I am far too pleased with myself today, as I have made my first functional item of clothing! Well, pyjama trousers anyway. I used an old sheet, and cut the fabric so I didn’t have to hem the bottom of the legs (lazy me).They are not quite perfect (I have high standards!) but I will be building on the experience to make even more exciting things in the future. I used a couple of Pinterest tutorials, from Gluesticks and My Cotton Creations to help with the engineering of it. I took pictures throughout the process, but the earlier photos were taken when it was quite dark, so they are not very good quality. The later ones are much better! Hopefully the process makes some sense though.
- Fabric (measure your existing pjs and a bit extra to work out how much fabric you will need)
- Wide elastic (enough to fit around your waist comfortably)
- Pattern paper
- Pins, cotton, fabric scissors
- A pair of pyjama trousers which fit
- Trace around one leg of a pair of pyjama trousers on your pattern paper, and add a seam allowance around the curved leg seam. Also, don’t forget to add a couple of inches at the waist, to accommodate the waistband.
- Fold your fabric, and line straight edge of your pattern against the folded edge.
- I took a genius tip from David from the Great British Sewing Bee. He suggested taping your pattern onto the fabric instead of pinning it. Pinning seems to be where I panic, and I end up making the fabric slip out of shape. Taping the pattern and then cutting the fabric made life so much easier – no slipping and it also saved so much time. I’ll definitely be trying it again. I used normal masking tape, as it was only on the fabric for a short time, it was fine.
- TIP – When you cut your trouser legs, make sure you have a left and a right one, especially if you’re cheating like me and use an existing hemmed edge!
- With the fabric right side together, pin the inside leg seams and sew to the bottom of the crotch. Finish with a zig zag stitch to reduce the likelihood of the fabric fraying.
- Now for sewing the crotch, I used Gluesticks methodology, which is to keep one of your trouser legs inside out, and then insert the other trouser leg into the first one, so right sides are facing each other. Gluesticks explains better than me! Line up the leg seams, and then pin and sew the crotch seams. I double sewed the crotch to give it a bit more strength. Zig zag the edges to reduce the likelihood of fraying.
- Once you have finished the crotch seam, put your trousers the right way round. Try them on, and pin where your waistband needs to be. Measure out and cut your elastic.
- Fold over the fabric for your waistband, and tuck the raw edges under. Pin in place and then sew. Make sure the waistband is wide enough to accommodate your elastic. TIP – leave a gap of around 2 inches around one of the seams to insert and pull out your elastic.
- Pull the ends of the elastic out, sew them together and tuck them back into the waistband. TIP – make sure the elastic has not been twisted in the waistband, and is straight before you sew it together. Sew the gap in the waistband together.
- You could add embellishments if you want, such as a lace or ruffled hem. My Cotton Creations gives instructions on how to make a nice ruffle edge. You could also make them Capri length or short length. Shorts are on my list to try, as I have some pillowcases which would work well! This idea can be scaled up or down, according to size, just make sure you have enough fabric to hand. I’d love to hear from you if you try making a pair yourself.