Step 6: Sew the waistband

If your recipient is available, now is a good time to have a fitting. You want to make sure the rise of the pants will be comfortable. The rise is the distance from the crotch to the waist. Too short and the pants will ride too low. Nothing says comfy and relaxed less than worrying that your coin slot will show in the Christmas pictures. If the rise is too high, you'll have grandpa pants that hike up to your armpits and you'll end up outside shouting at kids to get off your lawn. Get the person inside the pants (if you can) so you have an idea of how much you'll need to fold down the waist to get a comfortable rise. If you don't have the actual person, use the pants you used to make the pattern as a guide. Mark the hems on the legs after you've marked the rise.

Fold down the top of the fabric about 1 / 2 inch and press. Then fold it down again about 1 inch and press. This will hide the raw edge of the fabric inside and form the tunnel for the elastic waist. Pin all the way around the waist but leave an opening about 3 long and mark it with pins so that we'll have a place to thread the elastic in.

Sew around the waist close to the fold of the fabric, stopping when you get to the place where you marked the opening.
This was my first sewing project where I never had to redo anything and I had no help. Only change was I did a drawstring instead of elastic. Success!
<p>I've tried making my own skirts and lounging trousers, but I can never work out how much elastic to use in the waist. if I do the elastic at full stretch, how much to add? if I do it unstretched, how much to take off? is there some sort of formula?</p>
<p>The concept is good; however, for a proper fit over the bum you can't cut them with a side fold, with the same curve in the front and back. If you look at a pair of properly fitting pants(or a commercial pattern), the curve in the front is shallower than the one in back that has to curve around your behind, and meet in the middle. The back rise is also about an inch higher than the rise in the front, plus what you need to add for elastic casing. So, start with a double width of paper: trace the front curve, then carefully turn the pants over and re-adjust to pull out the back curve and trace that part. Measure your waist, and the waist of the pants, to make sure you've allowed enough for size - add a few inches for comfort, if you want. Use your pattern flat, not on a fold, and cut two pieces. Then proceed as above. I did this with another leader as a 4-H project at camp one year to make shorts (we called them &quot;jams&quot; back then) and made dozens of pairs. We had one basic pattern, and adjusted the width for the kids' sizes.</p>
<p>buildandsewandstuff, I made these pants and had the issue with too much material at the front giving me a saggy boy look - if I cut out using the front curve then the back curve would this remedy the issue? Also I just wanted to clarify, this would mean that I would have 4 pieces of fabric cut (2 with the front curve and 2 with the back curve and therefore a side seam up both pant legs rather than the fold on the outer side?</p>
Yes, using different curves for the front and back would solve your problem. You could cut 2 fronts and 2 backs, sew a side seam, then the front-to-back seam, then the inside leg seam. Add your elastic and a hem and you're done. Make sure you allow for your seam allowances and elastic casing. <br>
<p>I am a fairly decent sewer and am making several pair of these for Christmas gifts. I used a large rectangle plastic tablecloth bought at the dollar store and got 3 patterns out of it. I used that because the plastic is a bit more durable. If these work out well I think I may be making more of them and not to have to cut the pattern several times is a plus. A friend gave me the idea of a cheap plastic table cloth.</p>
<p>You would cut tou the waist on an angle.</p><p><a href="http://khavaran-sanat.ir" rel="nofollow">http://khavaran-sanat.ir</a></p>
<p>seriously cool</p>
<p>I had to &quot;build&quot; paisley &quot;silk&quot; pajamas for a musical at my local Community theater as a prop. I did not have a pattern, but I do have some sewing skills. After coming across this Instructable on pajamas, I was able to create a pattern (based off on my own comfy cotton fleece sweats), with a drawstring instead of elastic. Since I was familiar with the difference of how much shorter the front &quot;panel&quot; should be compared to the meatier &quot;back&quot; panel, I was able to sew this easily. Even though I built it as a prop for no one to wear, I still made it fully functional so that it COULD be worn as a costume piece in the future. I was amazed on how they turned out. The best part about the PJs... these actually fit the guy playing the main character, who dreams about owning a pair of silk PJs, to a T. He even said that he would rather wear the pajamas during the whole run of our theater show (all 7 shows) than his costumes. *thumbs up*</p>
I am a beginner with a machine but managed to make these cute pj bottoms for my son.
<p>question about if your working with a plus size pattern is there any part that should be given a little more care? say if they have a Buddha belly or juicy thighs should you focus on those?</p>
<p>You need a pattern that gives the higher rise in back and gives a more rounded bum. You would cut tou the waist on an angle.</p>
Hi! I am currently making a pair of pajamas and I am at the &quot;trying it on&quot; 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... <br> <br>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?
<p>I am having this exact same issue. Did you ever find a solution?</p>
<p>Nope. Since the author didn't reply and I got frustrated at having sewn something I couldn't use, I un-sewed it all and used what I could of the fabric to make something else.</p>
<p>Bummer. Thanks for the quick reply! I think I am going to go forward, as I have promised 13 of my family members matching pjs for Christmas. I think I will add an inch at the top and then the wearer can fold down the elastic in the front. I have used the posted instructions for 10+ pairs already and they turned out great, but they have all been for kids. The first pair I made for my husband didn't go so well. Happy Holidays!</p>
<p>If your rise is too short when you try them on, then you didn't add enough allowance at the top to fold over to make the casing for the elastic. You really need to be generous at the top allowance because it's much easier to trim extra than it is to try and add once you've already cut. The pants you pick as a pattern will also make a huge difference. If you pick a pair of jeans that have a lower rise, you're going to have trouble with the rise on your PJ pants. When you make the pattern from pants that already fit you, think about what kind of pants you're starting with and adjust the seam allowances accordingly. Starting with snug-fitting jeans that have a low to medium rise? You're going to want to be more generous with your allowances when you draw around them to make your paper pattern. </p>
<p>Thank you both! I used pajama pants to make my pattern, but the material was different than the flannel i am using. they were also all older jama bottoms that had been stretched out. For some of them my sister just mailed me their jama pants traced on paper and I had to make a lot of adjustments for them not being laid out very well. I am definitely nervous about this project! For anyone over 11 years old I added 3&quot; to the top and bottom since the 2&quot; i added when doing my husbands were both too short in the length and rise.</p>
<p>Just went through this pattern to help a friend learn how to sew. Took about 4 hours from finding pants to &quot;copy&quot; to finished product, with many breaks to double/triple check. Great instructions!</p><p>The one confusing note was sewing the &quot;outside of the legs&quot; - I kept thinking we were doing something wrong, since this was actually the inside seam, but for the separate pant legs. Once we worked through that it was smooth sailing. </p>
Awesome!! I'm making 5 pair for family for Christmas. Excited to try it out! Joanns has 50% off fleece right now!
<p>Thankyou for your very inspiring instructable.......you remind me of my departed beloved mother ........she always made her own patterns out of unused brown meat wrapping paper ......she always added a little extra room for the bum to be more comfy. Keep up the great work......looking forward to your next sewing instructable...</p>
<p>I made a pair following these instructions last year and it worked great! Joann Fabrics has flannel on sale right now so I'm going to make some more. Thanks for sharing your expertise!</p>
<p>OK! So I've decided my family is going to do some super awesome Christmas pictures this year instead of the same ol' boring traditional 'everyone dresses up and smiles pretty for the camera' Christmas cards. I have looked several places and read many tutorials of how to make jammie bottoms for my family and this seems to be the one I keep gravitating back towards, so starting tonight I'm going to try it out! But before I start cutting and sewing I was reading through many comments and many of my questions were answered, but I do have one more. So, we fold our fabric in half to cut the leg according to a pair of pants that we are using ... so when we are sewing there is only one seam, correct? Just on the inside? Maybe this is a no-brainer, but I just wanted to make sure before I start cutting and snipping away ;)</p>
<p>You are correct. Since the legs are cut on the fold, you will have only one seam per leg inside the leg, from the floor to the crotch. The outside part, the part from floor to hip and waist, will be on the fold and have no seam. </p>
<p>Thanks for this post, so helpful. Just made my first pair, I am a very beginner sewer, the pictures were extremely helpful.</p>
<p>Thanks!! Didn't just make pyjamas, but, made everyday pants, as well!! </p>
<p>What Great instructions and Thank You !!!</p><p>I make my pattern from the worn out ones. For children, this is fine but us adults with more &quot;developed&quot; back ends, well !!!!!</p><p>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.</p>
very good instructable! any tips on choosing the fabric? my sons' skin are a bit sensitive. thanks :)
<p>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. </p>
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.
<p>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. </p>
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 ^_^
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!
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
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!
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 &quot;snarky&quot; 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.
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!
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:)
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:) <br> <br>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!
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.
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 &pound;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.
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! :)
if you use muslin for your pattern you can use it over and over again.

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Bio: Texas State Democratic Executive Committeewoman, SD31
More by compwalla:Finishing a Quilt with Backwards Binding How to Sew Your Own Pajama Pants How to sew an adjustable chef's apron 
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