How to Cut Elastic Out of Waistband (9 Easy Tips)

There will be those times where the elastic waistband is not enough to give you a comfortable fit. When that happens you are faced with the chore of altering or moving the elastic so you can get your pants to fit the way you want.

How to cut elastic out of waistband: There are about 2 steps to take when removing the elastic from a waistband. The first step is to take a seam ripper and open up a four-inch gap in the casing at the center back of the garment. Then remove any stitches holding the elastic to the garment.

To learn more about how to remove elastic from a waistband, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to do the task right. It only takes a few minutes of your time to learn these tips.

Tip #1: One of the things to learn when getting ready to cut elastic is learning what not to do first. Don’t just cut the elastic and then add a little string expecting the string to help keep the integrity of the elastic. It won’t work.

Tip #2: A seam ripper is a good tool to use to take the stitches out the casing opening it up so you can see what needs to be done on the elastic. Just be careful not to cut the fabric.

How to Cut Elastic Fabric

The first step you need to take is to decide to go slow. The second step to take is to be careful. The reason for these two steps is to make sure you do not do a sloppy cut. A bad cut will ruin the fabric and your garment.

These two steps work for both regular and elastic fabric. The best way to cut elastic fabric is by following the grain of the fabric. Any other way and you end up ruining the fabric and wasting your time and money.

Make sure the scissors are very sharp as even dull scissors can ruin your cut and make a mess of things. When you have done those steps, you want to cut the elastic to about 2 inches larger than your waist measurement.

That measurement also depends on the type of garment you are making. For a child’s tutu, you want to cut about 4 inches shorter than the waist measurement.

Tip #3: Before you remove any stitches holding the elastic to the fabric, make sure to cut the stitches holding the ends 0of the elastic strip together first. This will make it easier to remove the other stitches and remove the elastic strip.

Can You Cut Elastic Lengthwise?


Normally you can’t cut elastic lengthwise. If you do try, you run the risk of the elastic unraveling or becoming compromised. Elastic is a very difficult piece of fabric to cut.

But there is a type of elastic material that you can cut lengthwise. You may have heard of it, it is a knitted elastic called fantastic Elastic. It usually comes in 1 1/2 inch widths and it is possible to narrow that width if you do not need to use the whole 1 1/2 inches.

All you do is cut along one of the ribs and you should be fine. You can go as narrow as 1/4 of an inch and still not have any problems. It is possible to make a miscut and cross rib lines.

When you do that, you will see a little unraveling take place. But the raveling should stop when it reaches the narrowest rib. Once there the unraveling will stop and should not affect that narrow stretch of elastic.

Tip #4: When you start to cut the elastic make sure to turn the garment inside out. Not only will this be easier it will let you see what you are doing. Your chance of making an error following this procedure is reduced.

Do You Cut Stretch Fabric On The Bias?

If you want a great drape and a form-flattering look, then this is the technique you should use. Cutting on the bias means finding the straight grain first. Once you have done that, you find the 45-degree angle and make your cut.

Besides having your draping look better doing it this way there are other benefits to cutting on the bias. After you make your cut, you should see a more fluid motion, there should be more stretch available to you, and the edges should not fray.

Also, you should see a better silhouette once the skirt or dress is completed. The other strategy for cutting on the bias is that the fabric becomes even more soft and supple.

There is a difference between bias cuts. The true bias usually provides more stretch than just a regular bias-cut does. Also, you need a true bias cut when you have lots of fabric to drape.

Tip #5: to find true bias all you have to do is fold the lengthwise grain or what is called the selvage till it is parallel to the crossway grain.

How to Cut the Elastic Out of Shorts or Baseball Pants


One of the major issues you have to watch out for when removing elastic from shorts or baseball uniform pants is the danger of poking holes in the fabric. Removing the elastic has to be done slowly and carefully to prevent any damage to the pants.

The best tool to use would be the seam ripper and you should make sure you do not go too deep when cutting the stitches. Make sure you are doing the stitch cutting on the elastic side. That way if you press too hard or slip, you won’t poke a hole through the rest of the fabric.

Also, you should avoid just cutting a slit in the pants and removing the elastic leaving the fabric to fend for itself. This technique will leave a pucker that won’t look good. To avoid the puckered look, cut the fabric just above the elastic, fold the fabric down about 1/4” and use a whip stitch all the way around the pants.

Tip #6: To make the perfect removal you need to find the seam first and then stretch the waistband out., If you feel the elastic move, then it is not stitched to the fabric inside. You are free to make a slit anywhere you want and remove the elastic.

Cut Elastic Bottom Off a Sweatshirt

The easiest way to cut the elastic off the bottom of the sweatshirt is to take a sharp pair of scissors and cut just above the elastic portion of the sweatshirt. This will leave you with a messing looking sweatshirt but the task is done.

To clean that lookup, you need to sew on another piece of fabric that does not contain any elastic in it. First, you should make sure the new fabric has enough width to make a new casing out of.

Second, make sure the color of the fabric matches the color of the sweatshirt and the colors of any emblems, designs or patches. The last thing you want is to walk around with ugly clashing colors that do not flatter your sense of fashion style.

Or if you like the bare midriff look, just fold the cut fabric up about 1/2 an inch and hem the sweatshirt all the way around till it looks neat and like new again. You do have some options when you remove the elastic bottom from your new sweatshirts.

Tip #7: All you need to remove the elastic from your waistband is about 1/2 inch slit. But that only works if the elastic is not sewn into place. If it is sewn at the seam then your hols have to be as large as the elastic is to cut all the stitches.

How to Cut an Elastic Off Shoulder Top


For many women’s clothes, the elastic straps are only part of the overall design because they help the blouse, etc. To hang on the hanger and keeps them from falling off. They do not serve any other purpose and can be quite annoying to some women who may do not like the look or the feel of the elastic shoulders.

There is no complicated procedure to follow when wanting to remove the elastic from those shoulder tops. You can just snip them off without worry. The shoulder top should not lose its look.

The key would be in fixing the shoulder top so that the raw edge is not exposed and makes the top vulnerable to unraveling. Also, the elastic is there to keep the top from stretching out of shape.

When you remove the elastic you should take a few steps in preventive sewing to keep that issue from taking place.

Tip #8: When removing the elastic from a waistband you may still want a nice snug fit that you control. To achieve this goal, just safety pin a piece of string to the end of the elastic you are not pulling on. As you pull the elastic out, the string will follow in its path and replace the elastic once you have it all out. The trick to all of this is to make sure not to catch a loose piece of thread and bunch up the fabric.

How to Stop Cut Elastic From Fraying

There is no difficult trick to stopping fraying when you cut a piece of elastic. First, start with a little liquid fabric stabilizer. After you cut the elastic coat both ends with this product.

The liquid fabric stabilizer can be found at different fabric stores throughout the nation. Once you have coated the ends, move in about a 1/4 inch and sew a zig-zag stitch up and down near the edge. This should hold the elastic tight and keep it from fraying.

A second option is to overlap the elastic edges about 1/2 inch. Once that is done sew a zig-zag stitch on one side of the overlapping pair of edges. After that, turn the elastic over and do the same thing on the other side.

That is all there is to it. A good stitch in time saves a lot of future work. Also, you need to watch the type of elastic you are using. A plastic elastic strip should not fray. Not all plastic elastic strips are that way but some are.

If you get the no-fray type then you will be faced with another problem. This style is not as strong as the woven elastic strip and it may break or stretch on you.

Tip #9: You do not always have to remove the elastic waistband from your pants to get a better fit. You can use your iron and a damp towel to stretch the elastic to loosen it up some. 10-second applications of a very hot iron on the damp towel for 5 to 10 minutes should do the trick.

Some Final Words

Elastic straps in the waistband do an upstanding job of holding your pants up while keeping you nice and comfortable. But not everyone likes those elastic strips or they are too tight after a few months or years of use.

When those situations or attitudes take place then removing them becomes a very viable option. It is not hard to take those elastic strips out of a waistband. The key is to go slow and be careful.

Then you should flip the waistband inside out to make sure you do not put any unnecessary holes in the garment. Removing the elastic just takes a little time to get the task done.

Also, when you do take the elastic out, don’t make the slit too large. A small slit works well when the elastic is not sewn to the seam or the fabric itself. If it is then you are going to have to make a larger slit to get the job done.

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Add Your Reply