What is better than a perfectly fitting pair of fleece pyjama pants? Nothing! I will show you how to make a pattern from scratch and sew a pair of comfy pants.
Fleece does not fray and is very forgiving, so this project is great for any level of sewing ability.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
To make your pants, you will need to get some cozy material. Ideally this will be soft, and warm, like flannel, or fleece. You can find many options at a fabric store. If you want to be fancy, you could even go with satin!
If you feel like it, you can recycle a flannel sheet or a fleece blanket or throw. Use polar fleece, not micro fleece, as it does not breathe very well.
When I went to my fabric store, I found an awesome owl print... fleece comes in very entertaining prints, so go check out what you can find!
- 1.5 - 2 meters or 1.64 -2 yards ( a small could do with 1.5m, a large would need 2m) - 60" width bolt
- 1/2" waistband elastic
- ribbon if you would like a drawstring
- sewing machine
- measuring tape
- newsprint or paper
- pair of PJ pants or loose gym shorts to use as a model
Step 2: Analyze Your Favourite PJ Pants
Take your current favourite pair of pyjama pants, and look at how they are constructed. Pants are made of four pieces, two front leg pieces, and two back leg pieces. They are joined on the sides of the legs, and a centre seam that wraps from the front, down between the legs, and up the back.
1. Turn your pants inside out.
2. Locate the crotch, where the four pieces meet.
3. Look at the shape of the back leg piece, and the front leg piece.
4. Look a the shape of the curve that makes up the front centre, and the back centre seams.
5. Look at the waistband size, and the bottom finished edge.
You can clone your favorite pants by outlining the pieces onto your paper, and double checking your pattern with the steps to follow...
Step 3: Take Your Measurements
Grab your measuring tape and take the following measurements. Remember, we want these to be comfy so leave the measuring tape a bit loose, not tight!
note: You can take the measurements while wearing pants, or not, your preference.
1. Waist : measure around your waist, just below your belly button.
2. Hips: measure around your hips, putting the tape over the largest part of your bum. No cheating!
3. Thigh: measure around one thigh, just below the crotch.
4. Inseam: dangle the tape so it reaches the ground on the inside of your leg, measure up to the crotch.
5. Length: dangle the tape on the outside of your leg, measure from the ground to your waist.
Step 4: Start Your Pattern
With your measurements and your model pants, you are all set to construct your own custom pattern for the best pair of pjs ever!
These pants are oversized and roomy, so the pattern is very forgiving. Be sure to follow the measurements, these are the minimums your body will require.
The basic shape of the pattern is a rectangle. We then make a nose-like shape for the front and back crotch seams, and raise the waist band a bit to make room for the bum!
Get out your measurements, and make the following calculations. We will always add an inch for the seam allowance and some ease.
Top= Hips/ 4 + 1"
Thigh Width = Thigh/2 + 1"
Total length= Length + 2" for waist band + 1" for hem
Bum Ease= 3 * (Thigh Width - Top)
Step 5: The Rectangle
Lay your paper on the floor, if you are using newspaper or sheets, tape a few together to get a long piece that will fit your pant leg.
- The first step is going to be to draw a rectangle, width is the Top and length is Total Length.
- Leave some room on either side of the page
- Draw a straight line the width of the top of the leg, then measure down the total length, and draw the rectangle. ex. My rectangle is 11" wide and 44" long.
- Mark two inches up on the bottom for the hem, and two inches on the top for your waistband.
Step 6: Mark the Crotch
- Mark the right side as your side seam. This is the outside of the leg
- Get your measurement for your inseam, mine was 30", and mark that up from the hem line, 2" above the bottom. We are going to shape the crotch at this point on the leg.
- For the front leg, at the crotch point, measure the thigh width and put a mark.
Step 7: The Front Leg
- Draw a curved line on either side of the thigh line, making a gentle slope towards the hem and a deeper curve towards the waistband
- Make a point about one inch below the top on the left side, above the crotch, as in the image
- Join the point to the top of the leg, shortening the waistband slightly
- On both sides, taper the waist slightly by 1"
Step 8: Create the Back Leg
- Make a point to the left of the thigh line, using the Bum Ease measurement
- Draw a gentle curve towards the hem
- Make a point two inches above and slightly to the left of the top of the waistband
- Fill in a deep curve joining the two points, as in the image
- You can refer to your model PJ Pants to see the curve of the back centre seam
- Bring in the pant leg if you prefer, you can use your model PJ's to determine the leg width at the bottom, I brought it in 1.5"
- Cut out the pattern piece using the back leg lines
Step 9: Cut Out Your Back Leg Pieces
- Lay your fabric out, right side up
- Fold over a piece large enough for your back leg pattern piece, keeping right sides together
- Place your pattern on the fabric with the side seam along the folded edge of the fabric
- Pin your pattern in place
- Compare to the model PJ's one last time
- Cut out your pattern
Step 10: Cut Out Your Front Leg Pieces
- Fold your pattern to the front leg lines, you will need to cut the curves
- Fold your material right sides together
- Pin the pattern to the fabric
- Note: if you have stripes or a pattern you want to match on either leg, line that up now
- Cut out the pattern
Step 11: Sew the Centre Seams
- The front centre seam is already set up for you! Take the two pieces as they are, straight from being cut, and sew the centre seam, right sides together.
- Sew all seams with a min 3/8" seam allowance, or with a serger
- The green yarn is marking the front centre seam to be sewn
- Do the same for the back centre seam, you will end up with two very pant-like pieces!
Step 12: Sew the Inner Leg Seam
- Lay the back leg piece, right side up
- Place the front leg piece on top, right side down, so the right sides are together
- Line up the centre seams and pin
- Line up the bottom of the legs and pin
- Work towards the centre, pinning the inner leg seam
- If the pieces don't line up exactly, pin them so the extra is around the centre seam, and pull tight when sewing
- Sew the inner leg seam with 3/8" allowance or use a serger
Step 13: Sew the Side Seams
- Pin the side seams, right sides together
- Sew up the sides
Step 14: Measure the Waistband
- Try on your pants!
- If you would like a drawstring, place two button holes at the front centre seam, pin the locations first
- Fold down 1.5" or 2", depending on your preference
- Measure the elastic, minimum your waist circumference plus 2", leave some room for sewing
- Try on your pants!
Step 15: Sew the Waistband
- Pin the centre back so you don't sew the waistband completely shut, you need to leave an inch or two to insert the elastic
- Sew the waistband
- Insert the elastic into the waistband with a pin or by tying a knot
- Try on your pants!
- Pin the elastic where it feels comfortable
- Sew the elastic together
- Sew the gap shut where you insert the elastic
- Insert a ribbon through the buttonholes in the front
Step 16: Hem the Bottoms
- Hem the bottoms to fit
Step 17: Enjoy!! But If You Need to Adjust...
- For bunching or bulging in the front, you need a deeper front centre curve, cutout of the bottom front seam
- starting at the point where all four pieces join at the crotch, grab your front centre seam
- sew a deeper curve, or C, near the crotch, and taper towards the seam at the top, carving out a curve
- try on the pants, if it's better, trim the excess material
- you need more material in the bum, you can either add to the top or the crotch
- reduce your waistband foldover amount, giving an inch or so of fabric, try the pants on
- if you need more, sew on a band to make your waistband for the back pieces, recuperating another inch
- if you still need more, add a diamond shaped piece near the crotch
I hope you love your pants! Remember that you can make these as gifts for Christmas or any occasion... make matching pairs for the whole family! Make a pair with cow print for your Dad!
Wear them all winter, they are the best ever!