Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pillowcase Pajama Pants

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog about our vacation to the Pacific Northwest to bring you MY FIRST SEWING TUTORIAL!!! (It's almost too easy to even be a tutorial and basically I just repeated the exact same steps from My Two Butterflies where I got the idea from originally but here goes.)

These pants were made using two standard size pillowcases. They are made for a child size 6-6X.

 Step 1. Select a current pair of pants that you like the fit and fold them in half to use for your pattern. Lay your pillowcase open just as you would if you were going to stuff a pillow into it (and if yours have the serious fold lines in them like mine do, you might want to iron them first. As you can see, I didn't.) Line up the outside seam of your pants on the folded side of the pillowcase. Trace around your pants adding a 1/4" - 1/2" seam allowance. At the waistband you'll want to go straight up to the top of the pillowcase instead of following the current waistband. This is to account for the elastic waistband and casing you'll be adding. The elastic will pull the waist in just like your current pajama pants. (Click on any of the pictures to see them larger for a better explanation.)

Step 2. Cut that piece out and then lay it on your second pillowcase, also on the fold. Now cut out your second leg WITHOUT adding a seam allowance since you already accounted for that in the first leg that you just cut out. (As a side note, these pants can be made out of only one pillowcase if you start with a skinnier pants as your pattern piece. I happen to like the wide-leg look and feel of the original pajama pants but that led to me having to use two pillowcases for my new pants.)

Step 3. Cut off the closed end of the two pillowcase legs you've created.

Step 4. Open up the two pieces you cut out and lay them down, right sides together (so you're looking at the inside, or wrong side, of the pillowcase.) Pin along the two curves and sew.

Step 5. Open up your pillowcase pants and revel in the fact that they actually look like pants!

Step 6.Pin the inseam together and sew. I used a straight stitch for these pants since the fabric is cotton but you could also use a zig-zag for added durability.

Step 7. Measure the waist of your recipient and subtract an inch - that will be the length of elastic you will cut. For example, if my waist was 32" then I would cut a piece of elastic that is 31" long. Also, determine how wide your elastic is so you know how big to make your casing. My elastic was 1/4" wide so I made my casing 1/2" so that it would be easy for me to thread the elastic through. To make the casing, fold your waist down 1/4" and press with an iron. Then fold it down another 1/2" and press and pin. Or, you can do what is called "finger press" which is creasing the fabric with your fingers instead of breaking out the iron. That's how I did these pajamas because I was going for ease and this fabric creases easily (as evidence by the fold marks.) **Be sure to leave a 1 - 2 inch gap open for threading the elastic.**

Step. 8 Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of this step but how I do it is I stick a safety pin through the end of my elastic and use that to thread it through my casing. Just don't forget to hold onto the other end so it doesn't accidentally getting pulled through. Once the elastic is all of the way around, sew the two ends together and then sew your opening closed. I also like to sew across the elastic right on the outside of the waistband on the two sides and the back because there are few things more annoying to me than to have the elastic in my clothes twisted.

Step 9. Give the pajama pants to the sweetest little Godchild on the planet and be amazed at how easy they were to make ;) Then go make 10 more pairs!

The cost for these pants were $0.00 since I already had the pillowcases, thread and elastic. However I think using some vintage pillowcases found at a thrift store would be cool or even some that have the fancy scalloped edge.

For another great idea on repurposing old pillowcases, check out One Crafty Broad, also known as my super awesome sis-in-law :)


  1. Nice job! Never would have thought to do that. :)

  2. And she LOVES the pants. They are seriously the cutest PJs she owns. Great job, Auntie Jello!