How to Make Pants Suspenders

    by Carolyn Kay Neeley

    About the Author

    Carolyn Kay Neeley has been a professional writer and editor since 2003, with experience in medical and academic writing, resume writing and advertising. She has also authored craft and homemaking articles for various online publications. Neeley holds a Bachelor of Science in religion from Liberty University, as well as a practical nursing license.


    Making your own pants suspenders allows you to customize your suspenders any way you like. There are a variety of clips, elastics and fabrics to choose from, and it is a relatively inexpensive project. Indeed, the most difficult part of making pants suspenders is getting the measurements right so that they fit well, but a few quick tips make the process simpler.

    Things You'll Need

    • Measuring tape
    • Elastic (decorative, if desired)
    • Fabric (optional)
    • Suspender clips--3 for "Y" style or 4 for "X" style
    • Sewing machine or needle and thread

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    Measuring for Suspenders

    Measure from the spot on the back of the pants where the suspenders would attach, diagonally over your shoulder, to the front waistline where the suspenders would attach to the front of the pants for "X"-style suspenders. If you use two tape measures, they form the same pattern as the suspenders.

    Measure from the very middle back of the pant waistline, diagonally over your shoulder, to where the suspenders would attach to the front of the pants for "Y"-style suspenders.

    Subtract 1 inch from this measurement. For "X"-style suspenders, you will cut two pieces of elastic the same length.

    Measure from the waistline of your pants to about mid-back for "Y"- style suspenders. Cut one piece of elastic this length. Subtract that length from the earlier adjusted measurement and cut two pieces of elastic to this size.
    For example, if you measured 46 inches, you would subtract 1 inch to measure 45. If the measurement from your waist to mid-back is 9 inches, you will have one 9-inch piece and two 36-inch pieces.

    Decorative Elastic-Only Suspenders

    Cut your decorative elastic to the appropriate sizes, according to your measurements.

    Loop the ends of the elastic through the holes in the suspender clips, and sew them in place. Note: for "Y"-style suspenders, attach one clip to one end of each elastic piece, while for "X"-style, both ends of each piece will have a clip.

    Sew the unclipped ends of the elastic together in a "Y" shape for "Y" suspenders.

    Put the "X"-style suspenders on, crisscrossing them and marking the place where they meet at the back. Sew them in an "X" shape at this spot.

    Fabric-Covered Suspenders

    Cut your elastic to the sizes you determined earlier.

    Measure the width of your elastic and multiply this by 2. Add 1/4 inch to the sum. This will be the width of your fabric. For example, if your have 1/2-inch elastic, then your fabric will be 1 1/4 inches.

    Cut two strips of fabric that are 2 inches longer than your elastic for "X"-style suspenders, and as wide as you calculated earlier.
    Cut one strip of fabric that is 1 inch longer than the elastic bottom part of the Y and two strips of fabric that are 1 inch longer than the elastic front pieces for "Y"-style suspenders. Use the width you found earlier.

    Hem the short edges of the fabric strips.

    Place the fabric with the right sides together, lengthwise. Sew the long edges together to form tubes.

    Turn the fabric tubes right side out. An easy way to do this is to attach a safety pin to one end and pull it through to the other.

    Thread the elastic through the fabric tubes, and attach the ends of the elastic to the suspender clips.

    Sew the elastic together in a Y shape first, then sew the fabric coverings together to make "Y" suspenders.

    Put the suspenders on and mark the place where they naturally crisscross to create "X" suspenders. Sew the suspenders together in an X shape at this point.

    • Pressing the fabric lightly with your iron makes elastic insertion easier.