How to Make a Waistband Stretcher

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You can use a form to stretch an elastic waistband on skirts, pants and shorts.

A cost-effective alternative to tailoring your clothing, a homemade waistband stretcher can be assembled using items found around the house. One reason to stretch a waistband is that they may shrink when exposed to high heat in the dryer. In addition, pregnancy or weight gain may result in a need to stretch the waistbands on skirts, pants or shorts. A waistband stretcher creates a more comfortable, worn-in feeling in new clothing items such as pajama pants and can be tailored to work for kids' clothing too. Autistic children and kids who are prone to sensory overload are often bothered by tight-fitting waistbands, so a stretcher will make the child's garments more comfortable without the need for sewing and tailoring.


Things You'll Need

  • Tape Measure

  • Saw

  • 2-by-4 board

  • Screws

  • Screw gun

  • Medium-grit sandpaper

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Step 1

Measure your waist circumference with a tape measure. Divide this number by 2 to arrive at the ideal width of the stretching form.

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Step 2

Cut the board into three pieces. Use the measurement from the prior step to cut one long piece and cut two 6-inch lengths of board.

Step 3

Screw the 6-inch boards to the ends of the long board. The short boards should be parallel to each other and they will be perpendicular to the long board. The final shape will be an elongated, squared-off "U."

Step 4

Sand the edges and corners of the wood to remove sharp edges and splinters that may potentially pull or damage the fabric.

Step 5

Place the waistband around the two short boards and leave it on the stretcher for several days.


The garment can be folded and placed in a drawer while on the stretcher. To make this stretcher hangable, drill a hole through the center of the long board and insert hook hardware.


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