Sunday, March 8, 2009

Creating an Adjustable Waistband in Kid's Jeans

Tute, Tute!!! Chugga, chugga, chugga,

I am a big believer in making due with what you have, and if that means that you have a stack of hand-me-down pants that are too big for your child, then you just have to fix them up so that they fit.

Jacob is a big jeans guy, but most of the jeans that I have for him don't have the fancy-pants adjustable elastic waistband that is just the bee's knees. My kids *hate* belts, and I don't blame them. Yuk, I don't like them either.

So this is the fixit I came up with. Enjoy :) .


Step one: assemble your sewing ingredients. You will need:

  • one inch twill tape: I normally use black, but today we are using white so that you can make it out in the pictures.

  • 3/4 inch buttonhole elastic

  • two 1/2 inch buttons

  • coordinating thread: I usually use specific denim thread in the bobbin, so it doesn't show, and black in the spool


I usually chop off the belt loops, as it is just makes it a little less bulky for my machine to sew through. You can leave them on, if you're confident your machine won't hate you for it. But you're going to sew through them, so they're basically useless. And for us...Jacob always wears big baggy t-shirts that cover the waistband anyway. Onward....


Measure from inside seam, across the back, to inside seam.

My measurement is 13 add one inch to that...and I will need 14" of twill tape.

Add two inches to that to figure out the elastic I will need 15" of elastic.



Oh my gosh, what a horrible looking zigzag! I do apologize lol. You may want to use coordinating threads for this step, but I'm lazy and just use the black/denim combo that I listed earlier. Fold under approximately 3/8" on both ends of both the elastic and the twill tape and zig zag.


Now pin the twill tape to the jeans waistband, lining up the edge of the twill tape with the side seam. The raw edge of the twill tape is touching the wasteband, although it's hard to tell from this picture. Sew that puppy down. I use a long/narrow zigzag, just taking the smallest bites of the twill tape. Make sure to backstitch the ends like it's going out of style...those ends take a lot of stress. Thusly:



Next, sew the buttons at either end of the twill tape, about a quarter inch away. I use my button foot, you can do it by hand...whatevah.


The only thing left to do now is feed the elastic through, using a safety pin, and then button it down. Then bribe your boy to stand still long enough to try them on, so that you can adjust the elastic.

Elastic waistbands in the hiz-ouse!


Danica said...


Jennifer said...

Wow -very impressive!

Liane said...

I like that very much! What a great tip. Now I can buy my dd jeans in the next size up and they will last longer. I wonder if you could just cut 2 slits into the denim on the inside and slide the elastic through that? You should send in your tutorial to "Make and Tell Monday" at this blog!:

Tracey said...

OK, this is so far beyond my skill level, but I just had to say, you are ONE CLEVER COOKIE!!!

Clap clap clap!

Heather - - said...

Nice idea! Good tutorial. It kind of reminds me of the elastic that was in some of my maternity pants... you could use the same technique to mod big pants into maternity pants, maybe?


Nico said...

Great tutorial! I'll be using this one soon. My kiddos are growing out of clothes like crazy!