We all have that perfect pair of pyjama bottoms – just the right combination of comfiness, cosiness & enough room to account for a mini tea & biscuit feast on an evening! You could try to find a sewing pattern to recreate them, or you can follow our tutorial to create your own pyjama sewing pattern to exactly replicate your favourite PJs!
And the best part is this tutorial can be used to make any size pyjama bottoms. Sewing these is straight forward and definitely possible for a beginner…
This is a two part tutorial
- This post will take you through how to create your pyjama sewing pattern
- The second post in this series will take your through the best pyjama fabric choices & a tutorial on how to sew the pyjama bottoms up
Skill level : Beginner
Approximate sewing time to draft sewing pattern for pyjama bottoms AND sew your pyjama bottoms : A long afternoon
To draft your pyjama bottom sewing pattern you will need
- Swedish Tracing Paper or other Pattern Paper or Pattern Card
- French Curve or ruler
- A pair of pyjama ‘bottoms’ (this could be shorts or trousers) that fit well, with an elastic waistband.
- A sharp pencil.
For fabric requirements & notions requirements are in the next post!
Creating your pyjama bottom pattern
Prepare to trace your pyjama bottoms
1.Turn the pyjama bottoms inside out.
2. Put your hand through the bottom hole of one leg, and take the bottom hole of the other leg, pulling it through so that one leg is inside the other.
3. Flatten and smooth out the trouser legs as much as possible, so that the bottom holes of each leg align.
Tracing the back leg for your pyjama sewing pattern
We’re going to create two pattern pieces for your pyjama bottom pattern – a front leg and a back leg.
4. Lay your pyjama bottoms as flat as possible on the paper, with the back leg of the pyjama bottoms on the paper. Make sure the long side seam is flat on the paper. You will be able to see the inner leg seam.
5. Trace along the bottom and the long side seam up to the waistband, marking the corner of the waistband when you reach it. Roll the fabric away from the long side seam, so that the inner seam is flat to the paper. You need to do this as the back leg is wider than the front leg and you need to get the full width.
6. Now trace along the inner seam. You may need to adjust the seam as you go. As you go up the leg towards the crotch it gets a lot wider, so you might need to roll the fabric and adjust more to make it lie flat to the paper.
7. With the fabric rolled away from the side seam, when you reach the crotch apex only trace a little up. Do not trace any further up to the waistband yet. Watch our video below to help
8. Line up the edge of the waistband with the corner of the waistband you drew earlier. Press down firmly with your fingers to hold it in place.
9. Stretch the waistband out so the fabric is flat against the paper, and not gathered. Hold the centre seam of the waistband in place on the opposite side where you have already marked a corner and trace the edge of the waistband.
10. Release the waistband. Line up the centre seam of your waistband with the line you just traced on the edge of the waistband and make a mark down the centre seam.
11. Line up the crotch of your pyjama bottoms on your traced line and finish tracing the curve from where you initially marked
12. Once you have traced around your pyjamas it is likely that your line will be a little wonky! If you have a French Curve, now’s the time to grab it. You are going to neaten up your drawn lines and smooth out your curves.
One side of the French Curve will be straight, and the other has a variable shaped curve which will fit most curves of any dressmaking pattern. It’s a useful tool to have in your sewing arsenal for pattern alterations – just move the curved edge up and down until you have a curve that best matches your drawn line.
If you don’t have a French Curve – just eye up smoothing out your curves and use your ruler on the straight edges.
Now label this piece ‘Back’ and don’t forget to add seam allowances before use. See the note on seam allowances further down the post
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Tracing the front leg for your pyjama sewing pattern
Now we’re going to create a pattern piece for the front leg using the same method….
13. Turn the pyjama bottoms over and again lay them as flat as possible on the paper, but with the front leg of the pyjama bottoms on the paper. Make sure the long side seam is flat on the paper. Make sure the inner leg seam is hidden under the fabric of the leg.
14. Trace along the bottom and the long side seam up to the waistband.
15. Keeping the fabric in place with your hand, lift the folded fabric edge so that the inner side seam is showing. Trace along the inner side seam, adjusting a few cm at a time until you reach the crotch.
16. As with the back of the leg, line up the waistband with the corner you marked, and stretch the waistband out so the fabric is flat against the paper, and not gathered. Hold the centre seam of the waistband in place on the opposite side and trace down the edge of the waistband.
17. Release the waistband. Line up the centre seam of your waistband with the line you just traced on the edge of the waistband and make a mark down the centre seam.
18. Line up the crotch of your pyjama bottoms on your traced line, and finish tracing the curve from where you initially marked.
19. Label this piece ‘Front’ and don’t forget to add seam allowances before use. See the note on seam allowances further down the post
Creating the waistband
We are creating a casing style waistband – this is where you create a casing and thread the elastic through your casing channel:
You need to measure the width of the elastic, add 0.5cm / ¼” to create a generous casing, and add another 0.5cm / ¼” to fold under. In this case we are using 2cm / ¾” wide elastic. Draw a line parallel to, and 3cm / 1 ¼” from the top waist of your pattern.
Now we want to make the lines you’ve traced a bit clearer and smoother. Use your French curve or ruler to smooth out your traced line. Check out the seam allowance video below for how to use the French Curve.
Adding Seam Allowances To Your Pyjama Bottom Pattern
Measure the seam allowance on your original pyjama bottoms. You can either copy and apply this seam allowance, or use a standard 1cm / ⅜” seam allowance to keep things simple (this is what we did)
You need to apply your seam allowance to the side seams, inner leg seams and crotch curves.
Use your ruler or French Curve for this making little dashes or dots 1cm/ 3/8″ from your smoothed out traced line. Please note: In this video we got carried away adding 3/8″ seam allowance and added that on to the waist when we should have added the waistband (just in case you were wondering why yours was different!)
For the hem, you will need a deeper seam allowance. Decide how wide you would like your hem to be, and add another 0.5cm / ¼” to this measurement. For this sample we used a 1.5cm ⅝” hem, and added 0.5cm / ¼”, which will get folded under to enclose the raw edge. You need to add a line parallel to the hemline, 2cm / ¾” from the bottom leg.
Mark on your pattern pieces the same allowance and hem allowance
Cut around your pattern pieces on the drawn seam allowance line.
You should now have a front and back leg pattern pieces. Well done!
Now it’s time to sew up your pyjama bottoms… See the part 2 of this tutorial here for fabric choices & sewing info
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