I wear a lot of sweatpants, shorts, and hoodies with drawstrings. Lately, I have become convinced that there is a conspiracy afoot to make drawstrings cheaper, and therefore, easier to break. There are many easy ways to replace a broken drawstring, such as this Instructable. However, if you have arthritis in your hands like I do, this push-pull method is extremely painful.
The method I will demonstrate here is easier on the hands because it relies on the spring action of a small length of wire to push the drawstring through without the push-pull motion and it's resulting joint pain for arthritis sufferers.
- A Leatherman (or a good set of pliers and a pair of sharp scissors)
- Replacement draw cord
- A 6 to 8 inch length of wire*
*You may be tempted to use an old coat hanger. Don't. It is too inflexible to spring the way it needs to and it is more likely than not to puncture the clothes rather than make this process easier.
Step 1: Prepare Wire
On one end of the wire make a loose loop with the pliers. Insert the end of the drawstring through the loop and then crimp the wire down tight around it. Be sure that the end of the wire loop is parallel to the wire as pictured. This will prevent snagging. leave the other end of the wire plain. If it looks sharp, file it round to prevent puncturing fabric.
Step 2: Insert Wire
Insert the wire into the drawstring hole of the clothing loop end first. Slowly start to slide the wire through until the plain end of the wire is no longer visible. If you look closely at the pictures, you will see the bump caused by the loop end as well as the point caused by the plain end.
With one hand holding the loop end, pull the fabric away in the direction of the plain end. The plain end will catch on the fabric and the wire, along with any elastic in the clothing, will cause the loop end to be pushed through the clothing when you let go of it. Using this pull-spring action, propel the wire through the clothing until the loop end comes out the other side.
Step 3: Cut and Tie
Once the loop end is through, simply pull the wire out all the way and using pliers, unloop the loop end, freeing the drawstring. Making sure to leave enough slack, cut the drawstring to the desired length and then tie knots in the ends to keep it from slipping back through.