How To Replace a Drawstring

Lots of clothing items have drawstrings, but they’re often easily lost or damaged. Don’t get rid of your favorite pair of sweatpants just because the drawstring is gone! Read on to learn how to replace a drawstring.

1. What you’ll need

  • The original drawstring, if you still have it. If it got damaged or broken somehow, look for a string or ribbon in the same color or similar shade as the fabric of your drawstring pants
  • A safety pin
  • A measuring tape

2. Measure your hips with the measuring tape to determine how long the string or ribbon will be. Add eight to ten inches to this length to give allowance to tie the drawstring.

3. Cut the string or ribbon and attach the safety pin to one end. Make sure that the safety pin is attached to the middle of the string so it doesn’t come off while you thread the string through your pants.

4. Using the safety pin, work the ribbon or string through the drawstring hole. Scrunch up the fabric around the safety pin as you go along to make the job easier. Once the safety pin reaches the other end, pull it back out.

5. Tie new knots on the ends of the drawstring to keep it from fraying.

6. This is also a good time to inspect the holes of the drawstring and make sure that the threads around the holes are still intact. If they start getting unraveled, the fabric might tear and create drawstring holes that are too big.

7. If you need to make repairs on the drawstring holes, grab a needle, a thread of the same color as the fabric, and use the buttonhole stitch to protect the edges of the drawstring hole.

  1. Thread the needle then knot the tread.
  2. Bring the knot to the wrong side of the fabric and anchor the thread, which will make the needle come out on the edge of the fabric.
  3. Place the needle on the inside part of the buttonhole stitch, and bring the needle point to the edge of the fabric.
  4. Make a loop behind the point of the needle and pull the needle through the fabric. The edge thread will make a loop at the edge of the fabric.
  5. Repeat until you have sewed the edge you want covered. Once you reach the final stitch, bring the needle’s point to the edge where the first stitch was made. Form the last stitch and bring the needle to the wrong side of the fabric. Make a knot then secure the thread.

Other tips: Instead of using a safety pin, you can also take a small piece of flexible wire and bend it to a U shape. Take your drawstring and place the tip through the wire. Crimp the wire so it holds the string, and then wrap tape around the wire so it doesn’t snag the threads of the fabric. Thread the wire and string through the garment, and pull the wire through.


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