Easy-to-Sew Pajama Pants

Pajama Pants

One of our very favorite Christmas traditions is staying in our pajamas all day on Christmas Day–even right through Christmas dinner.  While we don’t usually get new ones every year, it has been a few years since our last set, so I decided that this year, in the spirit of our handmade holiday, I would make matching pajama pants for everyone.

I have explained in previous sewing posts that I am really not a very technical sewer.  My seams aren’t always perfectly lined up and I never bother pre-washing my fabric, and I finish my inside edges with a pinking shears rather than a serger.  I usually shoot for function rather than perfection, and time-wise, that approach pays off.  Each pair only took about an hour to make.  If you are really nit-picky or have advanced sewing skills then this tutorial will probably make you crazy.  Consider yourself warned! :-)

Here is what you will need:

main fabric (about 1 yard  for kids’ pants or 2 1/2 yards each for adult pants)
contrasting fabric for cuffs (1/4 yard is plenty)
pinking shears & scissors
sewing machine
pins & safety pin
pants or leggings to use as a pattern

 Lay pants or leggings down on fabric to see how much fabric you will need.  For the kids’ pants (shown) cut the fabric as shown, leaving a couple inches at the top and bottom.  For the adult pants you will need TWICE the length of the pants.

For the kids pants, fold the fabric as shown, then fold once more so that it is in 4 layers.  You will probably not be able to do this for the adult pants unless your fabric is very wide or your pants are very skinny, but for the kids pants it saves a lot of fabric.  For the adult pants, fold your fabric lengthwise so that you have 4 layers as well.

Using your pants as a guide, cut fabric in shape of pants, being sure to leave several inches of extra fabric at the top, and widening the legs to make nice straight leg pajamas.

To make the contrasting cuffs, cut 4 rectangles of the contrasting fabric that are approximately 4-6 inches wide and as long as the bottom of the pajama pant leg.

Next place one cuff on bottom of one pant leg with right sides together, lining up bottom edges.  Stitch together as shown.

Fold contrasting fabric down, then stitch in place; repeat these 2 steps for all 4 pant legs.

When you are done they should look like the picture above.

Next, pin 2 of the pieces with right sides together on the curved section as shown, from the top of waist to the crotch.  Stitch together and remove pins.  Repeat for second set of pieces.

Open up pieces as shown and pin together with right sides facing in, lining up cuffs as well as you can.

Once pinned together, stitch the inside seam, starting at the bottom of one leg and curving around the crotch, then finishing at the bottom of the other leg.  You can reinforce the crotch with extra stitches, if desired.  Next, stitch the outside seam on either side.

When you turn it right-side-out, it should now look like pants!

Fold the cuff over into the inside, then pin in place.  I placed the pins on the outside so that I could see them while I sewed.

Stitch cuff in place by following existing stitch line.  You could use a matching thread to your fabric so it doesn’t show; I just use white for everything because it is cheaper and easier!

Once your cuffs are done, fold the top of waist over just enough to finish the raw edges, then pin and stitch in place.

Fold waist again, this time about 1 1/2″, and pin in place.  Mark pins at the stop and start line, as you will need to leave an opening for the elastic.  Stitch closed, stitching along the bottom fold to leave room for the elastic.

Cut elastic to proper length, leaving a few inches allowance, then attach to a safety pin and guide elastic through waistband.  Stitch 2 elastic ends together and then fix waist so that it is evenly gathered all around.  Voila!  You’re done!

I couldn’t have the girls model them since they are a surprise for Christmas Eve, but I did try mine on and take a picture in the mirror.  I purposely made mine extra big & long to be extra comfy, and I can’t WAIT to wear them!

super EASY-to-sew pajama pants!  This simple step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly what to do to make cute PJ pants in any size without a pattern! #sewing #pajamas

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Does your family wear new PJs on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?  What are your other favorite Christmas traditions? 

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{ 25 comments… add one }

  • Gail December 20,

    These are great! Definitely trying this very soon, although I don’t know if I will get to it before Christmas! Thanks Ruth! Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family!

  • Melissa N December 20,

    I don’t sew jammies but my girl gets a new pair every year on Christmas Eve. This year I waited to long to get them for a price I want to pay and I almost did find a pair. So I may have to give this a try in the future. Thanks for sharing all of your ideas–love them! I am looking forward the the 2nd post on the doll bed. I want to make one for my girl but will wait for a Bday gift as hubby is making her a horse stable for her horses for Christmas. Merry Christmas! God Bless!

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  • Ruth December 27,

    These new jammies are so cute. Your girls will look so cute with them.

  • megan May 6,

    HI! I can’t tell exactly from the picture- when you cut it out, 2 “right sides” should be face up and 2 “wrong sides”, right? So you end up with 2 sets of symmetrical pieces? I’m trying to figure this one out in my mind- this tutorial looks pretty do-able! Also, what kind of fabric did you use? :) Thanks!!

  • Samantha J June 25,

    This is a great tutorial. Easy to follow. I made a pair for my son’s 4th birthday in about an hour, in Cars themed print I had laying around. Thanks!

  • Cristina B June 29,

    Finally someone who speaks my kinda sewing language! I like perfection yes but not at the expense of NEVER having anything done on time and kids growing out of their new clothes before I can finish them. I’m still very much a newbie that has gotten lucky with an awesome sewing machine free, embroidery machine cheap and serger almost free… But have no earthly idea on how to use anything but the basics. So I don’t really buy much fabric at the moment just use bed sheets that don’t get used but are super cute :) (or on clearance!) Thanks for making me feel ok about my closet sewing skills!

  • Melania Schlosser September 4,

    I LOVED the instructions!! Thats excatly how I sew!

  • clothing September 19,

    Hi, I log on to your blog on a regular basis.
    Your writing style is awesome, keep it up!

  • Vicki D October 15,

    I would say the advantage of washing your fabric is that they won’t shrink later, and they won’t be scratchy when you wear them the first time. And if you are like me and too lazy to make patterns, buy one when JoAnn’s has them for 99 cents.

  • Anonymous October 19,

    I’ve been look for a simple tutorial!! Love this one! Great work!

  • Nicole B October 21,

    Making matching Christmas pj’s for the whole family, and I made my first pair today using this tutorial!! Thank you so much for posting! Your directions are super easy to follow. I didn’t use the same hem, instead I just used a blind hem, but they came out awesome! Thank you!

  • Jamie November 4,

    How do I figure out how much elastic to cut?

    • Sylvia November 29,

      Jamie, to figure out the elastic, measure the elastic around your waste, stretching it a little so that it is a bit snug.

  • Kiki @ Choosing to Cherish December 11,

    I just bought the same fabric from Joann. Can’t wait to sew it. Thank you!

  • Nikki Gillette December 21,

    What a wonderful tutorial! My daughter sewed her first project yesterday – a quilt top – and I think she is HOOKED! This may be a good next project.

  • Anonymous December 23,

    your non-nit picky style fits my self taught by the seat of my pants style perfectly….thanking you for saving xmas 2013 and thinning out my stash before it reaches horde levels. :)

  • Kathy MacKenzie June 7,

    Great idea for this Christmas I’m also going to make some pj shorts for this warmer weather . Thanks for your time .
    Kathy in Nottingham, MD

  • Nichole June 16,

    Can you use any kind of fabric or are there ones tang are better? New to the sewing world.

  • maaike July 20,

    I found your tutorial on Pinterest and i tried it rightaway. But how do you know how many inches you have to leave to each side when you cut your fabric? Because mine failed, the waist was to small.

  • career coach training September 28,

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this
    post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going
    to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  • Shiny November 8,

    Just now I finished sewing a pajama pant for me. Your instructions are perfect for beginners like me. I have a nice sewing machine which I got for free. I always wanted to learn sewing, but never got the time and opportunity. Your tutorial has given me a good start. Thanks a lot. Please post more for beginners.

  • Megan November 23,

    I’ve had problems before with cutting the fabric with too much on the sides and then having to hem them. Will I have this problem? I’m just so nervous because these will be for all the niece’s and nephew’s Christmas presents this year.

  • Aimee December 17,

    Hi there,
    I’m hoping to make a set of these for the family. With a few of the other patterns I’ve run into there not being quite enough room through the bum. Have you had any problem with that? Thanks!

  • FizzH March 24,

    I’ve never made trousers before but chose this tutorial to follow to make a pair of pirate trousers for my 6 year old for a pirate party. So far so good, they’re half made! Plan to finish in the next couple of days. Tutorial is certainly easy to follow with plenty of clear pictures. Thank you :)


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