Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How I Use Button Hole Elastic

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 the elastic.

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 waist.

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 up!

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 comfortably. :)

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!


Megan said...

I've never heard of such a thing! How great.


Marie@PoutyPinkPrincess said...

What a clever idea! This little tip could come in very handy someday! :)

Jennifer Juniper said...

I can remember when pants like this came out for kids and I loved it! This is a great way to make all their pants fit without buying the pricey brands that come with this :)

Amanda said...

I can only find a few pants with this elastic in it. I had no idea they sold button hole elastic! I'm going to have to get some for my skinny boy's pants!I think even I can manage to do this project. Thanks!

Meg Issacs said...

Hi there! I am your newest follower via the hop, it would be great for a follow back!

Have a blessed day,

Rochelle @Home Sweet Homebodies said...

I love it when the pants I buy my boys have this elastic in it. I have been wondering the best way of adding it to their pants that don't already have it. Thanks for sharing your technique!

Michelle said...

What a great tutorial! I am going to pin this! My baby is blessed with the same fast metabolism! I am visiting from Someday Crafts and I am a new follower! My Delicately Constructed Friday Linky party starts tomorrow morning and I would LOVE if you would link this up!
Hope that you have a great weekend and that I see you around soon!

Saving By The Sea said...

Following you from Design it Chic GFC hop - hope you'll follow back :) www.savingbythesea.com, Saving by the Sea on FB and gracie680 on Twitter.

Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy said...

LOVE it! I try to only buy the adjustable waists but the thin elastic they use makes me nervous to pull them too tight (my son rivals yours for the skinniest kid ever- I get nervous a nurse will report me to child protective services he's so thin!). I might just buy extra elastic to make it double thick! and totally use this for the pants we own that DON'T have this! Anyway I'm featuring your tutorial on Topsy Turvy Tuesday's thanks for linking up!

Miranda @ Life in the Motherhood said...

Stopping by from Whatever Goes Wednesday. I have a skinny little mister too and have not been looking forward to the fall when he will be wearing pants that are too big around the waist. I need to find me some of this stuff!!

Blooms And Bugs said...

Now this is clever!

Kelly said...

I can't tell you how this is going to help me out with not only my skinny boy whose jeans are always falling off, but with me! I have a little too much attitude in my backside, but a small waist, making it very difficult to find skirts that fit! This is definitely on my 'to-do' list!

Susan Dipzinski said...

"Lucky child got blessed with a really fast metabolism, and pants that don’t fit." I'll pray for him that he grows out of that. That is not a blessing it is a curse. I am about to be 28 years and my daughter will be 2 and I still can't hold on to weight because of my metabolism. And Id give almost anything to change that.

Gwen Lee said...

where did you find that yellow elastic buttonhole?

GeorgiaBE said...

Sorry Gwen--that is just bad photography on my part! the button hole elastic I have is white...and I believe I just searched for it online when I bought it (many, many years ago!)

Marilyn said...

Thanks so much for this amazing tip!! I just finished two pair of brand new Capri pants and wish I'd known this long before now. And you really don't need buttonhole elastic. Just cut a little slit in 5/8ths wide elastic and you're good to go! I will definitely be passing this on to my daughter's who have the same problem, and maybe my skinny grandson will benefit too! Thanks again!!!

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