Pajama Pants in 10 Easy Steps:
by special contributor Jessica
Part of the reason I love to sew is because I can quickly create fun pieces for my family to enjoy. This year, I decided to make my kids new pajama pants for Christmas. We love spending Christmas Eve lounging in our pajamas, watching a movie and sipping hot cocoa. And it’s always more fun with a new pair of pajamas. These pants are easy to make for even the most novice sewer and can be finished in less than 30 minutes if you have your supplies ready.
Wouldn’t these be fun to make anytime this winter?
- Fabric. I prefer to work with flannel for winter pajamas, but any kind of soft cotton will do.
- A sewing machine with thread to match the fabric. Make sure your bobbin is wound in the same color if possible.
- Scissors for cutting paper and for cutting fabric.
- A large roll of paper. Pattern paper or newspaper will work. I called my local newspaper and was given the end of a roll of unused newsprint for free.
- ¾ inch elastic. For a very small child you can go with thinner elastic or a larger width for a pair of adult pants.
- A pair of pants that fits reasonably well. There is a bit of wiggle room to make the pants longer or wider in the waist, but it’s best to use a pair of pants that it pretty close to the right size.
- Iron and ironing board.
Fold your old pajama pants lengthwise and iron them flat.
This is where you can make some simple alterations. The exterior outline is adding on a ¾ inch sewing allowance around the entire pair of pants, but I also knew my son needed his pants a little longer, so I lengthened them a few inches.
If you need to extend the waistline, you can do that here as well. Just remember the more you extend the waist, the bigger the leg width will become because that line needs to remain straight from waist to foot.
Cut out the pattern along the outer line and place the pattern onto your folded piece of fabric. Make sure the width of your fabric is wider than the pattern. Place the straight edge of your pattern on the fold of the fabric. You can pin the pattern to your fabric, but this may not be necessary for a more experienced sewer.
Cut out two pieces of fabric using this pattern. Open up those fabric pieces and place them right sides together. It’s time to start sewing!
With those pieces placed right sides together, sew along the two curved edges, giving a ¾ inch seam allowance.
With the curved edges sewn together, the fabric is starting to resemble a pair of pants. Now, match up the raw/unsewn edges and sew along the inside leg lines.
At this point, the pants are basically finished. You can add the waistband, hem the legs and stop here. To finish the waist, keep the pants inside out and fold down the fabric ½ inch all the way around. Press with the iron and then fold the fabric down another inch.
Sew along the bottom edge of the fold, making sure to leave a 3-4 inch gap to put the elastic thru.
Next, cut your elastic about 10 percent less than the waist measurement. For example, if the subject’s waist is 20 inches around, cut your elastic to about 18 inches.
Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic to make it easier to thread through the waist. Then, sew the two ends of the elastic together. When sewing the elastic together, use a zigzag stitch or sew in a couple of places to make the connection stronger. Finally, sew closed the 3-4 inch gap in the waistband.
You can use a basic hem on the pants (fold the leg holes, press, and sew) and complete the project. But, the great thing about these pants is how easy you can embellish them. I decided to add a cuff to the pants to make them more visually appealing.
I took the paper pattern I created earlier and decided how large I wanted the cuff to be. I then cut along my dotted line to create a cuff pattern.
The fabric for the cuff had two folds, one on the top and one on the side. When you cut two pieces of fabric from the cuff pattern you end up with two long, folded pieces of fabric.
Sew the short ends of the fabric together to create two loops of folded fabric.
With the pants inside out, place cuff onto the pants matching up the raw edges. Sew the raw edges of the cuffs to the raw edges of the pants.
Finally, turn the pants right side out and fold the cuff up. Sew along the top of the cuff so it stays in place.
The pants are finished! These are incredibly simple to make and can be customized in many ways. Once you’ve made one pair, you’ll want to make them for your whole family!
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