Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pattern-less Favorite PJ Pants

In real life, these pants do not look like they walked out of the 60s. Something about the camera flash makes them look psychedelic purple.

If you're like me, you have a pair of PJ pants that fits just right. You love these PJs, but alas, they are wearing a little thin. You wish you had another pair. Good news! With very basic sewing skills, you can make a pair just like them.

A) First, purchase 1.25 yards of comfy, comfy fabric and one yard of 1-inch elastic. Micro-fleece is wonderful, cozy and very forgiving for the novice seamstress.  Other fabrics work great too. Try not to get something too stretchy if you're just learning, as that can be difficult to maneuver as you're learning the ropes.

B) Get that favorite pair of PJ pants. Turn one leg inside out, and tuck the other leg inside it so it looks like this:
C)  The fabric you bought is probably folded. Fold it into half again, creating 4 layers of fabric.
D) Place your existing pants on the large folded edge of your fabric. Be sure not to place it on the side with raw edges.
E) Cut out two shapes that look just like your pant leg, but leave about 3/4 inch extra down the side, 2.5 inches extra at the top, and 1.5 inches extra at the bottom. This way your new pants won't be too small after you sew the seams. The pieces will look like this:
 Now you are ready to sew! Start your machine engine.

1)  First, roll a nice 3/4 inch hem at the bottom of each pant leg. Sew it. If you are using fleece, use a wide zig-zag or honeycomb stitch so the fabric is still stretchy at the hems.
2) Sew the inseam of each pant leg up to the crotch, again with zig-zag or honeycomb stitch. Make sure to start sewing from the ankle end, so it looks nice and crisp like this:
3) Place the two pant legs together. Using zigzag or honeycomb stitch, sew them together from the top front through the crotch to the top back. Make sure you are sewing them so the inseam can't be seen when finished! If using fleece, overlap one edge over the other and use a zigzag stitch over top of one raw edge.

Trim off other raw edge if using fleece.
4) Create an elastic casing by making a seem that is 1.5 inches wide. Leave an open hole of at least 2 inches to insert elastic.
5) Wrap the elastic you bought around your belt line so it is snug but comfortable. Add 3/4 of an inch to that measurement and cut.
6) Pin one end of the elastic to the center front. Attach a large safety pin to the other end. Use the closed safety pin to feed elastic through hole and around waist of pants.

7) When elastic has been fed all the way around, overlap edges of elastic and stitch together, reinforcing at least once. Make sure the elastic isn't twisted inside the casing.

8) Sew the hole in the waistband closed.
9) You're done!

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