Make Your Own Pajama Pants From Scratch With This Tutorial
I don’t know about you, but I live for my pajama pants in winter. Having that perfect pair to snuggle up in is an essential part of my wardrobe. The best way to get that perfect pair? Make it yourself, of course! In this tutorial, I’ll take you through the steps of making a pair of pajama pants from scratch, starting from the drafting of the pattern. The pattern takes a bit of work, but once it’s done the sewing part of the project is a breeze. So grab some fabric and an old pair of pajama pants, and let’s get drafting!
Tools and materials:
- Fabric (I recommend cotton flannelette)
- Old pair of pajama pants
- Matching thread
- Sewing machine
- Measuring tape
To start drafting the pattern, you’ll need to grab a pair of pajama pants you already own and take some measurements. Start with the width of the waistband. If you find that your elastic is very different from the waistband of your pajama pants, you’ll need the width of that elastic instead. You’ll also need to measure the width of the hem on the inside at the end of the pants, from the fold to the topstitch. The last measurement you’ll need is from the center-front seam to the side of your pants. Now take that same exact measurement, but this time stretch out the elastic of the waistband until it sits flat. Write down all these measurements!
I made my pattern directly onto the fabric because I didn’t have big enough paper. If you want to, though, you can trace your pattern onto paper so that you can save it for the future! If, like me, you’re doing it directly onto the fabric, take your fabric and fold it so that it’s just a bit more than the width of your hips. Use your measuring tape to make sure the folded piece is even all the way across, and pin it down.
Starting at the side, mark double the width of the waistband plus ½”. Then measure in from the fold using the measurement that’s the difference between the waistband unstretched and the waistband stretched. Mark that measurement all the way down the length of the fabric. Place two pins, crossed over each other, where your chalk lines meet.
Take your pajama pants and fold out the center-front seam, pinching out the cross seam at the bottom of the crotch, then fold the pants in half. Now place your pants onto the fabric, positioning them so that the top corner of the waistband is in the space between your crossed pins.
You’re now going to line up the outer leg of the pants with your marked line. You can place a pin at the crotch to help you keep the pants neatly folded. Take your chalk and mark all around the pants, besides the outer leg which is on the fold. When you reach the bottom of the leg, you’ll need to double the measurement of the hem. Then add some pins to mark where the leg ends on the current pants. Once you’ve got the pants traced, you’ll need to add seam allowance. Add ⅝” along the inside leg and the center-front seam. Then just grab a ruler and straighten up your lines.
Turn over your fabric so that you can trace the back of the pants. Mark out the same measurements you did for the front, measuring in from the side and all the way down the leg. Now turn over the pajama pants and pull out the back seam by pinching at the cross seam and finding where the back seam ends. Then fold the pants in half and pin the legs together at the crotch to keep it evenly folded. Again, line up the outside corner of the waistband with the crossed pins, lining up the outer leg with the chalk lines, and use the pins that you place at the bottom of the legs to help you evenly line up your pants.
Grab your chalk and trace around the entirety of the pants. Remember, when you get to the end of the leg, to add double the original hem measurement. Add extra for the waistband at the top of the pants and add ⅝” seam allowance to the inside leg and the center-back. Once you’ve done that, just mark F on the front and B on the back, and your pattern is complete and ready to be cut out!
The pattern you made will only cover one leg, but the second leg will be much easier to trace! Take your extra fabric and lay it out with the wrong side facing up. Then lay your pattern piece on top of it, with the right side facing up, so that your fabric pieces are wrong sides together. Add some pins to keep the pattern in place, and cut out around it, giving you a mirrored piece for the second leg.
Lay one piece on top of the other with the right sides facing each other, then pin along the center-front and center-back seams. Then you can stitch those pieces together, remembering to keep your seam allowance. Once sewn, open up the seams, press them down with an iron, and finish off the edges. I just used a zigzag stitch, which helps keep the seam from fraying.
Your fabric should now be starting to resemble pants! Next, you’re going to sew a long seam to join together the inside seams of the legs. Pin at the crotch, making sure that the center-front and center-back are lined up. You’ll notice that the back sits a lot higher than the front; you have not made a mistake, that’s how it’s supposed to be! Then grab some pins and start pinning from the crotch all the way down to the bottom of each leg. Now just stitch those seams together with your ⅝” seam allowance and finish the seams with a zigzag stitch.
It’s now time to sew the waistband, so start by turning the pants right sides out. Take the edge of the waistband and fold it over ½”. Then fold it over again the width of the elastic to make a casing for the elastic and pin it down. Make sure to leave a 2” gap unstitched to insert the elastic through later. Then stitch it down, as close to you can to the edge of the waistband.
Measure your waist with your measuring tape, then subtract 2”, and cut your elastic to that size. Then take a safety pin (the bigger the better), attach it to one end of the elastic, and start threading the elastic through the casing. Just make sure not to lose the other end as you thread it through, so maybe hold on to it as you go. Once you bring the elastic out through the end, stitch the two ends together. Then close up that opening, folding the raw edge under and pulling flat as you stitch. I recommend doing a topstitch along the center-front and center-back seams to keep your elastic from rolling.
We’ve reached the final step! All you’ve got left to do is to hem the legs. Roll up the hem and use an iron to press it flat. Then fold it up again and do a topstitch as close to the edge as you can. Go ahead and stitch it down, then press them with your iron.
These things are optional, but I found that I could never tell the front from the back! So stitching on a tag or a piece of ribbon is a great way to help with that. Another thing I recommend is adding a little triangular snip to the crotch, which will keep the pants flat and prevent them from riding up.
That’s all it takes! I absolutely love the way these pajama pants came out! They are so fun and comfortable to wear and it was such an easy project to do. As you can see, my puppy Casper is a fan of them as well. I hope you give this project a try; if yours are as comfortable as mine, I guarantee you won’t regret it! Of course, you can totally customize these pajama pants depending on the fabric you choose, so I’d love to see pictures of your versions in the comments!
Enjoyed the project?
- Old pair of pajama pants
- Matching thread
- Sewing machine
- Measuring tape
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