Pajama pants {tutorial}

I like my pajamas extra long, and being on the lanky side of tall, I find it difficult to find ones that fit. I also like pajamas that don't look too pajama-y. Not that I want to be taking my kids to school wearing them, but sometimes on a weekend when we're hanging out at home and there's no rush to get dressed, I'd like to be able to answer the door to the Fed Ex guy/girl without looking like I've just rolled out of bed. Which of course, I have. But he/she doesn't need to know that.

I've also been spending some time in the flannels section of the fabric store and really, what else can you make out of flannel other than pajamas? If you have any ideas, let me know. I have some scraps to use up.

For these pajama pants, I have assumed you have a pair of trousers that you like and if not actual pajama pants, then ones that are comfortable and fit you well. You don't want pajamas to be tight or restrictive, obviously. I used 2 yards of this tiny houndstooth flannel by Timeless Treasures which is 44" wide. If you are not a giant like me, you might be able to use less. I suggest you hold it up to yourself at waist level and measure down to your feet. Then add about another 1/4 yard just to be safe. This might not be the most scientific way to do it, and may possibly account for more than one of my sewing disasters. Safe to say however, that I am 5 ft 10 1/2 and 2 yards was enough. If you are the same height as me or shorter, 2 yards will be enough for you too!

Public health warning : If you use this tutorial to make yourself a pair of pajama pants, please do not take your kids to school whilst wearing them. Thank you.

Fold your fabric in half longways and lay on a flat surface. I used the floor. To make the pattern, trace off your existing trousers around the seams. Start with the front and then the back. Because the fabric is folded, you will end up with 2 front pieces and 2 back pieces. you will need to jiggle the trousers around a bit, to get the seams in the right place, but have confidence and it'll be fine (honest).

To make the faux fly on the front piece, add a 2" extra section to the curved seam like I have done in this photo below.

You can see the original curve of my seam as well as the faux fly section which sticks out of the curve, and joins further down. Cut out your pattern pieces and add about 1/2" seam allowance. (That bit is important).

I use a serger to finish my seams but you can also run a zig zag stitch along the edges. Finish the seam on the two front pieces from the waistband to the end of the curve.

Lay the two front pieces on top of each other with right sides facing. Stitch the seam from the curved point to the bottom of the faux fly. Do you see the pin I put in at the bottom of the faux fly? From that point continue up to the waist with a basting stitch.

Open up the pants and with the wrong sides facing you, press both fly pieces to the left.

On the front of the fly, top stitch the detail, catching the fabric folded underneath as you go.

Lay the two back pieces together with right sides facing and sew together at the back center seam from the tip of the curve up to the waistband. Finish seam. Lay the front section on top of the back section and sew the inseam all the way from one ankle, all the way up the leg, around the crotch and back down the other leg to the ankle. Finish your seams.

Sew the front to the back at the side seams.

To make the waistband, I used a length of wide grosgrain ribbon. Turn pants right sides out and pin the ribbon around the top of the waistband and stitch.

Fold the ribbon to the wrong side (my ribbon wasn't quite long enough so I added in an interesting and unique 'design detail', though ideally your ribbon will reach all the way to the end) and stitch down, leaving a 2" hole to insert your elastic.

Use a bodkin, safety pin, skewer, knitting needle or whatever else you might use to thread the elastic through the waistband casing. Try your trousers on to get the right fit, then sew the 2 ends of elastic together securely and sew the hole you left, closed.

Hem the pants.

Finish the faux fly by removing the basting stitches you put in earlier.

And sew on a couple of buttons. Not totally necessary, but it gives the trousers a nice finish.

And that's it, you're done! Easy as. I have to say, mine are pretty cozy. And long. No ankle biters here.

Did I leave anything out? Have questions? Just ask in the comments and I'll try to answer the best I can.


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23 comments:

  1. Those pj pants are adorable! Making your own pattern? Way beyond my abilities! You make it look pretty easy, but I know my limitations!

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  2. Wish I was on the lanky side of tall! I'm more like on the stubby side of short, my legs are that is! My pjs are usually 3 inches too long. I don't hem them up because I feel like they're just pjs so why bother! Cute pjs, love the herringbone pattern.

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  3. Great tutorial! I used a pattern to make pj pants one time and the waist was ridiculously high. And it didn't even have a cute detail like the faux fly you include here. I haven't seen a faux fly left open like that, but of course, that makes it way more realistic, particularly with the buttons. Also love the ribbon waistband. There are a few people around my house who could use a pair of these next winter :)

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  4. I am guilty of taking my kids to school in my Pj pants, and there is no mistaking they are PJ's... Good thing I don't have to get out of my car. I guess I should make some that are more lounge looking.
    I answered your question about wheat grinding on my blog post, hope it helps you a bit. Thanks for asking, I hadn't realized how uncommon it was.
    ~Edith

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  5. Thank you for your recent comment on my blog - I wrote you a response but I wasn't sure to post it here.

    Lots of love x

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  6. From one tall girl to another, thanks for this! I have a terrible time finding PJ pants that cover my ankles.

    Found you on EBT--your blog is so cute! :-)

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  7. I am a giant like you and that is why I can't thank you enough for this tutorial! I bought a pair of slipper that go up over my ankles and there's still a gap between them and my pjs. I can't wait to try making my own!

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  8. Great tutorial!!

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  9. Looking forward to giving this a try. most of my pj pants are now like capris (not what I want for sleeping and lounging) I have 2 pair I love with no shrinkage and I will use them for my tracing pattern. Thanks for your tutorial.

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  10. From the start, I was lost. If you lay out the fabric folded in half
    lengthwise, that is only 2 layers. So how do you end up with 4 pieces
    (2 front plus 2 back pieces)?

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    1. First, fold your fabric in half. Then, trace around one front piece of the pants. Because it is on the fold, this will give you two front pieces. Keep the remaining yardage folded. Now trace around the back of the pants. This will give you two back pieces. The front and back will be slightly different so you can't use the same tracing for both.

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  11. Hi, I use my flannel scraps to make heat sacks. Make them any shape you want! I make a cotton case, fill it with whatever you like - I use barley, and sew that up so it's a sealed sack. The flannel part is more like a pillow case cover for the sack (then you can wash it when you need to). Heat up the sack in the microwave for around 2 minutes - you'll have to experiment on the time needed depending on the filling and the microwave. It's so cozy having a heated flannel sack heating up my toes in bed on a cold night! It makes a nice gift too.

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    1. Sounds blissful! Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Great Tutorial! I use my extra scraps of flannel (and I have alot with 6 grandchildren) to make cute vests for my granddaughters.
    Thanks, Suzi, Acorn Sewing

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  13. Awww, I bet they love them!!

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  14. I use millet to make the bags to heat up in the microwave...I use flannel for the covers as well...they work great for fibromyalgia....or arthritis

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  15. I omit the side seam and only cut 2 pieces , sew the crotch seam, then the inseam , saves time, fabric , and work.

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  16. I have a much easier way to add elastic. I measure the elastic to be comfortable and sew the ends together. Then I hold it in place as I sew the ribbon or wide seam binding over it. It gathers as it is sewn and there is no pulling it through. Don't remember where I learned to do this but it saves a lot of time and trouble having to work it through. Love your pants even though I usually wear gowns to sleep in. Nice to have to lounge around in though. thanx Cherry

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  17. Can you make these with Jersey knit? I love the comfort and stretch of Knit, esp. if I can get cotton. Do you think it'd work??

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  18. I purchased lounge pants from Kmart -elastic & drawstring waist- at 5.99 (sale) in both men and boys - used them to make a slew from extra fabric I had. Alot easier to use as a pattern than jeans or fly-zipper pants.

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  19. Love this pattern. I am considering making some out of my children's baby blankets.

    Idea for your flannel, just piece some of them together to make some hand towels and add some decorations for a rustic Christmas theme. Also consider making some patch work pj's.

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  20. Another idea for scraps is to make bean bags for the kids in your life :)

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