Project: Sew Pajama Pants

Make a pair of pajama pants that fits you perfectly with this tutorial from Melly SewsYesterday we talked about how to make a pattern for pajama pants based on your favorite pair. If you missed it, here’s the post. Today we’re going to sew pajama pants, which is much easier than making the pattern. I can whip up a pair of these in under an hour now.

If you’d prefer to make a pajama pants pattern from scratch (without a loved pair to start with) see how to do that here.

It’s time to cut out your fabric. For your first time using your pattern, you should probably use muslin or other fabric you aren’t attached to, in case there is an issue. And remember, use knit fabric if you copied knit pajamas, woven fabric if you copied woven pajamas.

You need to cut 2 fronts, 2 backs, 1 waistband and if you’re adding cuffs, have fabric left over for that (we’ll measure for those in a little bit). Make sure you have your fabric folded while you cut, so that you get a right and left front and a right and left back.

Start by sewing your front pieces together along the rise line, right sides together. Do the same thing for the back rise.

Sew Pajama Pants with Melly Sews

Now lay your pants front on your pants back, right sides together, matching the outseams.  Sew down these seams, then line up your crotch seam and inseams and sew down this all in one long seam. Your pant front may be narrower than your pant back, so match the fabric edges.

Sew Pajama Pants with Melly Sews

Sew short ends of the waistband together to form a loop. Line this seam up with the center back seam, and pin your waistband around the top of your pants. Stitch in place.

Sew Pajama Pants with Melly Sews

Iron the other edge of the waistband under slightly, then pin it so it barely covers the seam joining the waistband to the pants.

Sew Pajama Pants with Melly Sews

Stitch right next to the waistband to secure it in place, leaving an opening to insert elastic.

Sew Pajama Pants with Melly Sews

Insert your elastic

Sew Pajama Pants with Melly Sews

Sew your elastic into a loop and sew the opening closed.

Sew Pajama Pants with Melly Sews

Now, you could hem your pajamas and be done, but if you want some variations, keep reading.

If you are adding cuffs to your pants, now is the time to measure and sew. These get made and sewn on the same way as the waistband, without the elastic. Unless that’s the look you’re going for.

Sew Pajama Pants with Melly Sews

You might want to add piping into the cuff seam, or as I did on this pair, a little bit of double fold bias tape peeking out.

To add it, I basted the bias tape with the open end on my seam allowance (so towards the bottom edge of the pants) and then sewed on the cuff piece. I pressed it flat before sewing the legs closed.

Sew Pajama Pants with Melly Sews

What if you want a drawstring waistband instead of elastic? It’s a very easy switch. First of all, if you want a drawstring, you will probably need to make the waistband narrower, and increase the length of the top of the pants by the same amount that you took away from the waistband. Next, before attaching the waistband, you’ll add buttonholes on either side of the center front, like this:

Sew Pajama Pants with Melly Sews

Sew the waistband in the same way you would for an elastic waistband and then thread your drawstring through the buttonholes you made. I also find drawstrings more comfortable when I cut the drawstring in half and sew a couple inches of thin elastic to the cut ends – this gives the drawstring a little bit of give and makes it more comfortable in my opinion.

Try on your pants – you’re done!


And then celebrate by jumping on the bed!

Sew Pajama Pants with Melly Sews Sew Pajama Pants with Melly Sews

Sew Pajama Pants with Melly Sews

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  1. Laura says

    I enjoyed your idea of using the bias tape and adding another fabric. Made the PJ’s I made for my kids super cute!

  2. Alyssa says

    Hi there – can you explain how you attached the cuffs with the bias tape in a little more detail? did you stitch “inside” the bias tape fold then simply fold it down over the stitches which attach the cuff (any worries when you wash them the “piping” wont lay flat?) – or did you stitch over the tape once folded? Did you layer the pant leg, tape and then the cuff (right side all facing up) when you attached them?? i cant quite tell where you stitched on the bias (is it at the bottom of the bias then your ironed the rest down?) or how exactly you attached the cuff. I am (obviously) a beginner and I am making pajamas for everyone this Christmas with contrasting cuffs and I am interested in hiding the stitching as much as possible (b/c i can never seem to sew in a straight line:). thank you so much!

    • Lindsey says

      My question concerns the cuff and the bias strip as well (I too am a beginner). Melly, did you use 1/4 inch double fold bias tape? And if you could explain a little more about how you attach the second fabric, the cuff fabric, beneath the bias tape it would be most helpful. Thank you!

  3. Janis Dressler says

    I’m so happy to have made my own pattern for PJ bottoms based on your instructions! My first pair came out just as I had hoped. I actually used a bed sheet for the fabric! I’m going to be making my own PJ pants from now on. Thanks, I loved this project!

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