Thursday 17 July 2014

Pyjama Pants - Getting the Right Fit...

I don't have much luck making pants that fit. In fact, in all the years that I've been sewing, I can't recall making one pair of pants that I was happy with, other than track pants. In recent years, I've tried Zumba pants and pyjama pants. In both cases, they were wearable, but the fit was way off.

So, when I came to make some pyjama pants for my daughter, I thought I'd try something I had never attempted before - to draft my own pattern using an existing pair of pyjamas. It looked easy enough and it was. I simply turned the pants inside out and traced around the outside, adding extra for the waistband and hems. To help the pants lie flat, I pinned all layers together for the front (above).  The back (below) was wider than the front, so I measured the difference and drew the pattern accordingly. 

The resulting pants are the pink ones in the top photo. They're not a bad fit, but my daughter asked if I could make the rise (crotch to waist) and the leg length a little longer, if I made another pair. Easily done! I made another pair (not photographed), and they fit exactly as she wanted - comfortable, baggy and long.

This was such an easy exercise. I'm not sure why I waited so long to try making a pattern from an existing garment. Mind you, pyjamas don't have to be an exact fit, so it's a good first garment to try with.

With the success of my daughter's pants, I thought I'd try making some for myself. I could get her pants on, but they were rather tight. To make my pants, I made a new pattern, by combining the commercial pattern I used for my baggy, saggy pyjamas last year, and my daughter's pattern.

The new pattern I made totally fixed the problem of the enormous crotch to waist issue and the length is perfect. I don't like baggy pyjamas, so the fit's not bad, but they could be a little wider. It's not enough to worry me, although I've made a note on my pattern for next time.

And the fit from the back. Can you spot what I've done? My daughter is shorter than me and I can get the right length from the width of the fabric. I just miss out. I forgot to work out how much fabric I'd need before shopping, but the shop assistant assured me I'd only need one metre. Wrong!!! I could only get the fronts out of a metre, so I had to go back to purchase another metre. However, when I unpacked it at home, it was the wrong fabric!!!

Two lessons learned: work out your own fabric requirements and take a swatch if matching fabric.

I wasn't buying any more purple flannelette, so I went with mismatching pyjamas... LOL!!! Whose going to see them anyway?

I had purchased 2 metres of the pale, blue, floral flannelette and so whipped up another pair. They do appear to be baggier than the purple in the photos, but in reality, they're exactly the same.

My new pjs are extremely soft, comfortable and oh, so warm. No more spending money on store bought pyjamas for me. If I plan ahead, I can save heaps buying the fabrics on sale at the end of the season. And, once you have a pattern that fits, they really take no time at all to make.

Have you ever made pyjama pants for yourself? Have you successfully drafted your own patterns from existing garments? If you have, I'd love to see the results. Leave me links in the comments.

I'll be adding my new pyjamas to the Sleepwear link party, here at Threading My Way.

... Pam


  1. Love them! I really enjoy tracing easy clothing to duplicate. I haven't tried anything other than stretch skirt and knit dress. I want to make pjs. I almost bought a pattern and thought, "really?" LOL There isn't much to them if they aren't detailed in anything. I'll have to make me some this winter for sure!

  2. Nice jams - I love that you do so many different types of projects - it's like opening a new magazine every day :D

  3. Very nice! I make a lot of my own patterns when it comes to my son's clothes - it's so easy and I always get a good fit.

  4. They look great! I'll have to try it for pj's when winter comes. I think I have holes in all of my pants-okay, I guess I can sew the holes up, but a new pair for winter is always nice! :)

  5. Really nice...great pattern.

  6. Too funny about the fabric mismatch!

    I did the exact same thing when I wanted new pjs--using a pair I knew fit, and I had the same problem as your daughter. I needed to increase the rise and length, too. I've just bought the fabric to make a few new pairs. Fortunately I saved the original pair I used as a pattern and wrote the changes needed right on them.

    I'm going in the opposite direction with fabric choices. I need lightweight ones for our weather.

  7. I have a skirt I want to make a pattern from - I keep thinking 'How hard can it be?' and then putting the job off for another year (yes, I really can procrastinate!!). Love the PJs!

  8. I can totally relate to not having enough fabric. :-) Good thing they are jammies! Cute pants!

  9. Both purple prints look good, so great 2 prints in 1! :D Making matching pajama pants are on my to-do list for winter. But I do not know which fabric is better, fleece or flannel? I thought fleece was more comfortable, but looking at yours flannel looks comfy too.

  10. Nice jarmies! Great idea making a pattern yourself!

  11. I've been there with the fabric too! Not enough then the wrong extra chunk! A good pair of pj pants is an awesome pattern to have personalized.


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