Nat Alters A Waistband

Seamstresses, seamsters, alterations people, sewing people and tailors look away. 

My Mum’s mum was seamstress and dressmaker. My Mum can turn her hand to anything hand or machine sewn, hand or machine knitted, she can make it. Dresses, jumpers, trousers, you name it she can make it, nothing fazes her. My sisters an amazing craft sewer, cross stitcher and knitter. Then there’s me. I can fix buttons, fix/repair rips and tears messily, alter strappy tops, t-shirt arm lengths, do basic alterations. Very basic alterations and never look at the underside. Although you can’t tell the underside to the outside as to how messy it is. My patience isn’t up there for things sewn or knitted. 

Shorts before. Compared to the photo above you can see a size difference in the waistband. The left leg hem look aligned however it fits okay on. While air drying I refold the hems to align better. I didn’t notice at time of purchase as I liked this particular pair of shorts colour. What do you expect from €20 shorts?

This year like last year high waisted shorts and jeans were in for the summer. In Pull and Bear I found pair of Mom style high waisted denim shorts whose colour and style I liked. More high waisted than Mom and at the right price. Around €20 give or take 10 cents or 1 cent. The only problem was the waistband had unnecessary elastic in. 

The unnecessary elastic waistband

The next size up was too big on the hips. I knew my size was the right size. I didn’t get why they added elastic to the waistband. There was no need. They were the only denim shorts I’d found that were the right length and that I liked. In the changing room a light bulb went off. 

I could cut the elastic, breaking the tension and they’ll fit fine. At €20 I was okay to chance it. Thankfully my idea worked.

I can alter that!

I made about 10 horizontal insertions in the inside of the waistband with a pair of embroidery scissors. Then I carefully as to not cut the outside of the waist band, I cut the elastic vertically as close as I could to the upper and lower stitching. A vertical insertion perhaps would have been better. I didn’t think of that at the time. Once I cut the elastic and checked the waistband had more room, I sewed the insertions up. Messily of course. I think the whole process took about 30 -40minutes.

The elastic was thicker than I thought and took some snipping and gnawing with the scissors
Yellow thread to blend in? Never look at the underside. The weave is kinda loose and started to fray sewing it back up. I did my best with the patience I have!
Better fitting and noticeably bigger waistband. It took like the first pair a few washes for them to fit more comfier

Thankfully the stitching’s held (I know, some are cringing at it) and I have a pair of shorts that now fit. I ended up getting another pair as I liked them so much and did the same. The second pair the elastic I think was shorter as I had to make more insertions to release it. Maybe however they are a little on small size just as by the lower part of the fly the denim started to rip, Cheap denim and hips. Again I patched that up and if people notice they notice. The patch adds style. I do want to know if the line sold. It was always in stock through the summer which is surprising as they seem to have new ranges every week, so perhaps it was a basic summer line, or thanks to the waistband it wasn’t selling. 

6 week later, stitching’s still holding!
Stitching neater on the first pair I altered. Although same pair of shorts the weave seem stronger on the first pair.
Fly patch. Classy.
Not noticeable at all. The second pair is starting to split at the same place as per first photo. No worries, I’ll patch it up 😳😂

There was also some colour loss in laundering. The first pair of shorts I altered back in June, the second in late July and you can clearly see the colour fade difference. I’m hoping I can still fit in them next year, the cotton is still good next year so I don’t have to buy any denim shorts.

Only a month difference of washing and noticeable colour fade. It’s okay! I have 2 colours to choose from!

Are you a knitter or sewer or like me a lets see what I can bodge/fix/repair?


  1. says:

    Good job! I’m not confident in my sewing skills so I would just take it to a seamstress. Fortunately they are very easy to find here!

    1. says:

      Thankfully this handy work wasn’t to be on show. If it were, I’d need my Mum or seamstress!

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