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Topic: TUTORIAL: Pajama Pants - using a ready made pair as a pattern  (Read 10984 times)
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queenofdiy
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« on: November 06, 2009 10:13:06 PM »

After reading Craftsters post on Facebook, I felt it was, again, time to give back!!  This tutorial is assuming you have basic sewing knowledge.


Firstly, choose a pair of pajama pants (or any comfy pants at that matter) with elasticized or draw string waist.  These are the ones I chose.  They are capri length - but you could do any length - from shorts to longs.



Start by turning the pants inside out.  Then place one leg inside the other, like this:



Fold the fabric parallel to the selvedge (this takes care of directional fabric).  You can fold it the other way if you don't have directional fabric.  Place the pants on the two layers of fabric:



Cut the fabric (through both layers of fabric) following the seam lines as a guide plus adding a little extra as you cut.  This allows for the fact that the pants aren't laying completely flat and the fabric you are cutting is.  Also, when you get to the seat of the pants on the outer leg, you basically cut a straight line from the hip area - DON'T follow the curve in.  The reason is that the elastic is pulling in the sides.  The same rule applies for the crotch seam.  Start cutting at the curve of the crotch seam but basically go in a straight line after the curve (refer to the photo to visualize this).  Also you need to allow for a hem at the bottom and an elastic casing at the top.  

You will also see that the elastic casing at the top of my ready made pants varies by about an inch.  That's because pants are usually 'higher' at the back than they are at the front.  This takes the backside into consideration.  I don't bother varying the waistline but you could angle the casing at the front if you desire - it gives a better fit.  In the case of my pants, it varies by about and inch from the centre back seam to the centre front seam.



How I calculate the casing:

Measure the width of the elastic then double that measurement.  Mine was approximately 1 inch wide.  I allowed 2 inches for the casing.  An explanation of how I use this calculation is further down when it comes time to sew the casing.



This is one leg cut out.  Cut another leg using this as a pattern.



Now, there are many ways to construct pants but this is my favourite as you can't go too wrong with this method.  Take one leg and sew the outer leg seam.  BEFORE SEWING THE INNER LEG SEAM - press the leg hem allowance.  It makes sewing the hem so much easier if it's pressed now.  Then sew the inner leg seam.  REPEAT for the other leg.



See where I pressed the hem first?:



Now, you've got two legs:



Turn one leg right side out:



Place this leg inside the other one:



Sew the crotch seam:



Press the leg hem again.  Also make your casing using your favourite method.  This is how I do my casings:  Remember I added 2 inches from the top of the pants?  I press the top down by 2 inches.  I then press the raw edges under enough so that the casing is 1 1/4 inches (my elastic is 1 inch).  This allows a little 'give' in the casing.  Sew the casing down leaving a gap to insert the elastic.  Thread elastic through and measure the elastic on your waist/hips (wherever you like to wear your pants).  Sew elastic together then sew the casing closed.  To avoid the elastic curling and twisting inside the casing, I sew a vertical line at each side seam to secure the elastic.  

Tip:  It's better to make a casing for your elastic rather than sewing the elastic onto the fabric.  Once you start sewing through elastic (especially lengthwise) it starts to lose its elasticity and also stretches the elastic as you are also pulling on the elastic as you stitch it to the fabric.  



Turn your pants right side out and press.  Voila, pyjama pants made from your favourite pair!!



As always, please feel free to ask any questions or if you would like something explained further.  Wink

« Last Edit: November 28, 2013 11:40:57 AM by sweets4ever » THIS ROCKS   Logged
Le Mieux
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2009 05:14:15 AM »

thank you so much for this tutorial!!! ive been wanting to make a pair of comfy house-slouch-trousers but havent really found a pattern i like....this is perfect tho as i can use my almost-worn-out-favourites.

if i have a go at this i'll try post up here to show you how it turned out!  Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2009 06:02:42 AM »

awesome!  and that was quick!  thanks for the tute!
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eirinnkelly
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2009 07:55:33 AM »

Thanks for the tute! I've had some fabric for years that I wanted to make into pj's!
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christina_209
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2009 09:59:43 AM »

Thank You for the tute cant wait to try your method  I have some pjs waiting to be made *bookmark*  Thanks again
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queenofdiy
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2009 11:48:34 AM »

Thanks for your kind words!  Pants/shorts were the first clothing item I learned to make and they're sooo easy.

awesome!  and that was quick!  thanks for the tute!

And, believe me, they're quick to make!!  I made these (including taking photos) in the time it took my washing machine to do a load - about an hour!  I can make a pair in about 1/2 hour.
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rbeforee
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2009 09:09:15 AM »

This tute is so well made. I really appreciate your step by step pics and the fact that you chose a fabric that is so clearly front or back. Thanks so much for taking the time to share Smiley
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Eliea
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2009 10:08:37 AM »

I'm curious if you think this would work with pants that have a fold over waist?
I have a pair (I call them my ninja pants) that are super comfy and I've been wanting to do basically the same thing with them but have been hessitant becasue of the waist band.
But if I'm thinking correctly a fold over waistband is sort of doing the same thing elastic would right?
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2009 06:30:37 PM »

I just made myself a pair! So easy, took me at the most 20 min (including finding fabric >_>)
Thanks so much!
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2009 03:43:56 PM »

Most Awesome tute EVER!! thanks so much for this!! I just got the most awesome white flannel with pink and purple hippos on it and wanted to make a pair of pj pants out of it!! yea!! THANK YOU!!
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2009 10:37:33 PM »

I can't believe I did it! I'm so proud!!

I make quilts...I make messes...I even made a kid once.  BUT I have never been able to make clothing of any kind.  It's like as soon as one of my creations gets close enough to a human body to be considered clothing, it shrivels up and unravels and becomes a worthless tangle of knotted thread and fabric.  And whenever I have thought about making clothes, the patterns seem to be written in a foreign language and my brain fries just looking at it.

So when I saw this tut I thought, might as well not even try, it'll be a disaster.

But then my two year old niece came and sat on my lap and I got to looking at the little leggings she had on.  They were adorable, of course, but they would be even more adorable made out of this purple flannel with farm animals all over that I got the other day.  Before I really let myself think twice about it, I got to cutting and sewing.

I came across two small snags - one, I could not for the life of me understand the step about sewing the crotch seams, and ended up sewing a pair of pants that you couldn't pull on because there was a seam right through the middle, lol.  So I googled "how to sew the crotch in pants", and within minutes realized where I'd gone wrong, ripped the stitches out and fixed the problem.

The second snag still isn't fixed but because these are just lounging around the house pants, I'm not that worried about it.  I didn't hem the ankles because I'm not really sure how yet.  I plan on looking at tuts for that when I'm done posting.

Okay, enough typing, here's the pants in action.


She was trying to kung fu chop me in the hallway outside my room.  She's a little...rambunctio us. 

There really isn't a funny spot in that crotch seam, it's just the way she's standing.  She was crawling up on my bed and my husband told her to get down, so she was kind of in limbo while she looked for the next thing she could get into, which is why I got this picture at all.

And then she finally found something else to dig into, my date book.  Here you can see the unhemmed bottom.  It's also the selvage edge of the fabric so I'm not too worried about it getting messed up before I can figure out to hem.

And don't look at the waistband too closely either, this was for sure a learning experience! 

She loves them so much she wouldn't let us take 'em off her to change her diaper.  She kept yelling "Mine!" and trying to put them back on, so I guess they won her approval!
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2009 01:26:45 PM »

Bethie!

Oh my goodness!!!! My son is napping right now so I am afraid to sneak into his room for fear of waking him but the SECOND he wakes up he is getting a pair of these!!!!!  Believe it or not YOU have inspired me almost more than the original post. The pants you made are ADORABLE! I have a couple hours this afternoon, maybeall the kids can have a pair for tonight!!!! Oh! I am so excited!!!!!!!
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2009 02:23:55 PM »

I am so happy I helped inspire you!!  You just made my day.  You have to show us what you come up with!

I am getting ready to make my 8 year old daughter a pair of these too.  Does anyone have any good tutorials on elastic waistband casings?  I muddled my way through the other ones but I'd like to see how it's done properly.  I tried google but it's failing me. :/  Off ot youtube...if I find something that is helpful I can post it here if anyone's interested.
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Am taking a crafting/posting hiatus and formally withdrawing from all the CAL's I was in.  Need time to recharge and rewire.  But, I am still lurking and loving you guys like crazy, keep posting the amazing projects!!!  You all rock!
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2009 07:36:01 PM »

those kids pants are so cute! I want that fabric for myself! (I'm 23 lol)
I am so happy I helped inspire you!!  You just made my day.  You have to show us what you come up with!

I am getting ready to make my 8 year old daughter a pair of these too.  Does anyone have any good tutorials on elastic waistband casings?  I muddled my way through the other ones but I'd like to see how it's done properly.  I tried google but it's failing me. :/  Off ot youtube...if I find something that is helpful I can post it here if anyone's interested.

What I do is sew a line evenly around the top of the pants, then fold the waist down on that line and stitch it down with a zig-zag or straight stitch.

Most sewing machines have markings on them for measurements. I use this to sew my line making sure the edge of the fabric is on or at that line the whole way around the pant.

Pick a line that is about 1/4 more than your elastic width.

Once you've sewn the fabric down I pull he threads to the inside and tie off.  Then I make a tiny slit on the back side of this "casing" with my seam ripper.
Put a safety pin in one end of the elastic and pin to the fabric so it can't pull through. (trust me this is important)
Then put a pin through the other end and use that to guide through the casing.  When you get the elastic through your fabric will be really wrinkled up. Pin (with a sewing pin) the  two ends of elastic together and stitch either by hand or with your sewing machine and WHA LA elastic casing!

If that makes sense but not then I can try to make a tut but It will be a few days. Smiley
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009 07:41:17 PM by Eliea » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2009 09:26:46 PM »

Okay, it sounds like I wasn't too far off the mark then.  I folded down the edge about an inch, stitched it shut, then threaded the elastic through (and yes, the safety pin is a magic trick that I lovvveee!) and then stitched it all shut.  It sounds like I just missed one step, folding it down and stitching, then folding down at that line and stitching again.  I will try again tomorrow morning!
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My blog: http://messymama.wordpress.com
Am taking a crafting/posting hiatus and formally withdrawing from all the CAL's I was in.  Need time to recharge and rewire.  But, I am still lurking and loving you guys like crazy, keep posting the amazing projects!!!  You all rock!
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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2009 12:44:59 PM »

I'm curious if you think this would work with pants that have a fold over waist?
I have a pair (I call them my ninja pants) that are super comfy and I've been wanting to do basically the same thing with them but have been hessitant becasue of the waist band.
But if I'm thinking correctly a fold over waistband is sort of doing the same thing elastic would right?

Sure!!  Just include the waistband in your measurements.  Yes, you're right with the fold over waistband being the same as the elastic thing. 
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Another Jennifer
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2010 12:53:27 PM »

This is my second year making Xmas PJ's for my family of four using your awesome pattern.  I love it!
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I blogged whatever project you are looking at right here:  jenniferfalkowski.c om/
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« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2010 09:41:53 AM »

How funny! Since my last post I have made maybe 6 pairs for the kids and a couple for hubby and me. Last night I cut out 6 more pairs for the kids and the neighbors kids for Christmas. This was my first pair I made. These are still on his list of favorites! I made them from an old pair of my sisters jammies that had holes.



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