November 27, 2007

The ever fashionable elastic waist

Infants and toddlers almost always have an elastic waistband for pants and skirts. The elastic waist allows for comfort and growth. Often, there is an elasticized back waist because children have a larger front waist (from a protruding belly) than back waist. The patterns are cut so that the front is a little wider than the back waist. The back waist then requires either darts or elastic.

I am working on my bloomers/pantaloons and trying to determine an appropriate elastic waist measurement. Generally the elastic should be cut the same size as the waist and overlapped one inch. The finished, relaxed measurement will be one inch smaller than the actual waist. Be sure the elastic stretches to the full hip measurement (and maybe a little more for easier diaper changes).

Anyway, while browsing the web I ran across this awesome idea for elastic waist pants from BabyGap. The idea is actually brilliant and I want to get my hands on a pair to see how they are made. The elastic waist is designed so that you can pull the elastic and button it for a narrower fit. Brilliant. I wonder how well it works in practice. Unfortunately the nearest BabyGap is over 100 miles away..... Anyone out there in Blogland have a pair and can tell us all about these pants in use?

BTW, the BabyGap link also has a size chart. Notice that BabyGap has published foot measurements for booties, hat, and mitten sizes. Hmmm....


  1. Hi
    I have purchased numerous pairs of these adjustable elastic waist pants over the years for my DS. Not Baby Gap as I am in Australia but they work the same way.
    They are fantastic as my son was a tall skinny child.

  2. Adjustable waist pants are a staple in our home. :) Many companies have followed Gap's example and are offering the same feature. Let me know the next time you're around and I'll be happy to bring a pair for you to see.

  3. Hi Esther!
    My son wears the jeans that have the adjustable elastic bands at the waist, they are wonderful! He is 10 yrs old, but very thin, and could wear a size 5 waist-wise, but needs a size 7 for length, so this innovation has been great for us.

    I think the way it works is that the elastic is attached at the center back or maybe mid center of each back waist section, and then near the mid front there is a buttonhole type opening that the elastic feeds through, there are button holes at intervals along the length of the elastic (which is about 1 inch wide), the buttonholes are horizontal and you just pull the elastic out and slip one of the buttonholes over a button that is attached next to the opening that the elastic feeds through and tuck the tail end of the elastic down inside the waistband. Hope that makes sense.
    Dianne (Mama's Pocketbook)

  4. We have many pants with the adjustable waistband with buttonhole elastic (both my girls are very slim so I always look for these). I'm not sure which manufacturer started the trend, but many of them use them now. You could find them almost anywhere--Target, Children's Place, and Disney Store clothes are just a few brands that we have with them.