I love pajama bottoms... I always end up with a new pair around Christmas that just don't fit. You know the kind I'm talking about: the big, elastic waisted, huge crotch, tight leg man-pants with a button fly. I like mine to fit well, and thought you all might like it too! So how 'bout a tutorial for reconstructed PANTS this time. Turn those ill-fitting pants into great fitting drawstring pants!
1. Put your pj's on inside out. Pull them up to where the crotch is comfy. At this point, the waist should be somewhere near your armpits. Make sure they are high enough in the waist to take off the elastic, and leave 1.5 inches to fold over for the new waist band (think hip hugger). If they aren't tall enough, you can just put some bias tape on later.
Mark on the side seam where your hips stick out the farthest. If you've got pockets in them, this spot will probably be at the bottom of the pocket.
2. Now, take them off and chop off the waistband. If there are pockets, grab a seam ripper and take them out. Split the side seam down to the place you marked for the hips.
3. Grab some pins. Put the pj's back on inside out. Pin the side seams at a comfortably loose point, angling down to the wide hip point.
4. Look at your butt in the mirror. You'll probably want to take about an inch off of the back seam at the top so your butt doesn't look flat. Pin at the top, angling down to join the origional seam near the crotch.
Now, pull them off and sew where you pinned (red lines). Put them on right side out this time and make sure they fit. The waist should just be a bit loose. Then reinforce the seams.
5. All that's left is finishing the waist band. It's really just a basic hem. Fold the top over about 1.5 inches. Press, then sew 1/4 inch from the top, all the way around. Fold uder the raw edge and press. You are going to make a channel for your drawstring to go through, so you need to leave enough room for it. Sew down about 3/4 of an inch from the top seam.
If you've got a button fly, DON'T sew it down! Leave it open like this pic:
Cut a little hole for the drawstring to go through and buttonhole (blanket stitch) around it. Thread your drawstring through (if you hook it onto a saftey pin, it threads really easy). Put them on, and prance around in your "new" pj bottoms!!!
Ooops, thought we were done-- You may be if you like those tight leg holes... I don't. If you are lucky enough to have pockets, just use the fabric from them to make bell bottoms that match (you can always use contrasting fabric, though). Cut the fabric into 2 triangles, split the seams on the cuff of the pants, and sew the trangles in. Easy-peasy. Put them back on and continue prancing!!!
Here are my "new" bottoms. It took about an hour start to finish.