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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