Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Easy Pajama Pants with Comfy Jersey Waistband - sew your own!

When I was about 13 years old, I remember my older sister trying to sew her own pair of red and white flowered cotton capris.

Unfortunately, they never made it past the sewing room floor. I'm not sure what happened, but somewhere down the line one leg ended up smaller than the other. It was quite a disappointment. That's the last time she ever tried to sew her own pants. And at the age of 13, I made a mental note never to try it either.

Flash hem, a lot of years...and I decided to break the pants-sewing curse and take my chances on sewing myself a new pair of pajama pants.

Since I'm driven, curious, motivated, stubborn, or whatever you call it and insist on making it myself rather than following a purchased pattern, I consulted a couple of Pajama Pants Making sites:
Simple Pajama Pants Tutorial (for kids pj pants that I just modified) and Making Pajama Pants Part 1 video (you can also watch Part 2 if you want to use elastic instead of a t-shirt waistband). Check these out if you want to make your own, as they are more detailed than my how-to.
And based on what I learned, away I went.

First, I took an old pair of pajama pants to use as a "pattern". *Make sure you use a pair of pj pants you like the fit of! I made the mistake of using an old pair of jumbo jammies & ended up with a jumbo pattern that I had to cut way back.

I used wrapping paper as pattern paper, folded the fabric in half (right sides together) and cut both pieces at the same time. These giant pieces will be folded over for each pant leg.

Next, I sewed up just the straight part of the leg seams and then secured the fabric edge with a zig zag stitch to prevent unraveling (I don't have a serger.)

The pictures might be hard to follow, but in preparation for sewing the crotch seam (I've always hated that word), you put one leg inside the other to create a giant U shape that is the crotch seam (there I go again). Pin, and stitch it all the way around the giant U.

Tada! Here are my jumbo jammy bottoms before I cut them back and finished the waistband...not quite done yet.

As I told you, I made the mistake of using a pair of pj pants as a pattern that were way too big for me. Here, you'll see my pink pants that fit, against my new jumbo jammy bottoms. Oops. Had to trim/sew them back quite a bit. Save yourself the headache!

Newly trimmed pajama pants, ready for the waistband.
I opted for a very comfy t-shirt knit waistband. I simply cut a wide strip from a t-shirt and sewed up the sides. You want your waistband to fit snug, so the cut will seem small but trust me, it will stretch.

Since I was making a fold-over waistband, I inserted it -right side of band -inside wrong side of pants. Then pinned in four places: the front and back seams, and the two sides.

The trick with a jersey knit waistband is to stretch as you sew so it fits with the cut of your pant waist and pulls it all together at the same time.

After sewing the pieces together, I pinned it down and flattened/secured the seam with a zig zag stitch.

Then I folded it over to finish it off.
I just wanted a free fold so I didn't tack down the fold.

Hand made pajama pants can be hard to tell the front from the back, so I made myself a faux tag for the back.

All finished!!
These are the MOST comfortable pajama pants I think I've ever worn!  And I'm not just saying that.

Is it wrong to wear them out in public? I didn't want to take them off.

It's official. The pants-sewing curse is broken! 
Good triumphed over evil and all is well in the land.

P.S. There's a story about this soft, flowered cotton fabric: did you know it once was my favorite set of twin sheets? They're practically new since I bought them, as a single, for my twin bed...but swapped them out for a king sized bed and a husband. :) They're either Laura Ashley or Ralph Lauren, so with the high thread count, they're as soft as they sound. So far I've made a few pillow cases and pj pants. What's next?!~

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  1. New follower stopping by from TJ. What a great idea to make your own pajamas! I appreciate the great tutorial!!

  2. your pj's look sooo comfy and soft!!!

  3. Aww! This is such a cute lower! I was looking for such a DIY so much, I have old pajamas and leggings with me and I did not know what to do with it. I have orders new Carbon38 workout leggings for myself and now I can actually execute this DIY on the old ones.

  4. I love this blog. I use old cotton white sheets to make my own patterns.


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