Buttonhole Elastic

Buttonhole Elastic

Because I’m not accomplishing much of anything today, here’s a random post on that miracle of modern children’s clothing… Buttonhole Elastic!

Now, I first met buttonhole elastic when I was pregnant with my second daughter. It featured prominently in the two pairs of maternity pants (real maternity pants! This was a Big Deal!) that I bought that pregnancy. As first impressions go, this was not a big win. The buttonhole elastic is threaded through the back of the waistband, emerging via a buttonhole somewhere around the front hip, where it attaches to a button. You can adjust which of the many buttonholes along the elastic is buttoned, and thus adjust the waistband.

Really it didn’t work so well. Partly because who really wants a bunchy, elasticized waistband at the back of their jeans, and mostly because you can make the waistband of maternity pants as adjustable as you want but when the waist is wider than the hips, the pants are still going to fall down. (I think the current trend for mat. pants is very long, wide knit panels at the top, reaching up almost to the underbust. I haven’t been pregnant in over seven years so I can’t comment on how any of these work, although it seems a lot nicer than having a jeans button poking through your shirt right at your swollen belly-button.)

But, a few years later I noticed them cropping up in the back of kids’ jeans.

Buttonhole elastic threaded through waistband

And it has found its niche!

Elasticized waistbands and kids go together at the best of times—comfort almost always trumps stylishness (for the younger set, anyway), and considering the range of widths vs. lengths in kids, as well as the rapid changes within an individual child, an adjustable waistband is a wonderfully practical idea. An additional bonus for my booty-licious older daughter is that the drawn-in waistband at the back provides better fit for her J-Lo-esque backside.

So when I first made her the Jalie Jeans, back in May, I purchased a ton of buttonhole elastic and made the buttonholes (and attached the buttons) before sewing on the waistband. Amazingly forethoughtful of me, seriously. And then she tried them on—and they fit pretty much perfectly as-is, so I never bothered installing the elastic.

Re-sized jeans!

Well, fast forward three months and, of course, jeans that were perfectly fitting in the spring are WAY too small. Fortunately, I have two daughters, so all that work is not for naught… but the seven-year-old is still a fair bit smaller.

Finally, the elastic comes into its own! These are size K jeans on a size I body (so two sizes too big)

Alright, she probably won’t be wearing them quite yet, as they are also WAY long. But if she

Rear view---elasticized waistband

wants to, she can 🙂

Now, back to tracing up the Size M pattern for the older daughter…



Filed under Sewing

2 responses to “Buttonhole Elastic

  1. Summer

    That is cool stuff! Thanks for posting about it.

  2. Pingback: Madly off in all directions | Tanit-Isis Sews

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