Pajama Pants Reprise

Yep.  I needed a confidence booster project after the bag failure and the top escapade.  What’s the first thing I think of in terms of confidence booster projects for sewing?  Pajama pants.  You can never have enough of them, and no one can judge you if you manage to put them together wrong.  Win, win situation!  I have made a lot of pajama pants in the 9 months I have been sewing … one per month in fact!  This is my 9th pair.  Other than to cut the 4 pieces of fabric that I need, I no longer require instructions!  In case you are curious the pattern I own is McCall’s 5992.

I had several cuts of fabric set aside for pajama pants, and one was even pre-washed!  I went with that one since I had pre-washed it ages ago, I bought it before Christmas, and most importantly, it was pale yellow with bright pink and orange owls on them.  Adorable!

And now in case you ever need a confidence booster sewing project, a quick pajama pants tutorial 🙂  Assume a 5/8″ seam allowance for all stitching.

Step 1)  Cut your fabric.  My pattern only required two cuts when the fabric is folded over.  One piece is the front of a pant leg and one piece is the back.  The way to tell the difference is usually the in-seam area.  The curved part is shorter on the front piece than then back piece.  I do warn you – if you are using fabric where the “right” and “wrong” sides are nearly identical, be extra careful.  It is easy to wind up creating two left legs, like Elizabeth did with a pair of pants once.

Step 2)  Match one front piece to one back piece, right sides together.  You probably want to match both legs now just to make sure you have it right.

Step 3)  Pin the pieces right sides together along the inseam of the leg, and stitch (using a 5/8″ seam).  This goes from the bottom of the curved part to the ankle.  After stitching, trim the seam and overcast the edges.  Repeat this step with the other leg.

Step 4)  Open both legs along the inseam, creating a wide piece with a U-shape in the center; place the two legs right sides together, pin along the U-shaped edge, and stitch.  This is the crotch seam, and you should reinforce this seam.  I like to use stitch 02 on my machine – the one that looks like three lines of straight stitching.  You can also just stitch two lines of straight stitches if you’d prefer.  Make sure to trim the seam and overcast before you move on to the next step.

Step 5)  Challenge yourself with a spatial reasoning puzzle.  This part is tricky.  I generally put the inseam between my legs, and open the edges of the pants so that I am “wearing” them.  Then I step out of them, look at them for a few minutes, and rearrange them so that they look the same, but the right sides of the fabric are facing each other.  Once you have the pants looking like an inside out pair of pants, you can pin the outside edges of the pant legs.  There was no good way to show this in a picture, but the red arrow points to the U-shape seam.

Step 6)  Pin and stitch the outside seam of the pant legs.  Don’t forget to finish the seams with some overcasting!  Below is how your pants need to be folded prior to the pinning and stitching.

Step 7)  Do the happy dance – you are almost done!

Step 8)  Break out your iron and press for a hem at the bottom of the pants.  I always try the pants on and mark with pins to make sure they are as long as I want them, and even.

Step 9)  While the iron is out, also press the top and bottom of the waistband.  The pants should still be inside out.  Roll down an appropriate amount of fabric near the waistband, and press.  I like to use 1″ elastic for pajamas, so I tend to press about 1.5 inches down.  Why?  So that I can press the bottom of the waistband part under to form the casing.

Step 10)  Pin your waistband and your hems.

Step 11)  Stitch the hems.

Step 12)  Create the waistband casing by stitching a line of straight stitches along the bottom edge of your pressed waistband.  Make sure you leave an opening – I generally do this at the center back of the pants – so that the elastic can be pulled through the casing.

Step 13)  Insert the elastic.  Measure and cut by wrapping the elastic around your waist and gauging comfort level.  If you have an elastic threader, attach it to one end of the elastic.  If you don’t have an elastic threader, you can use a safety pin as a pulling device, but I have never tried this so you will have to ask The Google about it.  Insert the threader through the opening you left in the casing and blindly move it through.  When you make it all the way around, make sure you grab the trailing end of the elastic so that it doesn’t disappear into the casing.  Adjust the gathering that happened at the waistband as you need to.

Step 14)  Stitch the ends of the elastic together using a zigzag stitch.  I like to make sure I reinforce this stitching forwards and backwards a few times.  Tug on your elastic waistband a bit and it will disappear into the casing.

Step 15)  Close the waistband opening with some straight stitches.  

Step 16)  Put on your new pair of pajama pants, give yourself a pat on the back, and relax!  Ta da!


3 comments for “Pajama Pants Reprise

  1. Kim
    May 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Girl, if you ever want another job, YOU should write pattern directions! Very clear and concise. Great job!


  2. Jen S.
    May 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Super-cute! I want some hooty-owl pants now. 😉

    • jadesabre9
      May 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Thanks, ladies! My next pair, whenever that may be needed, will be dachshunds and music note jersey knit … Love my owls 🙂


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