Button hole elastic, greatest invention ever! (or pretty dang close to it!)
If you’ve purchased kids clothing in the past few years you may
be familiar with the adjustable elastic found in many of the waist bands. Maternity clothes? It’s used there too—I assume it still is. It is
elastic that has button holes woven through the middle for the whole length of
For me: a great discovery!
I have the skinniest boy ever (go ahead; dispute this—I’ll still claim
the kid has too many ribs showing). Lucky
child got blessed with a really fast metabolism, and pants that don’t fit. Even the ultra-slims are too big around the
Now I have a fix for that!
I’m showcasing a pair of jeans which are just a bit too big
for Mr.A (they don’t stay up with a belt, so this is my last ditch effort to
find a fix—I know my trusty button-hole will work!)
You’ll need two buttons and a length of button hole elastic…and
the usual basics: scissors, needle & thread and something to thread the
elastic through the waist (I use a safety pin).
First find the inner side seams of the jeans. Carefully cut
a slit in the inside layer of the waistband 2.5 to 3 inches from the seam,
towards the front of the jeans. Repeat on the other side
You have the option of hand sewing a blanket stitch around
the opening you just cut. For kids
clothing I don’t do this anymore…actually anything which will be out grown or
I’ll shrink out of quickly I don’t bother. Your cut should look something like this:
I do a quick measure of elastic, which I cut about the same length
as the length between the slits.
Sew each button on the inside in front of the waist band (I
like to place the button about an inch away from the slits), then thread the
elastic through (I use a large safety pin for this).
Look! Pants that stay
I use the same technique on jeans which are a bit too loose
on me, just so I can wear them a bit longer until I get in the next size down
If you decide to use button hole elastic when sewing from
scratch, make sure the waistband is wide enough for the elastic to go through,
and use your sewing machine to sew buttonholes on the inside sides of the waistband. This is a great way to be sure a handmade
item of clothing “fits” around a waist—especially when that item is a gift!