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Buttonhole elastic

maggymay | Posted in General Discussion on

I have 4 granddaughters from 1 1/2 yrs old to 12.  I can’t sew anymore for the 12 yr old because she is too picky.  The two 4 yr olds and the 1 1/2 yr old are still fun to sew for.  I read recently about using buttonhole elastic for waist on their pants and shorts. Has anyone done this?  How do you install?  I cannot find the elastic locally and would have to order over internet.  Not sure whether to try or not.



  1. Elisabeth | | #1

    My mom used to make kid clothes for us with the buttonhole elastic back in the 50's so it is certainly a proven product for it to still be sold. The elastic extends out from the casing end on the inside of the garment and there is a button to put the elastic on. To grow or shrink the garment you just unbutton the elastic and release some into the casing or pull out some and rebutton in another buttonhole. There will be a tail of elastic when it is shortened up the most.

  2. kjp | | #2

    If you have a mall nearby, check out Gap, Old Navy, Talbots kids & (maybe) Children's Place.  All of them have adjustable waist pants using the buttonhole elastic.  I swear by it for my 7 year old tall, thin son. 

  3. stitchmd | | #3

    This is definitely useful for growing kids' clothes. You need to leave an opening in the elastic casing, or make it possible to easily open and reclose the casing. This could mean finishing the seam securely with an inch or two opening and then doing basting stitches or a hand hem stitch that you can cut open and resew when you want to adjust.

    Since kids grow faster vertically than horizontally the garments need to have length adjustments too, or it's a wasted effort to make the waist adjustable. Pants can be cuffed or have a deep hem to let out, skirts can have a deep hem or a few tucks taken around as a decorative treatment to let out later. Either way you have to be prepared to deal with the fading and wear at the hemlines. Decorative trim is definitely in right now, which is great for girls. Boys might not care as much if there is a line where the hem was let out, but it's something to plan for.

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