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Adjusting the Waist Size of Pants for a Toddler

Any suggestions for easy quick ways to fix toddler's pants from being too big in the waist? My 3 yr. old daughter has a small waist. Pants or shorts that otherwise are the right fit are too large at the waist. Many pants slide down or fall right off. Belts are not really an option since most pants for small children don't have belt loops. I've thought about making those elastic bands with alligator clips that women wore in the 90's to sinch in dresses from the back but I'm not sure how to go about making them. Any ideas?


Clara from Littleton, CO

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May 8, 20070 found this helpful

My son has that problem too! I pull in a 1/2 to 1" in waistline in back of pants and sew in a loose seem about 1" long vertically down. You can not tell unless you are looking because it hides in waistline. When he grows I just use a seem ripper and pull out stiches. That way he gets more use out of pants.

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May 8, 20070 found this helpful

You could also sew strips of elastic in each side (sort of like the adjustable waist pants I've seen at WalMart and Mervyn's). Sew in one side and have her try them on, mark where you would want to have them fit, and sew the elastic in on each side.

The main reason for the suggestion of elastic is that it would lightly gather the sides on each side, making it look more natural. I for one would go crazy with a bunch of fabric gather in the back of my pants (or my daughters) and I am so freaky about my kids clothes being nice looking I would do the elastic.

I hope that you find the right suggestion! I know how you feel, my daughter has nearly size 8 legs, but 6/7 waist! My niece is almost 4 1/2 and just got a new pair of capris yesterday, actually they are size 2T pants! She is so tiny in the waist (tiny all around, you wouldn't know it by looking at her parents, they are both tall and big!).

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May 10, 20070 found this helpful

what about suspenders.???

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May 10, 20070 found this helpful

Hi, Clara -- how about going to the DollarTree store and getting some of the clips that are used to make sheets fit more snugly under the corners of a mattress? They are about 4 inches long and have a clip on each end. That would give you 4 different clips to use.

You could also get some cute little suspenders for her.

Nancy in Nokomis

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May 11, 20070 found this helpful

On the back seam of the pants, at the waistband, measure the distance from back side seam to back side seam,subtract 1/2-3/4". Cut a 1/2 to 1" width piece of elastic that measures this distance. Then, at about 1/2" to 1" on both ends of the elastic,sew a botton hole or two set 1/2" a part, if needed. Pull the piece of elastic through the back waistband. Sew a button,the size of the button holes. One at each seam, on the inside of the pants.

As your child grows, you can adjust the size of the waist, by simply pulling the elastic taut or loosening it, and fix the elastic buttonhole over the button. This way, your child should be able to wear these pants, until s/he grows too tall or outgrows the pants. No re-cutting or re-sewing involved! Hope this helps!

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