How to Sew an Elastic Waistband

Elastic waistbands are oh so comfy!

Definitely the best option for loungewear and sewing them is really pretty easy.

In this blog post, you’ll learn step-by-step how to sew and insert an elastic waistband in your DIY Pajama pants (or shorts!)

But first, you need some supplies!

Supplies for Sewing an Elastic Waistband

  1. You need pants to put the elastic into!

    This tutorial is focused directly on the waistband itself, but a waistband won’t do you any good if you don’t have pants.

    Below I’ve linked up to two blog posts that will help you get started making DIY Pajama Pants from the very beginning
Pajama Pants and Shorts without a Pattern

Do you already have a pair of pajama pants you love?

Or does the mention of patterns freak you out?

Just check out my DIY Pajama Pants – Without a Pattern Post.

Free Pajama Pant Patterns

Don’t have a current fave pair of pajama pants?

In the mood to try a new pattern?

Then check out my list of Fave FREE Pajama Pants Patterns.

Once you have your pajama pants, you’ll also need…

2. 1/2″ Wide Elastic!

You’ll need enough to go around your waist one time.

Not sure what your waist measurement is?
Head to my How To Take Measurements post and I’ll show you how to take measurements like a pro.

And finally…

Standard Sewing Supplies
No matter what you’re sewing, there are a few tools you’ll always need. For example,

  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Etc

Not sure if you’ve got all the standard tools?
No worries! Check out my blog post 10 Tools You Must Have To Start Sewing.

Now that we have all of the supplies together, it’s time to get started!

How To Sew and Insert an Elastic Waistband

Or scroll down if you’d rather read through the steps!

How to Sew and Insert an Elastic Waistband

Step 1: Fold and Iron Top Edge of Pajama Pants 1/2″

Fold the top edge of your pajama pants down 1/2″

Iron in place.

Step 2: Fold and Iron again at 1.5″

Fold top edge of pajama pants again, this time at 1.5″

Iron in place.

Step 3: Pin Folded Top Edge of Pajama Pants In Place

Pin the top edge of the pajama pants in place.

By folding the top edge 2 times, we have:

1. Folded the raw edge under so that we have a nice finished edge on the inside of our pajama pants.

2. Created a tunnel or sleeve for our elastic to be put into.

If this doesn’t make sense yet, keep reading 🙂

Step 4: Sew 1/4″ Away from Folded Edge of Pajama Pant

***Leave a 2-3″ Gap!***

Sew Along Edge of Folded Pajama Pant

Sew this top folded section of your pajama pants in place.

Sew 1/4″ away from bottom folded edge.

Leave a 2-3″gap as shown in photo!

Step 5: Insert Elastic Into Pajama Pant Waistband

Now insert the elastic into the hold we left from the last step.

Does the double fold and “creating a sleeve” for the elastic make more sense now?

Attaching a safety pin to the end of the elastic makes it much easier to pull the elastic into the sleeve.

Step 6: Pull Elastic all the Way Through the Waistband

Pull the elastic all the way through the waistband until it comes back out of the same hole.

See photo.

Step 7: Pin Elastic Together

Check that your elastic if flat and not twisting around in your waistband.

Once you’re sure the elastic is not twisted, pin ends together as shown.

Step 8: Sew Elastic Together

Put the elastic on your sewing machine and sew together.

Some people prefer to connect elastic with a zigzag stitch.

I personally haven’t had problems with a straight stitch.

Use whichever stitch you feel more comfortable with.

Step 9: Stretch your Waistband to Pull Elastic up Into the Sleeve

Grab the sides of your pajama pants and stretch them a few times.

The elastic should pull up into the waistband sleeve as you see here.

Step 10: Finish Sewing the Gap on the Pajama pant Waistline

Find the gap that we just used to insert the elastic.

Lay out that area of your pajama pants as flat as possible

Pin in place

Sew the gap closed staying the same 1/4″ away from the bottom edge.

Step 11: Try on Your New Pajama Pants!

DIY Headband and Pajama Pants


You did it!

Got any leftover fabric?

Head here to watch my video tutorial on making a matching headband!

How did your elastic waistband turn out?

Share your progress in the DIY Fashion Rebel Facebook Group so we can all cheer you on.

Now there’s just one step between you and ultimate DIY lounging comfort!

So let’s get started!

Hi Designers!

Hi! Welcome to DIY Fashion Rebel! My name’s Abbie and I’m super excited for you to be here!

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