for your waistband.

Once you locate that, you can check to see how much fabric has been folded over. Sometimes you get as much as 2 inches of extra waistband fabric. That gives you plenty of room to make your jeans or pants last longer.

The center seam is not the only place you can let those jeans or pants out at the waist., you can add fabric to the side seams and give yourself some extra space when walking or going about your day.

The only problem with letting them out at the side seam is the look your pants or jeans will have, especially when the material color is not the same. You will need to match those colors and textures very well if you want to keep the alteration a secret.

How Much Can a Waist Be Let Out?


The general rule of thumb is that the waist can be let out about 2 inches per seam. if you have 3 seams then you have about 6 inches to play with. But that does not mean it is a good idea to do the full 6 inches all the time.

If you only have the center back seam to work with, then you are looking at only 2 inches of extra fabric to work with. Just remember to remove all applicable belt loops before you start letting those pants out.

If you are working with men’s dress pants, those trousers usually have a generous seam allowance. Once you open up the seam, you will find out how much fabric you have to work with. Each pair of pants may be different depending on the manufacturer.

Your biggest concern when letting out pants is to make sure the horizontal seam holding the waistband to the pants is matched up. You need to do this before you sew the new width into the waistband.

Add an Inch to Pants Waist

When you only need to add an inch or less to the waistband then there are some non-sewing methods that may work better at doing that objective. Here are some non-sewing options that may be a bit uncomfortable at first:

  • 1. Wear jeans while exercising - Just do those exercises that target the waist line. Lunges, squats, knee lifts, and so on. The extra strain on the fabric will help the jeans or pants stretch naturally. Plus, you may lose a few pounds and not need to stretch those pants that extra inch.
  • 2. The lukewarm water and spray bottle method - Spraying the waistband with lukewarm water should relax those fibers enough to stretch them out a bit further. You can spray the water on first or wait till you have the pants on before wetting them. Either way, you do not want them to get too wet and you do not want them to be too dry.
  • 3. The wooden hanger method - If you do not want to do #2, then use the wooden hanger as your replacement. make sure the hanger is not smaller than half the waistband size. Wet the waistband with lukewarm water then put the pants or jeans over the hanger and let dry. if the pants, etc., are still too small, repeat with a bigger hanger.
  • 4. The iron method - Or you can call it the steam method as you will want to stretch your pants over your ironing board or a wooden chair. Then button them up so they do not move.

Use the steam function on your iron to moisten the waistband and then use your other hand to do the stretching. The other hand will be ironing that waistband. Pull hard to get the most stretch

  • 5. The bathtub method - You already know what is coming. Fill your tub up with warm water and then put your p[ants on. Get in the tub and stay as long as it takes to soak the pants or jeans. Get out of the tub, dry off any excess moisture, and wear the pants until they dry.

This is also a good time to do some exercises to help that stretch take place.

  • 6. The hairdryer method - Use your hairdryer to heat the waistband but keep the dryer about 6 inches away from the material and keep it moving. Once the waistband is warm start pulling on it to stretch the material. This method works better if you heat both sides of the waistband. Also, you can spray the pants with warm water if you like.

There may be other methods you can use if these do not work. The key is not to be gentle when stretching. Jeans and pants are generally not made from delicate fabrics.

How to Make Pants Bigger Around the Waist


One of the ways you can do this if the previous 6 methods do not work to your satisfaction is to remove the waistband completely. Then you resize those pants by using scrap fabric you may have laying around the house.

All you do is cut the side seams about 2 to 4 inches down and then cut near those areas on the waistband. You want to align those seams when you are done. Now cut the scrap fabric to size, pin in place to make sure you have the extra inches you want, and then sew back up.

When you are finished the new sewn area should look like a triangle. Topstitch the waistband closed.

Or if that is too much work, use your washing machine to wet your jeans or pants, and get rid of the excess moisture. Then pull those pants out and either wear them until they dry, doing exercises while you wait, or place them on a hanger and start pulling.

It is possible to stand on the jeans as you pull in order to keep the jeans or pants in one place as you work. You can air dry after you are done. Also, be careful of any color bleed and protect your flooring or other items from being dyed denim blue or black.

Expanding the Waist of Jeans


This will take a little effort on your part no matter if you are using the sewing methods or the alternative ones. It will also take a little patience and honesty on your part. We say honesty as some people do not like to admit to themselves that their waist is growing and the appliances did not shrink the pants.

Stretching pants is not always easy work either. You need to use all your strength or get your husband to help you. But you do not want to be overly enthusiastic about this process. If you are, you may overstretch those pants and start to look for a belt to keep them secure when you are wearing them.

A lot will depend on the fabric your pants are made from. Denim is a hardy material so you do not have to be gentle. Other lighter weight fabrics may not need hard pulling but it should be firm.

Use the method that will work for the type of material your pants or jeans are made from. Soaking them while wearing a pair is generally the safest for all fabrics.

How Can I Make my Pants Waist Bigger Without Sewing?


If you have read this far, you are already aware of 6 good methods to accomplish this goal. The washing machine method has your appliance doing almost all the work for you. The only part you need to do is either wear the pants or stretch them over a hanger or a wooden chair.

When we say wood, you can use other chair material but plastic is probably too flexible. You want a solid chair that won’t move when you start pulling on the material.

Also, while light exercises like knee lifts are good, you can do more physical activities to stretch those jeans. Wet the waistband so you are comfortable and then go play floor hockey, football, basketball, or some other high-intensity sport to help get those jeans or pants to the right expanded size.

The issue you have to be concerned with is that it is possible to overstretch waistbands if you are not careful. Watch how hard you pull and when you see some results check them first before continuing your pulling.

If you pull too hard you may be looking up our articles on how to shrink those fabrics to get them to the size you want. We haven’t said it so far but the other option you can use that doesn’t require sewing is to buy a new pair of pants.

Make sure they are in the larger size so you do not have to stretch them out any time soon.

Can a Tailor Make Pants Waist Bigger?

If they can’t, then they are probably not very good tailors and you need to have your clothing altered or made by someone else. Tailors are professionals and there is very little they cannot do when it comes to clothing and altering those clothing items.

They know the right method to use for the fabric you bring to them for altering. Plus, they can alter jeans’ waistbands as well. The question is can you afford to use a tailor? Their services are not always cheap. Unless you are a good customer expect to pay the premium price for their services.

If you are going to take your jeans, etc., to your tailor for refitting here are a few tips to follow before you drop them off:

  • 1. Wash the pants or jeans in cold water first. This will provide the tailor with those clothing items in their truest form.
  • 2. Be prepared to put the pants on so the tailor can see exactly what needs to be done.
  • 3. If you bought the jeans or pants from that tailor see if they have discounted prices for alterations etc.
  • 4. It is better to use a tailor than doing it yourself because they are more experienced at this type of work.

If you do this work yourself you may make a mistake and you will end up at a tailor’s shop or a professional seamstress to fix those mistakes. Sometimes it is best to bite the cost bullet and let the pros handle these types of tasks.

Some Final Words

If you watch what you eat, do regular exercise, and try to live a healthy lifestyle, you may not face this situation very often. Expanding waistlines do not always go off perfectly and the end result may not look very good.

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