Most guides for making these pants tell you to trace some PJ's that you already own. My guide will show you how to take your measurements, draw a pattern for your pants, and then make them! All in one convienient place.
To make these pants you will need a few things:
1. Sewing Machine
2. Tape Measure and stiff ruler or straight edge
3. Marker/ Fabric Maker (I just use sharpies)
4. Fabric. About 1 1/2 yards for the pair I made. If you are larger than you will need more, smaller obviously needs less. I will mention at the beginning of this guide how to know how much fabric to buy.
5. string or ribbon or elastic for around the waste
7. A camera to show me your results!
Step 1: Getting Everything Together!
The first thing to do is to have all of the stuff you will be needing in one place. That list is in the intro if you need to refer back to it.
If you are just looking at the pattern and havent bought the fabric yet, here is how you can find out how much to buy.
First off, go ahead and use this guide to make up a pattern. That way you will know the length of your pants. DO NOT! Measure your leg and assume that is the length you will be working with. I put the pattern tutorial in here for a reason. After you have your pattern made, check the length of the straight edge on your pattern (including the crotch length). Most fabrics are between 44"-54" wide. If your length is shorter than 44", than you have it easy, just double the distance around the largest part of your leg (the same measurement used in the pattern) and get slightly more than that in fabric.
If that is too confusing then here is math. xD My leg is 23" around, I added 3" for comfort, so I double 26", giving me 52". So I need slightly more than 52" in fabric, since my length is short enought to use the width of fabric on a roll. I go ahead and get 1.5 yards and use the extra fabric to make a tie around the waist instead of elastic.
If your length is too long to use that trick, then you will need to do a little math to see how you can get the most for your dollar. My pants are fleece and cost me $4.
Now for the tutorial part! If anything at all is confusing, feel free to message me, or if you just need help with something. I will be glad to help.
Step 2: Making a Pattern!
This part should not take you very long at all, if you have trouble getting a measurement, dont guess, because things never end well when you guess and sew. Ask someone to help you measure yourself, or find a pair of pants that fit well and measure them. First off, you will need 6 measurements, so pull out your tape measure. Do not try to use a stiff ruler for measuring because it doesnt work well. Tape measures only cost about a dollar at places like walmart and they can be used for more things than sewing.
Measure these 6 places:
1. Distance Around your waist where the pants are going to sit (some people like their pants low, some like them high)
2. Measure from where the pants are going to sit (measurement 1 if you cant keep up) to the middle of your crotch area. Yup, right in the middle of your legs. This measurement needs to follow the curve of your body, not a straight line from where your waist is to your crotch.
3. The distance around the widest part of your leg. Just one leg, not both. This is usually right under your crotch in the upper thigh area.
4. Your inseam length. From the middle of your crotch again, down to the bottom of the heel of your foot. (dont fudge this to make you feel taller, you will waist fabric and will be tripping over your pants. besides, no one here is watching you measure.)
5. Distance around foot hole. How big do you want the foot opening to be? Do you like your pants tight or loose? I like my pants really big and loose, so I use 24" as my measurement, but this is really up to you. If you cant decide, use cheap fabric to make a mock pair, put them on, if its too big or small, change the measurement!
6. The distance around the widest part of your hips. (Sometimes this can be in the upper leg area if your legs are bigger than your hips) Make sure this is accurate, otherwise you wont be able to fit into your pants!
Step 3: Arranging Your Measurements Into a Pattern!
Depending on how you are going to make your pants stay up, you might not use measurement #1. If your are using elastic, you will want to put about 2-3" less than this length, so that it holds your pants up. I use ribbon to tie my pants up, so I dont use Measurement #1.
Please refer to the pictures for this part. Because it might get a little confusing.
First of all, draw the shape that I have made in the first picture. This is your basic pattern.
The top line of the pattern is your waist line, the straight line is the side down your leg, the curve goes across the croth and the shorter straight line is your inseam on the inside of your leg.
I put a list of my measurements so that you can see where I am coming from with my numbers, though the math is basic.
For the top line, you will want to put 1/4 of your waist measurement (measurement #6) + .5". The .5 gives you room for the seam and wiggle room so it is not a tight fit putting on your pants.
Your next number is how far down your curved line goes. This is the crotch length + 1" (you may want to use more than 1" if you want to fold down the top more than once when making the seam.) If you dont know what I am talking about, go ahead and add 2 inches.
Next, we will use the distance around your leg. If you like your pants baggy like mine, add a few inches to the number you measured (I got 23" I am making mine 3" bigger and using 26" as my leg size). Even if you dont want your pants as baggy as mine, add at least a half inch for the seam and wiggle room so your pants dont rip!
So, take 1/2 of your leg size and mark is across the bottom of the crotch length measurement. If you cant look at the picture then have the leg measurement start (according to my measurements) 11" below the top left corner and stretch the measurement to the weird corner thing in my pattern. >.> I dont think there is a technical term for that. If there is...thats just plain weird.
Next, add 3" to your inseam length and right it in for that slanted line leading from the crotch to toe. Thats simple enough.
And finally, take half of your foot hole measurement and right it in for the straight line across the bottom.
WAH-LA! Very simple pattern. No it is not to scale, but you can use newspaper or packing paper, or even drafting paper to make a to scale version, but that would be more expensive than i'm willing to do, and would add a good chunk of time.
By the way, if you just free-hand the pattern directly onto the fabric and cut and go, this should only take about 45 minutes to an hour. If you are skilled at sewing and cutting, then it should take less time. This pair that I did while taking pictures took only 30 minutes, and I had to stop to find my camera charger in the middle of the thing. (Not to mention a pesky 7 week old kitten that kept pouncing on my scissors while I was cutting.
Step 4: Putting It on Fabric!
Lay out your fabric on a big open area. I use the floor, because moving on a bed can fold the fabric and make the measurements wrong. If you have a large enough table, that works too.
Fold one side of the fabric over itself so that the folder over piece is about 1/2 an inche longer than 1/2 of your leg measurement. (Equal to the measurement that you put on your pattern, for reference, it is the 13" in my pattern). If your waist measurement on your pattern is bigger than your leg measurement, than make sure your fold is big enough to match that instead of the leg.
I always make the top of my pants (the waistline) even with the edge of my fabric, it is a lot easier to measure this way, since it is best to start at the top and work your way down.
If you went and made an actual size pattern, than you can just trace that and skip these next steps. Also, if you made the pattern, it is equal to 1/4 of the pant size, so put the staight edge along the fold and trace. Do it again on a second fold.
For everyone else. Mark off your waist measurement and measure your crotch length down from the top corner. Mark that spot. Then mark down your leg measurement (my 13"). Connect the 2 dots with a curve. (refer to pictures, I know it gets confusing, but I cant think of a better way to word things.) (I just realized that I marked 9" in my picture, even though my note said 9.5" just pretend I marked 9.5". xD My pants still fit me either way because 9" is a little bigger than I needed.
Go back to the straight edge and measure down the length of your inseam, mark the bottom. Draw a line the length of your foot meausurement from the pattern directly across from this mark. Connect the 2 points at the inseam with a straight line.
Your ready to cut! If you cannot keep the 2 sides of the fabric together while cutting, I sugges that you use pins or safty pins to keep it held together so that your pieces will be equal.
After you cut the first piece out, you can either repeat what you just did (thats what I do) or just trace the piece you just cut out. You should have 2 weird shaped pieces of fabric now. YAY!
Step 5: Time to Sew!
Lay your pieces on top of each other so that the pattern sides are together.
I have seen guides where people had you sew the legs first and then do some crazy manuevering to sew the crotch area, but I find sewing the crotch area first to be WAY easier. So, Stack your pieces like I said and get ready to sew!
You may want to pin the edges together if you are new to sewing or not very good with a sewing machine. I just hold the pieces together and feed it through. It doesnt really matter what setting your machine is on, just make sure it's tight enough and thin enough to hold the pieces together firmly for all the sitting, standing and moving you will be doing.
If you feel the need to reinforce it (if the pants are for children) then you can just go back over the seam again.
Sew only the curve part right now. DO NOT! Sew across the waist, DO NOT! sew down the legs. Sew along the curve and then cut your thread because you are done for now with this part.
Step 6: Sew the Legs!
Grab the middle of the pants now and arrang it so that the seams are in the front middle and rear middle. It should look like a pair of pants with the legs not sewn together. which is what they are.
You are going to sew the seams of the legs. I find it easiest to start at the crotch and go down one leg at a time. Just put one leg of the pants behind the machine while the other runs through the machine.
Make sure that the leg seam runs over the crotch seam, this makes sure that you dont have any holes along your seams. If there are holes, that make weak spots that rip easier.
After you sew the legs we move on to a different subject! How are you going to keep your pants up? Ribbon? Shoe tie? elastic? Decide now!!!
Step 7: The Waistband
In this chapter we will discuss. . . Sorry, pictures take so long to upload that I forget what i'm doing sometimes.
On to the waistband. As I stated, this is purely up to what you like. If you like elastic in your pants, I suggest looking up another guide on doing that, I know there is one around here. I dont know how to do it though. I always just put ribbon or a piece of the same fabric as my pants. This time I used ribbon.
To make a tie waistband, you first want to put a hole about 1 1/2 inches down. If you want to fold under your seam before sewing so you dont have the edge of the fabric on the seam, move the holes about a 1/2 inch further. So, 2 inches from the top of the fabric.
The holes should be about 1-2" apart, equally spaced across the seam in the front. After you cut the small hole, you are going to want to sew around it so that it doesnt rip or fray. Before you sew it, make sure the hole you cut can fit your ribbon or tie.
I am lazy and dont like trying to thread my ribbon through the channel after it has been sewn down, So I fold my ribbon into the channel and then sew the seam. If you do this, BE VERY CAREFUL! If you sew your ribbon in even the tiniest place, it will mess up your whole seam, not only that, but you wont be able to tie your pants to keep them up.
Also watch out for the ends of the ribbon. I have made the pants many times, and twice I have sewn the ends to my pants. The only thing you can really do is cut the tie loose.
Step 8: The Finish!
Now! Turn your pants right side out and try them on! No, we are not finished yet, But we are REALLY REALLY close!
Put your pants on and tie them where you want them to stay, they should sit where you wanted them to if your measurements were right.
Your pants should be about 3" too long. If they are then you followed my directions perfectly. YAY! Now dont trip over them!
If you can, either fold your pants where you want them, or mark it with a marker or safety pin. I use safty pins when I mark my changes, its just easier to move than say, a permanent mark. =P If you cant seem to mark them correctly yourself, it may be quicker to find someone who can help. Stand up straight and make them put the marker on your pants where they meet your heel.
You generally want your pants to be right at your heel, so that they cover most of your feet, but dont drag the ground. Again. The length is entirely up to you, but I suggest, if the pants are for kids, to raise them off the ground at least an inch so that there isnt any tripping at all.
Take the pants back off and turn them inside out. If you are taking back the full 3 inches than make 1 small 1" fold, around the entire bottom, and then another 2" fold over the entire bottom and sew the seam! If the amount you are taking the pants up is different than 3 inches just do it by thirds, the first fold is 1 third of the take up length, the second is 2 thirds. I suggest only putting 1 seam on the bottom of little kids pants so that, if they grow in height, you can just use a seam ripper to take it down some.
After you have take up both legs you are finished!
Step 9: Put Your Pants On!
Turn your pants back right side out and put them on!
Now do a little dance!
Now take a picture and send it to me!
I would have taken a picture of myself in my pants, but thats a hard angle to take a picture of by ones self.
Thanks for reading my very wordy walk through!