My life changed today. My sister informed me of buttonhole elastic. Please tell me you’ve never heard of this. Make me feel just a teensy bit better about my naiveté. And please excuse me while I have a total why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moment.

What is it you ask? Well, it’s elastic with buttonholes. Duh.

Still don’t get it? It wasn’t so intuitive for me either. By sewing a button into the back of the pants where the elastic peeks out, you can adjust the fit of the waist by buttoning the elastic at different lengths. This stuff is perfect for growing kiddos or for adults who have simply indulged in a large meal. This year I’m totally wearing flannel pants with buttonhole elastic to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not a far departure from the usual holiday attire, so I’m sure it won’t be an issue.

Whitney is ready to clad the growing children of the world with adjustable waist flannel pajama pants. Five pairs? This woman is on a roll.

The facts, straight up:
Pattern: dana-MADE-it’s Kid Pants 
Size: 2T-3T
Fabric: an assortment of Jo-Ann flannel
Notions: buttonhole elastic, plus one random button per pair
Difficulty: beginner
Make it again?: I’m a little tapped out after all these, but never say never.

Her words:

“Did you stock up on flannel during the big Jo-Ann sale?  It ended up being $2 and change per yard and I went a little nuts.  There are only so many basic baby blankets with satin binding you can make before you need a break (amen sister).

 Enter kid pants.

 Kid pants are about the easiest thing on the planet to whip up, as evidenced by the FIVE PAIRS I cranked out in one sitting.  Assembly-line sewing is the way to go here, folks.

 Dana’s blog is fantastic and this pattern happens to be free.  If the size doesn’t suit you, you’ll find a link to drafting your own pattern based on an existing pair of pants.  The pattern goes together lickity split.  Once you get the hang of it, you’ll probably crank out a pair in 30 minutes if you’re doing multiples.

I opted to do buttonhole elastic on these and if you use the link above, you’ll see that the stuff is really pretty inexpensive.  Hopefully buttonhole elastic makes them more wearable, although let’s be honest… flannel is really only appropriate about six months out of the year.  I suppose a kid’s waist doesn’t grow too terribly much in a season?

Here’s a good buttonhole elastic tutorial if you need one. I used a single button instead of two, but the effect is nearly the same.  And no worries about picking out perfect buttons – I raided my stash of those ones that come in the little envelopes attached to new clothing.  Look at me… repurposing just like my little sis!”

I am so proud. Tear.

I’m pretty proud of the wonderful family I’ve been blessed with. You know this. Everyone I come into contact with knows this. I’m basically shouting it from the rooftops (I can’t help that I’m a loud talker). Because they’re awesome…all of them.

We’re goofy. And I promise I wear shirts other than this red plaid. –>

You also know that the three sisters LOVE to sew. But we love to sew very different things, and sewing for each of us has been an evolution.

My middle sister, Lindsey, is amazing at whipping up handbags, clothing, and and anything home decor. She’s also a killer pattern maker. In fact, in 2010, Lindsey and I teamed up and sold the handbag pattern she created via Etsy and fabric stores. Thirty-two people loved that pattern.

My oldest sister, Whitney (above), can throw pots like no one’s business; I have the bowl collection to prove it. But she didn’t catch the sewing bug until Sew Weekend in July. Now, she’s churning out the most amazing children’s clothing I’ve ever seen. And, “she has such a straight stitch”, according to my mom. Her creations can’t sit around unblogged about; that would just be wrong. So we decided to showcase some of her awesome miniature pieces, and provide a pattern review for each piece! It shall go by the moniker “Sistershare”. A name is required. For everything.

First up?
The Lucy Tunic


I doubt this little girl’s tunic could be more precious. Not possible. The fact that it’s reversible? My heart just melted. Also? I’m not having kids unless someone can guarantee me they’ll look like that.

Whitney used an Alexander Henry floral complemented by a yellow geometric print. And wooden buttons. Why don’t we put wooden buttons on everything? That’s your homework.

The facts, straight up:

Pattern:  Shwin and Shwin, Lucy tunic
Size:  3T
Fabric:  Alexander Henry floral, unknown Jo-Ann yellow print
Difficulty:  Easy; change out snaps for buttons for an even simpler construction
Make it again?:  Sure!  Need to find a tiny person to put it on first.

Her words, not mine:

“This was my first attempt at one of Shwin and Shwin’s epatterns. I printed and assembled the pattern and then cut out the 3T. This is a great method for small children’s patterns and I love that I have a digital backup for future use. 

I already had the floral, so I sewed that side first, omitting the pockets. As I don’t have kids, I’m not sure how necessary pockets are, but they seemed gratuitous. I had to make a second trip to the fabric store for the lining and settled for the inside pattern. One pattern note: Step 7 says to leave a small opening to turn the tunic inside out. You don’t need to; just use one of the arm holes. Secondly, the instructions don’t discuss pressing the tunic, but do it often during sewing. It makes for a nicer finished product. 

Mom helped me with the buttonholes. And by helped, I mean did them for me…The buttons were also from her stash. I have the hardest time picking buttons. Mom to the rescue.”


Can you tell we’re sisters? Lot’s more Sistershare coming your way! Next time, I’ll type in all caps to illustrate the decibel level we use when talking to each other. Get a drink or two in all of us and you’ll need earplugs, legitimately.