Easy-to-Sew Pajama Pants


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Are you ready to sew some adorable PJ pants for your whole family? This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to make easy-to-sew pajama pants in any size.

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

Create the pajama pant pattern using an existing pair of pants.

 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.

Fold the fabric before cutting the legs 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.

Cut the fabric using the pants as your guide. Be sure to leave inches of fabric on either side.

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.

Cut bright rectangles out of contrasting fabric to create cuffs for your easy-to-sew pajama pants.

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.

Line up the bottom edge of the cuff and stitch together as shown using your sewing machine.

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

Fold the fabric over and stitch the cuff in place using your sewing machine.

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

Sew the cuffs in a straight line along the bottom of the pant leg.

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

Pin the pants and stitch them together.

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.

Line up the cuffs and pin the two sides together, right side facing inward.

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

Use your sewing machine to stitch the easy-to-sew pajama pants together.

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.

Once the pants are ready, turn them right side out and stitch the inseam.

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

Fold the cuff over and pin to the leg of your pajama 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 down the cuff of your pajama pant leg using your sewing machine.

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!

Pin along the top of the waistband of your pajama pants after folding it over.

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

Leave a gap in the waistband of your pajama pants--this is so you can thread through the elastic.

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.

Use a big safety pin on the end of the elastic--this makes it easier to thread the elastic through the waist band of your pajama pants.

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!

Once you've stitched the ends of the elastic together, your easy-to-sew pajama pants are ready to wear!

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!

Are you ready to sew some adorable PJ pants for your whole family? This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to make easy-to-sew pajama pants in any size.


  1. Gail
    December 20 at 10:32AM

    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!

  2. Melissa N
    December 20 at 12:28PM

    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!

  3. December 20 at 02:30PM

    Hello , guys ! Nice information for those who are searching for ladies to be with them. You have found the right place . Ypu will see the craziest just on that page .

  4. December 27 at 03:13PM

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

  5. megan
    May 6 at 10:09PM

    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!!

  6. Samantha J
    June 25 at 07:57PM

    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!

  7. June 29 at 06:35AM

    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!

  8. Melania Schlosser
    September 4 at 03:04AM

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

  9. September 19 at 04:57PM

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

  10. Vicki D
    October 15 at 05:41PM

    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.

  11. Anonymous
    October 19 at 11:17PM

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

  12. Nicole B
    October 21 at 10:04PM

    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!

  13. Jamie
    November 4 at 06:59AM

    How do I figure out how much elastic to cut?

    • Sylvia
      November 29 at 09:30PM

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

  14. December 11 at 01:00AM

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

    • Jessica G.
      September 9 at 09:46PM

      What type of fabric is this?

  15. December 21 at 07:48AM

    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.

  16. Anonymous
    December 23 at 10:24PM

    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. 🙂

  17. June 7 at 12:21PM

    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

  18. Nichole
    June 16 at 09:44AM

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

  19. July 20 at 09:38AM

    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.

  20. September 28 at 05:28AM

    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!

  21. Shiny
    November 8 at 10:13PM

    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.

  22. Megan
    November 23 at 04:38PM

    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.

  23. December 17 at 07:29PM

    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!

  24. FizzH
    March 24 at 08:44AM

    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 🙂

  25. jen
    September 11 at 10:48PM

    ran across this tonight and was feeling like a project….turned out wonderful…. thank you so much 🙂

  26. Donna
    October 18 at 02:35PM

    Great tutorial! I am teaching sewing classes at an orphanage in Honduras. The kids requested that they learn to make pajamas. I was struggling with how to help them with the design (there are no patterns in Honduras so they learn to sew by designing their own!) and your tutorial is perfect. I can’t wait to see all the children in new pjs for their “Fashion Show Fiesta” at the end of our week together. Thank you Ruth.

  27. Kathy
    September 23 at 07:07PM

    Just made Halloween the sailor pants for my grandson. Used the legs of my husbands sailor suit from 55 years ago. Now to try to mini size the jumper.
    Instructions were easy to follow. Thanks

  28. Annie
    December 19 at 07:34PM

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! My husband has asked me to make him pajamas for the last FOUR YEARS and I keep putting it off. I had another pattern but it was so complicated! This one looks so easy and I can’t wait to try it!

  29. Jessica G.
    September 9 at 09:39PM

    What type of fabric did you use for these? Excited to try this tutorial!

  30. Jessica G.
    September 9 at 09:40PM

    What type of fabric did you use for these? I cant wait to try the tutorial!

  31. Ruth Soukup
    September 10 at 02:30PM

    You can use a light weight cotton fabric or a light weight flannel. 🙂

  32. Britty
    December 17 at 07:33PM

    What type of material is best? I am not making PJs per say but I am making scrub bottoms and this sounds like a pretty simple way! Thank you.

    • Ruth Soukup
      December 18 at 12:48PM

      Hi Britty,
      I used some light weight cotton fabric. You might want to double check with the staff at your favorite fabric store for details about what type of fabric would be better to use for making scrubs. 🙂

  33. ella schmetterling
    January 14 at 11:55AM

    thank you easy diy

  34. Jennie Ferrone
    December 14 at 11:37AM

    804 E. GARDEN ST.

  35. Laura Wessels
    January 13 at 02:23PM

    This is really easy and very cute!

  36. Mary
    January 13 at 02:26PM

    Is it really comfortable? Looks really very easy. But I am not sure that that is how it is made. I have a professional sewing machine web link, but I don’t think that is enough to make pyjama like from the store.

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