Instructables
Picture of How to Sew Your Own Pajama Pants
This instructable shows you how to sew easy-to-make pajama bottoms in any size. I don't know if you have shopped for any pajamas lately but they are crazy expensive. At Land's End, they want $24.50 plus shipping for toddler-sized flannel pajama bottoms. When you see how easy it is to make PJs, the man behind the curtain is revealed and you see what a racket that is. These pants are for my son's "Fall Festival" day at school which banned costumes in favor of a pajama day.

I also make matching pajama bottoms for the family every Christmas because I am crazy and I like everyone to match in the Christmas morning pictures. I don't care if my hair is sticking up or my husband needs a shave but we all must match in the pictures like the Brady Bunch on Tour every Christmas morning. It is not possible to find matching pajamas in the four sizes we need so I buy enough awesomely cheesy Christmas flannel to outfit the whole gang. Then we get plain t-shirts in a complementary color so we can keep on, keep on, keep on dancing through Christmas day.

One small disclaimer:
If you're making kids' pj pants, these are technically supposed to be called lounge pants because they are made from regular woven cotton or flannel and worn by children. There are all kinds of laws addressing the safety of children's sleepwear and anything worn to bed by children is supposed to be snug-fitting in case of fire. That's why all those stretchy cotton PJ sets for kids are tight as an old lady's compression hose. They don't want to get sued if your child gets burnt in a fire. The looser PJ pants are made from fire-retardant material which never feels nice like cotton. So send your children to bed in these pants at your own risk.
 
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LauraG212 days ago

Thanks for this post, so helpful. Just made my first pair, I am a very beginner sewer, the pictures were extremely helpful.

jill.careri1 month ago

JUST DID THIS!!! I USED OLD FLANNEL SHEETS!! SOOO FRIGGIN CUTE!! AND EASY!

cantonio36 months ago

Thanks!! Didn't just make pyjamas, but, made everyday pants, as well!!

Pattihabby8 months ago

What Great instructions and Thank You !!!

I make my pattern from the worn out ones. For children, this is fine but us adults with more "developed" back ends, well !!!!!

I sometimes, go to a goodwill type store and buy a cheap pair that fits me and deconstruct them. I do this for many sewing projects. I, also, buy things just to be able to use the fabric for my sewing projects.

cloner11 months ago
very good instructable! any tips on choosing the fabric? my sons' skin are a bit sensitive. thanks :)
compwalla (author)  cloner8 months ago

My younger one is sensitive as well. I've found it matters more what products I use in the wash rather than what the fabric is made from. Any nice 100% cotton print or 100% cotton flannel will feel nice. These don't have tags to irritate after all.

waemisegger8 months ago
any tricks to pockets for these pants?. very new to the stay at home scene and well this can learn but let's just say me and jo ann fabrics don't see eye.
compwalla (author)  waemisegger8 months ago

I've never added pockets (what do you keep in your pockets when you sleep?) but if you wanted to you could make the legs out of four pieces instead of two and add the pocket when you sew up the outer leg.

shayneko10 months ago
I want to say thank you.. I am a plus size woman and its 40 or more bucks for pajamma pants and I wear mine out so fast since I love them. This has not only saved me a tone! but helped me be able to make things for gifts for friends and family members. One being a best friend that has the same issue.. thank you so much ^_^
Azalara10 months ago
My favourite Instructable! Thank you SEW much for sharing this, I will never buy pajama pants again! I didn't have paper for a pattern, or an iron to press the edges, and my PJ's still turned out great! They're zebra print, so I will DEFINITELY wear them out for my next latte, old women tut-tutting is too entertaining to pass up!
mapalch11 months ago
Great tutorial! Thanks for your efforts - it is way better/easier than following a store-bought pattern. Just made some pj pants and they turned out great!
Hi this was a great instructable, i was wondering though how much matierial would you reommend for really big lounge pants?
These instructions are very helpful. I have a question. I'd like to make these pajama pants footed. Do you have instructions for this? I have purchased the non-slip material to use. Thanks
compwalla (author)  cphillips211 year ago
I sure don't. :( I think you could probably find a commerical pattern for jammies with feet. I am envisioning elastic around the ankles and a foot part you join to the bottom of the pant leg but I don't have anything written up to follow for feetie pajamas. Good luck!
Hi! I am currently making a pair of pajamas and I am at the "trying it on" step. The leg width is just fine but I have a problem with the rise : it is too low on the back (my panties show when I bend over) and too high on the front (higher than belly button). It is the exact same size for the front and the back but I have a bum to fit in...

I really like the fabric I have used and I would hate to have wasted my time (and fabric). I assume I could add a little fabric at the top as a belt, instead of just rolling the rise down to hide the elastic, but that's only a theory and I'm not quite sure how to do it... Any advise?
nbrandt11 year ago
I loved this tutorial. I have been sewing since I was about 12, so I already knew all this, but it was fun to read the "snarky" comments. I'm going to make a bunch of pajama pants for my son for Christmas as he's outgrown all the ones I've made him in the past. Thanks for the fun read.
Maddymaba1 year ago
These were my first real attempt at making anything that wasn't a bag. They turned out great and look adorable on my daughter! Your instructions were easy to follow especially for me as a beginner. Thanks!
hayland2 years ago
Just made my son a pair of these, they fit great and he loves them:) Thank you for the easy instructions. I am new at sewing, just bought an old sewing machine and have only made a jean purse before these and had no problem:)
Mama Tea2 years ago
Great tutorial! Perfect for revamping my kids' fall pj supply :-)
I got a sewing machine just yesterday, and was able to make these as my first project, even though I'd never worked a sewing machine before. I'd say that means you have some pretty great instructions:)

My pants came out looking pretty good, but I had some thread mishaps;) Not the fault of these instructions at all, just a learning curve for a newbie. I will be using this instructable again in the future! Thanks so much for instructions so easy a total novice can use them! Witty AND useful. I love it!
magestuff5 years ago
Thank you so much for these instructions. I am making lounge pants for my daughter right now! I am at step 6 and it looks so pretty already. Got to go buy wide elastic as I think it will help to keep elastic from twisting after a few uses. Does this happen to you? any tips? By the way this is the first time I am making any kind of clothing for my kids and I am very excited.
compwalla (author)  magestuff5 years ago
The wide elastic does help and so does sewing your casing as narrow as you can get away with. I try to sew mine just slightly wider than the elastic I'm using so there isn't as much room for the elastic to turn around in the casing in the washing machine. Good luck!
I used to use really wide elastic in waistbands until I discovered the wonders of soft six-cord elastic; its strong enough but very flexible and despite being fairly narrow, never ever twists up in a waistband even if you don't make the casing very narrow itself. I got a reel of 250 metres for only about £8 from ebay. Its really good for those with sensitive skin or sensory issues as well because even inside a fabric casing the wider types of elastic can be irritating to such people.
thanks for the info. I finished two lounge pants for my kids. They look great and they love them too. I went with the wider elastic. but next time I'll use a narrow one. Now that I know I can sew something sucessfully I am moving onto coats for kids!
If you put a tack (several small stitches on top of each other - you can also use a brief zig-zag stitch with the stitch length set to 0) at the four compass points of the waistband, that helps considerably with the rolling/twisting factor without interfering with the stretch of the elastic.
marglover2 years ago
A great source for elastic is your hubby's worn out underwear. The underwear usually croaks way before the top band. Nice wide elastic and it didn't cost a thing! :)
thepkl2 years ago
if you use muslin for your pattern you can use it over and over again.
ccn2222 years ago
Great instructions. I was a bit confused at first, but the photos helped make the steps clear. Nice job! Thanks!
lediva2 years ago
wonderful tute! thankyou:) Made my 4yo son some pirate themed pyjama pants & they turned out great & didnt take long with my serger;) Love it! going to make more! brilliant.
Just made myself a pair :) they're comfy and fit really well!!!! although i did accidentally twist the elastic :) I made mine out of an old doona cover. Stripey :D
omgitsbeth2 years ago
Knocked a pair of these out in an hour and a half. Mmm, flannel jammie bottoms.

Brilliant (and funny) instructions. Thanks a lot!
bma20032 years ago
What great instructions! I just have one quick question: When we place our pattern on the fabric to cut, do we need the1/2" seam allowance on the straight edge that goes along the fold of the fabric, or no? I'm such a nervous sewer and I want to do it right! :-)
compwalla (author)  bma20032 years ago
You can skip that seam allowance if you want the pants to fit a little closer. Adding the extra makes them really loose and baggy. I tend to leave it off because my kids are built like pencils but if your PJ wearer has, um, ample thighs for instance you might want to leave that on. :)
bma20032 years ago
What great instructions! I just have one quick question: When you're cutting out the pattern, do we need that 1/2" seam allowance on the outside straight edge that we marked on our pattern, or do we not need that and put that straight edge along the fold w/out the 1/2" seam allowance. I'm such a nervous sewer and I want to do it right! :-)
Azalara2 years ago
Thank you -sew- much for this. It's clear, easy to follow, pictures are great, and you're hilarious! I'll be using this for a long time to come.
I'm making a pair for my Dad right now and I wanted to be fancy, so I'm putting some pockets in.
You're great! Thanks again!!!
I don't quiet understand this part of the instructions. I am making pj pants for a 7 year old who takes a size 8 childrens, (atleast thats the size of pants i measured) and i only bought 1 1/2 yards of fabric.
Anyway ,the part i really don't understand is what you mean by "Fold your fabric just enough to accommodate your pattern" and in the picture it shows it folded in half twice.
compwalla (author)  ForeverSiren2 years ago
So you have a piece of fabric 1.5 yards long and about 44" wide. If you have the pattern cut out for one leg, you're going to need to cut two of those. So if you've only got 44" wide of fabric to work with and a small-ish sized leg, you don't want to fold the fabric exactly in half because that's a waste. You'll cut a leg-shaped hole out of the middle and be left with not enough to cut both legs.

So. What you need to do is lay out the 44" of fabric and fold the selvedge edge (the finished edge along the long sides of the fabric) towards the middle only as far as you need to fit the leg pattern on there. Then cut Leg #1 out. Now you need a second leg so you refold and cut Leg #2.
Oh! Thank you so much! That really cleared things up. Thanks again! :)
you are hilarious!! thanks so much...they came out great!
deborahabe2 years ago
Thanks for awesome instructions. I was able to make a toddler a matching pair of pajama bottoms out of a pajama top utilizing the sleeves as legs. I also appliqued a plain Toddler shirt to match the pants. (To find similar matching pajamas for my daughter & 2 granddaughters cost $160 total online.) Though I had to buy an additional pair of women's pajamas in order to make the toddler pants, I used just the top—allowing my other daughter to have the intact PJ pants. By doing it this way, I only spent $80 for all 4 people. I think they will be thrilled on Christmas Eve.
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