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Summer Sewing School {make pajama pants}

Note:  If you’re wondering how to sewing and not break your budget, I’ve written a guest post for Money Saving Mom titled Five Ways to Save Money on Sewing Supplies. There are some great ideas in the comments so be sure to read those also.
In the hustle and bustle of getting ready for children’s camp and then being gone, I seem to have gotten my weeks mixed up. After I got all the pictures up for the pajama pants and was copying and pasting the supply list, I realized we are supposed to be making totes this week. For a brief moment, I thought about whipping up a tote. Then I came back to my senses and thought you guys might, just might, be okay if we made pajama pants this week and the tote next week.
Week 4 {Supplies}Pattern for pajama pants (pj pants are all pretty much constructed the same, so you can chose to use the instructions that come in the package or the ones I give in the tutorial)
1 – 1 1/2 yards of cotton or flannel fabric (I like to use vintage and flannel sheets for pj pants)
1/2″ to 1″ inch wide elastic (1/4″ if making toddler pants)
Straight pins
Safety pin
Seam Ripper
Ruler or measuring tape
Rotary Cutter (optional)
Cutting Mat (optional)

Week 4 {Skills Learned}: cutting out a pattern and inserting elastic

  • Pin pattern to fabric and cut out along the line for the size you want. Make sure to cut out the notches – which are the little triangles along the edges.
  • I used a flannel sheet so I put the leg bottoms all the way to the edge (which was the top of the sheet) so that I will not have hem them.

  •  Pin the outside seam (the one on the outside of the leg) right sides together
  • Sew the seam using a 5/8″ seam allowance (I usually start from the bottom and sew up to the waist line just in case the ends don’t quite match up when I’m done.)

  • Finish the seam using a zigzag stitch off the edge. This will keep the fabric from fraying. You can also use pinking shears (zigzag scissors) and cut away about 1/4″ of the seam allowance.
  • Do this for both legs
  • Now that the outside seam is sewn and finished, you need to decide if you are going to embellish the bottoms of the pants with ric rac or ribbon. I use ric rac 2 different way on pajama pants (shown in the next two graphics)

  • If the pants do not need to be hemmed because I’ve used sheets, I like to sew some ric rac or ribbon a few inches up from the bottom – usually along the hem seam.
  • If the pants will need to be hemmed (and by the way, I hate hemming) I will add ric rac to the very bottom of the pants by (1) zig zagging off the edge (2) sewing the ric rac along the bottom of the right side of the fabric and (3) flipping the ric rac over so that it hangs off the bottom and stitching close to the edge of the fabric

  • Pin the inside of the leg together and sew a 5/8″ seam allowance and then zig zag or use pinking shears to finish the seam. This is just like you did for the outside seam. Do this to both legs.
  • You should now have 2 legs that are not attached to each other, but that look pretty good.
  •  Turn one leg right side out
  • Put the leg that you turned right side out inside the other leg

  •  Match up the seam and the notches and pin
  • Sew the seam using a 5/8″ seam allowance. Reinforce the crotch area by sewing over the first seam.
  • Finish the seam with either a zig zag or pinking shears
  •  To make the casing for the elastic, fold over the top about 1 1/2″ (2″ if you are using 3/4″ or 1″ elastic) and iron  (if your pattern calls for a drawstring, you can follow those instructions or you can substitute elastic and not worry with the buttonholes)
  • Open and then fold over top until it touches the crease you just made. Iron. Fold that part down on the original crease.
  • Pin and sew very close to the edge leaving about 2″ unsewn to put in the elastic.
  • I like to add a piece of ribbon or of fabric that I have folded over as a tag for the back.
  •  Cut a piece of elastic that is a couple of inches smaller than your waist (you will need to actually measure your waist for this and then write it down so you don’t have to do it next time you want to make pj pants)
  • To insert the elastic, put a safety pin on one end
  • Gently feed the safety pin to the unsewn part of the casing. Continue moving the safety pin through the casing until you come to the unsewn part again. Sometimes it will get hung up in the seams, just back it out a little and try again.
  • Over lap the 2 ends and sew them together.
  • Put pull the waistband so that the last bit of the elastic goes into it and then stitch the opening shut.

  • If you need to hem your pants, turn them inside out and follow the instructions for making the elastic casing only don’t leave an opening to insert elastic. (It really very easy, I’m not sure why I hate hemming)
  • Now that you have some pretty comfy pjs, celebrate with some ice cream.

Thanks for sharing with your friends!