Waist cinchers help redefine your figure, making you look more svelte and curvaceous. You can find a selection of commercial brands in clothing and big box stores, but the price tags hover around $20 or more. Some cinchers use boning to define shape, but the boning is often uncomfortable. Making your waist cincher with leather, brocade or decorative fabric allows you to wear the cincher under your clothing or over your clothing like a decorative belt. The more rigid the fabric or leather, the better your waist cincher will reduce your waist.
No-Sew Leather Waist Cincher
Measure your waist. Use tailor’s chalk to mark a piece of leather 4 inches smaller than your waist measurement and 5 inches wide. Cut out the leather piece.
Use a leather or fabric punch to place six holes in the ends of the leather 1/2 inch from the side edges. Begin your holes 1/4 inch down from the top edge and 3/4 inch apart.
Push a grommet into a hole in the leather from the front side and clamp down with the grommet tool on the fabric punch, flattening the grommet. Alternatively, flatten the grommet by placing the leather face down on a hard surface and covering the toothed side with a piece of wood or metal. Hit the wood or metal with a hammer to fold the teeth down over the leather. Repeat the process with each hole.
Use 24 inches of leather cording to lace through the holes in the cincher, beginning with the top holes on each side of the cincher. Crisscross the laces and pull tightly between each pair of holes, pulling the sides of the cincher closer together and working towards the bottom holes. Tie the cords together at the bottom edge in a double knot.
Elastic Latex Cincher
Measure your waist. Cut a piece of heavy elastic latex 2 inches smaller than your waist measurement and 5 inches wide.
Begin two inches from one end of the fabric and 1 inch from the top and 1 inch from the bottom so it ends in a tab that is 3 inches wide. Cut a 2.75-inch piece of hook and loop tape and pin the hook side 1/4 inch inside the wrong side of the tab end. Sew the tape to the tab.
Stitch an overlock stitch along all four sides of your cincher with a sewing machine or serger.
Place the cincher around your waist and firmly grasp the tab end and stretch it over the other side of the cincher. Use tailor’s chalk to mark where the end of the tab overlaps the other side.
Center the loop side of your hook and loop tape on the right side of the cincher next to your chalk mark and pin into place. Double stitch the tape down on all four sides.
Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.