Pants for skinny kids: How to make faux “adjustable” waist jeans

Fact: My kids are super skinny. 
At 3 years old, they are both under 30 lbs (M–26; B–23). Yep, SUPER skinny. I have a hard time finding pants that fit them in the waist, even pants that have all elastic or even partial elastic like the khakis below. I was forever rolling the waistband down to “help” the pants fit. Eh…yeah that doesn’t really work. Benji would start running with one hand on his hiney to hike his pants up. Poor kid.

 I needed a solution. I love the adjustable waist pants that you can buy from Target but they are $20 a pop. Um, yeah I can’t really afford to load up each boy with a minimum of 3 pairs each. OUCH! So here is my simple solution: a faux “adjustable” waist pant. Here is what I did:

 I took a short ( 2 inch-ish) piece of 1 inch wide elastic and sewed it (zig-zag stitch back and forth a few times) to about two inches away from the side seam. Then I pinched a bit of the material in the middle and sewed the other side of the elastic about two inches away from the other side. Repeat on both sides. DONE!

 A top view
Both sides done.
I have done this little fix to about 6 pairs of the boys’ pants and now they can wear them without the hiney-hike that we had goin’ on before. This is so simple and it WORKS! Hope this helps other mamas out there with super skinny kiddos! 

  1. Charlotte is over 30 pounds but still has the same problem! I think they just make the pants for the really chunky kids. With girls jeans, they sometimes try to get trendy with the waistline- 3 year olds don't need low waisted jeans!!

  2. Anonymous

    I just found this on Pinterest. My 6 yo weighs 30 lbs., because she was a premature. Do the pants hang on the kids different?

  3. Glad you found my blog! I think the key is to use pants that are just a little too big. If they are WAY too big, this method will cause the pants to looks strange while the child is wearing them. Also, I used 1 inch elastic for my boys (who were 2-3 at the time of these pictures) but a wider elastic might work better for an older child. And once the shirt covered the waist line of the pants, no one could tell that the pants had been altered. I hope this method helps for your little girl!

I'd love to hear your story!