Hey y’all – today we’re starting Self Sewing Month, aka Sewing for Women Month, with a free pattern to sew Pajama Shorts, Boxer style. I’ve partnered up with Joann Fabric and Craft Stores for the #SewYourStyle blogger campaign and contest sponsored by Joann and Pellon (Disclaimer – I received compensation for this post. But all opinions are my own, cause I’ve got plenty) to bring you this tutorial.
Truth: ever since I got married, my favorite thing to sleep in for most of the year is a tank top and boxer shorts. Once I had the excuse of pretending I was buying underwear for my husband, I started buying boxers for myself, tee-hee! Something about the front seams that are typically shifted forward and the easy fit of boxer shorts just makes them soooooo comfy.
BUT – my old boxer shorts had elastic that was shot. So it was time for some new sleepwear. So I drafted up a pattern with the same measurements as my favorite pair, leaving off the fly opening (cause why do I need that?) and made these for #SewYourStyle. (Want to enter the contest yourself? Click over to Joann Fabric and Craft Stores to get all the details)
The challenge is to use quilting cotton for something other than quilting. So I went to Joann to choose some quilting cotton to use, and this wild and retro feeling print caught my eye. Even better when I pulled out the bolt and realized that it was Made in America- which is not always easy to find.
An Instagram follower asked if this fabric was scratchy, and I will say that on the bolt it does not have as soft a hand as, say, a premium designer quilting cotton. But since I had this project in mind already, I decided to buy a yard anyway and see what it felt like after washing. It is a teensy bit on the thick side for quilting cotton, but it’s not scratchy after washing. But I wouldn’t make a shirt out of it; not enough drape.
However, it’s perfect for these shorts. (Want to make the tank top? Check this post.)
Want to make your own? You’ll need:
- 1 yard of fabric – this is perfect for quilting cotton
- About 1 yard of 1″ wide elastic – you’ll need enough to go around where you want the shorts to sit, which will probably be around 1″ below your belly button
- You have two choices to download the pattern.
- Subscribe to the Melly Sews Weekly Newsletter. AFTER you sign up, you’ll get a confirmation email – and you have to confirm or my email service can’t send you the free pattern. But once you do confirm, you’ll get access to not just this but several other free patterns. Woot!
- Download the pattern through Craftsy (affiliate link). If you aren’t a member of Craftsy you will be asked to sign up in order to access the pattern.
(PS – if you have trouble finding either your confirmation email or the email with the pattern link, try checking your spam, trash, junk, bulk, social and/or promotional email tabs or folders. Free pattern links are also included in every weekly newsletter; these go out on Friday afternoons. Due to the number of subscribers I can’t email pattern links to individuals.)
Please note that all my patterns are licensed for personal use only (no selling items made from this without a limited production license) and by downloading you are agreeing to this license.
The pattern will fit hip sizes 34″-38″ – which is about a women’s XS-Women’s Medium. Just customize the elastic to your waist measurement. 1/2″ seam allowances are included. If you need to make the pattern bigger or smaller, check out this post.
Cut out two front and 2 back pieces of the shorts, making sure to cut with the fabric folded so that they are mirror images.
Lay the two back pieces (left in the picture below) and the two front pieces (right in the picture below) right sides together, then sew along the crotch seams. Finish this seam. (Don’t know how to finish seams? Check this post).
Open the front and back pieces and lay them right sides together. You can see in the picture above how the front side is not as wide as the back. Match the side edges of the front and back to each other and stitch, then finish these seams. Your shorts will look like the picture below.
Spread the shorts so that you can match the inseams to each other as shown above. Pin and stitch as shown by the white line below. Make sure one seam allowance goes one way and the other goes the other way (arrows in the second picture below); this will be important when inserting the elastic later.
Fold the top edge of the shorts 1/4″ to the wrong side and press. Then fold down again, 1 1/8″ to the wrong side and press again to form a casing for the elastic.
If you want to add a tag to the back of the shorts, stitch it on now. Next, sew the casing close to the bottom folded edge, leaving an opening to insert the elastic. Measure the elastic so it fits about 1″ below your belly button without stretching. Using a safety pin, insert the elastic in the casing.
Overlap the two ends of the elastic and zig-zag stitch them together as shown above. Pull the elastic all the way into the casing and stitch the opening closed.
Finally, create a narrow hem as shown above by folding the bottom edge of each leg 1/4″ to the wrong side twice, pressing and stitching.
And you’re done – check out what the shorts look like below.
Now wear them for lounging on a lazy morning. Oh, and the tank top I’m wearing? You can find that one here.
Happy sewing! (Want to make the tank top? Check this post.)
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