How to Stretch Jeans Waistband

Written by lisa love
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Sometimes you need an extra inch or two in the waistband of your favourite pair of jeans, especially if they've accidentally gone through the dryer cycle or you've put on a few extra pounds. Consider a few simple steps to take to give yourself the breathing room you need.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Jeans
  • Washing machine or spray bottle with water
  • Hanger
  • Holder or stretcher
  • Clothes line or drying place

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  1. 1

    Make sure your jeans are wet. Run them through the wash cycle and remove them when complete. Although the washing machine method works best, you could just use a spray bottle of water and soak the jeans just on the waistband for quicker results.

  2. 2

    If you're very careful and disciplined, you could put your jeans in the dryer for just 5 or 10 minutes to get the wrinkles out, then proceed to step 3. You may want to skip this step altogether if there's a chance you'll forget about your jeans being in the dryer. Also, don't leave wet clothes in the dryer or they'll become mouldy.

  3. 3

    Fasten your jeans. Stretch the waistband by pulling as hard as you can without ripping the jeans. You could place a holder like a large hanger, piece of wood or a plastic pipe in the stretched waistband while drying, or simply hang the stretched jeans.

  4. 4

    Let your jeans air dry on a hanger or drying rack. Smooth the legs out (front and back) with your hand to minimise wrinkles. Stretch the hems out to keep the original shape.

Tips and warnings

  • You could spend around $13 purchasing an official waistband stretcher that will give jeans and other trousers up to an extra 5 inches in the waist.
  • Consider purchasing a trousers button extender at your local fabric store.
  • Make your own button extender with a thick rubber band, but make sure your shirt covers the evidence.
  • Make sure the jeans are fastened before stretching the waistband, or you'll break the zipper.
  • Don't completely dry your jeans in the dryer. They'll likely shrink a size and stretching the waistband to fit will become a more difficult task.
  • Use the stretching method every time you wash your jeans, and wear them several times before washing.

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