January 5, 2018
Lindsey Crafter here, with a fun DIY!
Ready to pick up a new skill in the new year? Tackling an easy sewing project is the perfect way to pass the time during winter snow days! You can easily make patterns from clothing you already own, and most simple projects can be completed in just a couple of hours! See how I was inspired by my new metallic slippers to sew up a fresh pair of pajama pants in the how-to steps below.
What You’ll Need
3 yards of a cotton print
1 yard of ¼ “ cotton tape (for waist cinch)
2 coordinating thread tassels
Kraft paper for making a pattern
Pair of pajama pants that fit well for pattern guide
Iron and ironing board
Large safety pin
Step 1 | Make a Pattern
The easiest way to ensure your pajama pants will fit you is to trace a pair of pants you already own! Lay a pair of loose-fitting pajama pants folded in half on top of your pattern paper and trace the waist, leg, hem and inseam with a pencil or marker. Trace a 1/2” margin to act as seam allowance around the outside of the pattern piece for a little extra room. You will use this same pattern shape for the front and back pieces of your pajama pants. Your waistband pattern should be as long as the waist opening of your pants pattern +1/2” for seam allowance and 5” wide.
Step 2 | Cut Out Pants Pieces
Iron your yardage so that there are no creases, fold in half, and lay flat on your work surface. Place your pattern piece on top of the fabric in line with the grain of the fabric (usually the direction of the print) and trace the leg shape with a chalk marker or pencil. Cut through both layers of fabric. Move the pattern piece over onto the remainder of the fabric and trace the opposite leg. Cut out the traced leg shapes. Line up the waistband piece on the edge of the fabric scraps and cut out. You should have five pieces in total to complete your project.
Step 3 | Pin Together Pants Pieces
Place two opposite pants legs pieces aligned on top of each other with the printed sides facing in and the faded side (the wrong side) facing out. Pin together both front pants pieces and both back pants pieces by lining up the edges of the fabric and pushing in straight pins every couple of inches along the center seam/crotch where both legs come to meet in the middle. This will be the first seam you sew.
Step 4 | Sew Inseam and Side Seams
After you’ve pinned together front and back leg pieces at the center, sew fabric together with a straight stitch on your machine with a ½” seam allowance, reversing at the beginning and end of the stitch to back-tack or “knot” the thread and prevent the seam from unraveling. Iron your seams open and trim any loose threads before moving onto the next step.
Step 5 | Attach Front and Back Pieces
Working on a flat surface, flip the front and back pants pieces so that the printed pattern is facing inward and line up all the edges. Keep the leg pieces in place with straight pins. Be sure to line up the side seams at the waist and at the hem! Sew straight seams up the legs of the pants leaving a ½” seam allowance.
Step 6 | Prep Waistband
Take the fabric band designated for the waistband, fold in half lengthwise and press flat. Fold the length in half and make a small mark with chalk in the center. After finding this centerpoint, unfold the band and make to two bound holes with the buttonhole feature found on most basic sewing machines to make cord holes for your cinch cord. Fold the band in half with the printed sides facing each other to create a loop. Sew together the 5” ends with a ½” seam allowance. Turn the band right side out, fold the band in half again and press down to create a channel. Turn in the raw edges ½” and iron down.
Step 7 | Attach Waistband
This waistband loop will now be pinned around the waist opening of the pants. Line up the center button holes with the front, center seam of the pants. Pin the waistline fabric ½” inside of the waistband fold to conceal the raw edge. Topstitch around the entire waist opening securing the waistband piece and removing pins as you go.
Step 8 | Hem Bottom of Pants Legs
Turn the raw edge of each pants leg opening in ½” and press down. Fold up one more time to conceal the raw edge and press flat. Edge-stitch down the fold to keep it in place.
Step 9 | Feed Tassel Tie Through Waist
Measure the cotton tape around your waist, tie in a bow and trim off excess. Attach a large safety pin to the end of the cotton tape and feed through the waistband channel of your pajama pants. After both ends are evenly distributed through the buttonholes, use coordinating thread to attach two decorative tassels to the ends of the cinch cord with a few simple stitches!
After completing this project you’re ready to conquer your new wardrobe! Hemming your jeans?! No problem! Once you’re comfortable sewing on a machine and developing patterns these quick-sew pajama pants could make a great gift along with a pair of Minnetonka slippers!
Lindsey Crafter is a crafting and DIY decor brand focused on teaching true skills to new makers--with an emphasis on sustainability. Her colorful website combines easy craft tutorials with an online shop housing her handmade jewelry, fine art and vintage.