Replace Drawstring With Elastic vs Elastic Drawstring Cord

One of the great things about sewing is that you can make alterations with ease. If you do not like a highlight, pocket or even a drawstring, you can change it to something you prefer. That is something that makes sewing lots of fun to do.

When you want to alter, some are harder to do than others. Replacing the drawstring with elastic or an elastic drawstring cord is not a difficult task. The hardest part is to get the new string through the casing and out the other side.

To learn more about this alteration just continue to read our article. It gives you the good and the bad when you want to replace your drawstring with elastic or elastic drawstring. It is not difficult to do just a bit time-consuming.

Can You Replace a Drawstring?


One of the good aspects of a drawstring is that it is not a must-have piece of fashion. You can replace it if you want to upgrade to something better. Two viable options work well in replacing your current drawstring.

The first option is to go to elastic strips. These strips are durable and they help provide a more snug fit. They are not hard to put into the casing and these elastic strips come in a variety of widths.

The key to using elastic as a drawstring replacement is finding the right width for your clothing. Too thin of a strip may end up breaking on you if you pull it too far. The thin width may also not have the strength to do the job you want.

The second option is an elastic drawstring cord. This replacement option has an elastic style design with the drawstring incorporated into the elastic. You have thickness, strength and when you pull the cord, it doubles the size of the elastic making it a perfect fashion accessory to use.

How to Replace Drawstring With Elastic


There are two methods you can use. One is far more difficult than the other. The first method is to pull the drawstring completely out on its own. That should only take about 15 seconds at the most.

Then you can tie or attach the elastic replacement to a crochet needle’s hook end. Once that is done you just thread the needle through the casing around to the other side of your clothing item.

A crochet needle is not mandatory. You can use a variety of items as long as they go through the casing without catching or causing trouble. The second way is far easier and a lot faster.

It is also the simplest way to replace the drawstring on most clothing items. Keep the original drawstring in place till you tie the end of the elastic to one end of the drawstring.

Next, pull on the other end of the drawstring to start the threading process. You may need to do a little manipulating when the tied end hits the drawstring opening at the beginning.

After you get the tied end into the casing you just continue to pull on the drawstring until you have the elastic coming out the other opening. Undo the knot and you have replaced the drawstring.

The next step is to hand stitch or sew the ends of the elastic together to form the bond you need. A couple of tips to help guide you. First, you will want the elastic to be about 2 inches smaller than your actual waist size, but that measurement is flexible.

Second, you will need about an inch or so for the seam allowance to sew the elastic up when you are done threading. Third, you can open up a small opening on the casing inside the clothing item. This helps you with the width of the elastic.

When you are done, adjust the gathers and sew up the opening you made.

Elastic Drawstring Cord for Sweatpants


This may be your simplest and easiest solution if you are going to replace normal drawstring with a substitute. It is easy to thread through the drawstring casing and it stretches out just fine.

Tying the end to the current drawstring is also the easiest way to thread the elastic drawstring into position. This should only take a couple of minutes to do and once it is in you are set to use your sweat pants again.

Now that this part of the exercise is settled you have a wealth of choices to select from to find that elastic drawstring. It is a rather popular item and you may be able to find it at Joann’s or some other fabric/sewing store.

If you do not like the long lines at those places, there is always Wal Mart, Home Depot, or your regular department store if they have a lot of sewing supplies stocked. Then if you do not want to leave your house, there is always Amazon.

This marketplace has a wide selection at reasonable prices and you can start your search by clicking on this link. With elastic drawstring, you do not have to worry about the width of the cord.

It is already at a very good thickness so you should not have any trouble threading it through the casing. The color you use will be up to you.

Replace Drawstring in Pants or Shorts


Replacing the drawstring in your pants or shorts can be done by simply following the directions given above. Just attach one end of the replacement string to the current one and pull the new drawstring through the casing.

But what about if the current drawstring has broken due to overuse, too hard of pulling or some other mishap? In that situation, you will need to remove both pieces of the drawstring and start from scratch.

If you do not have a crochet needle handy, a nice BIC pen would be a good replacement. Even a smooth small chopstick or a safety pin would be good options as well.

Once you have decided on the tool you are going to use just attach the new drawstring to the tool and start threading. It should only take a couple of minutes to get done and before you know it, your pants or shorts are ready to wear again.

In this case, you have 3 options to replace the broken drawstring. Elastic, elastic drawstring cord or just use the same type of drawstring that was already in the pants or shorts.

How to Replace Drawstring in a Hoodie


There is a situation that happens to all clothing items, not just hoodies. It is where one end of your drawstring has somehow found its way inside the casing and no matter what you do, you can’t get that end back out the correct opening.

In this situation, you will have to yank out the original drawstring and start from the beginning and re-thread the casing. If the original drawstring is not frayed, broken or too small you may be able to reuse it.

If not you would need to replace it with similar drawstrings or the elastic drawstring cord. Elastic is not going to be of any use to you in this situation. Since almost all clothing items using drawstrings are the same, any one of the tools or methods already described will work in this situation.

You will just need to budget enough time to get the task done. One thing you can do that may or may not work on other clothing items is to attach a drawstring lock. This lock will keep that situation from taking place again.

If you do not have a lock, simply tie a knot that is too large to fit through the casement opening. This latter option works on pants, sweat pants and shorts.

How to Replace an Elastic Waistband With a Drawstring


This is going to take you a little time as the elastic waistband may be stitched into place. This does not happen all the time but it does happen and you will need to be ready to find where the stitches are and remove them.

If the elastic has been stitched you will need to find where those are and carefully remove them. Generally, the stitching goes around the clothing item attaching the elastic to the fabric.

This means you will have to cut the casing open and remove the stitches. A free elastic waistband saves you a lot of this hassle. Once you get the stitching out, cut the elastic and remove it. With the casing open you do not need its help in threading the drawstring.

After you have removed the elastic, you can place your drawstring in its place. Because you are switching from elastic to a drawstring you are going to need put two openings in the casing in the middle front. These openings provide your entry and exit points for your drawstring and there should be about a 2-inch gap between the two.

Once that is done you should thread the two ends of the drawstring out their corresponding holes and sew up the casing once again. If the elastic you are using is a freestyle then the process is a lot simpler.

Make your exit and entry holes first. Then cut the elastic and attach one end of the drawstring to one end of the elastic. Use one of the new holes to get it started. Then take the other end of the elastic have it exit the other hole and pull the new drawstring through till it comes out the other side.

Even the two ends and you are good to go.

Different Uses for Drawstring Bags

Clothes are not the only items that use drawstrings. Some bags have them as well and if you need to replace the drawstring on a bag the above methods should work without any trouble.

There are some advantages to having a drawstring bag around the house. They are very handy little bags that keep the contents quite secure until you open them up. Here are some other uses for them:

  • 1. Separate your gym clothes - after a hard workout, you may not be so inclined to stick those sweaty smelly clothes in your nice gym bag and ruin it. A drawstring bag can separate those clothes from the clean ones keeping your bag smelling just fine.
  • 2. Put your books inside - if you do not have a book bag or hate carrying those on your shoulders, a drawstring bag can handle those books and let you carry them with ease.
  • 3. Hold dirty laundry - they are a great tool when you do not have a hamper or you need to transport your clothes to the laundromat. The clothes and the odor should remain inside.
  • 4. Store toys - these bags come in handy when you are running out of storage space. P[lace enough toys inside and you have gained your storage space back. The toys will be safe.

A word About Drawstrings

There are some people out there that consider this clothing accessory to be a danger to yours and your family’s life. They went to great lengths to get them banned from children’s clothing and they were successful in Great Britain in 1996.

But the cases cited to support their arguments were a bit extreme and were not common events. Out of millions of children, they found only 31 incidents that drawstrings harmed children.

There is a little risk to using drawstrings but a little common sense and the right parental instruction those events can be avoided.

Some Final Words

Replacing the drawstrings on your sweat pants, pants, shorts and hoodies is not a big deal. It just takes a little work, the right instruction, and tools, and the job is done before you know it.

Both elastic and elastic drawstrings are good replacement accessories and may make your clothing items fun to wear again.

Leave a Comment:

Add Your Reply