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DIY Pajama Pants

Is there really anything better than a comfy pair of pajama pants? Okay, maybe, but these little at-home comforts will make winter and what remains of 2020 far more enjoyable. Anyone looking for that perfect fit with fleece pajama pants can end their search here, as we dive right into a project that’s great for beginner sewers!

What You’ll Need

Before we break into our list, let's address the materials options. Flannel and fleece are perfect pajama pant material, and with the time of year, you can definitely find great sales on both options. For an extra flair of luxury, give satin a try. If you’re a beginner, you might want to stick with fleece as it’s forgiving, doesn’t fray, and comes in so many fun prints.


Step 1: Take a Look at Your Favorite Pajama Pants

Not much goes into making pajama pants. It is really only four bits of fabric sewn together up the sides and then in the center to make two leg holes. The center seam connecting the legs can seem a bit tricky for new sewers, but it's certainly not too challenging.

Take your favorite pair of pajama pants and flip them inside out. Then, look at the crotch seam. It's not that complicated.

So the point of looking at these pants is to get a feel for the shape and approach to making pants. If you want to replicate the same fit from those pants, then simply outline the shape onto paper.

Step 2: Take Your Measurements

Taking your own measurements is not necessarily easy, but your lower body measurements are certainly easier than your upper body. Here are the measurements you’ll need: 

  • Waist: measure slightly below your belly button
  • Hips: measure across the widest part of your buns, don’t be shy measurements are personal!
  • Thigh: measure around a thigh about one or two inches below the crotch
  • Inseam: step on the edge of the measuring tape with the inner side of your heel and then measure up to the crotch area along the inside of your leg.
  • Length: step on the edge of the measuring tape with the outer edge of your heel and measure up to your waist

Step 3: Make Your Pattern

You can use your measurements or copy off the beloved pair of PJ pants, but you want to get it down on the paper either way. If using your measurements, then follow these calculations:

  • Top measurement = hips/4 +1 (the +1 is for the seam allowance)
  • Leg width = thigh/2 +1 (the +1 is for the seam allowance)
  • Length = Length + 3 (the +3 is for the hem and waistband)
  • Bum let-out = (Leg width - top) x 3 

Stretch out a paper on the floor and create a rectangle that measures to the leg width by the total length. Always leave a bit of room to work with, and then, 2-inches from the bottom, mark your hem. Two-inches from the top, place a mark for your waistband.

Then mark the crotch, where the two will meet together by measuring up the inseam from the hem. So from the very bottom, it would be your inseam plus two inches. Within your rectangle, you want to mark the right side as the side seam and the left side as the inseam. 

We’re going to shape up the pattern a little bit to make it a little more human-esque rather than just a rectangle. At the crotch height, mark for the full thigh width. 

Shape up the waistband by bringing in the top measurement slightly and giving the top a slight angle, so the front is slightly taller than the back. From the crotch height in both the front and back, tailor from the crotch and bum let-out in toward the waistband.

You’ve just created the “front leg” of your pattern!

Now, the back leg will be the same except, where you marked the thigh width, you'll mark instead for the bum let-out. Additionally, you'll flip how you made the back slightly shorter, and now the 'front' will be somewhat shorter across the waist of the pattern.

Step 4: Cut Out Your Pieces

Use your pattern to create two front pieces and two back pieces. Place the fabric with the right side facing up, then fold it over, so you have two bits with the right sides facing each other. Put the pattern for each leg piece over the doubled-over fabric and pin it into place. Then, cut out the pattern.

Step 5: Sew the Center Seam

Align the front center seam and sew straight down with the right sides together. For beginners, the general rule is that you always want the seam on the inside of the project. Give each seam a 3/8-inch allowance.

Then align the back center seam, and you should see a more pant-like structure emerging. Pin the front and back pieces together using the center seams to guide you. Fleece does like to move a bit, so if it looks like you have extra fabric, pull it toward the inner seam. With the front and back leg pieces together, sew down the inner side of the leg.

Step 6: The Side Seams

You are almost done! Because you already pinned everything, you can put that sewing machine to work and go straight down the side seams. The result is that you should have pants, but very rough pants, they’re not ready to wear just yet.

Step 7: Your Waistband

With all the pins removed, step into your pajama pants for their first test run. For a drawstring, mark where you will need two buttonholes in the center and fold the fabric down by two inches.

Measure your elastic to your exact waist measurement.

Now, pin the waistband with the two-inch fold, and make sure you can see where your buttonholes are marked. Sew around the waistband, and make the buttonholes. Those new to working with a sewing machine can use this as an excellent opportunity to test out that buttonhole foot!

After your buttonholes and waistband are complete, you can thread the elastic through. Some say that you should use a safety pin, but that takes forever. If you have a crochet hook or knitting needle, then tie the elastic in a tight knot around the hook or needle and feed that tool through the buttonholes. Sew the elastic into place. You don't want it moving around. Most sewers will stitch it down right near the buttonholes, so it doesn't look wonky.

Feed your ribbon through for a drawstring!

Step 8: Hems

Stitch up those hems with a quick run through the sewing machine, and now you've got a wonderful pair of PJ pants perfect for the winter months ahead. If you have trouble and notice bunching in the front or back, then you might need to adjust them. You can always undo the stitching and trim the material back or create a new pair with altered measurements. 

Now you’re done! Sit back and enjoy your self-made pajamas! If you thought this tutorial was helpful, check out our other tutorials on our blog. We offer helpful tips on all things sewing and offer many different projects for your pleasure. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about our products.