Pajama Pants Are Cute, Comfy and Easy to DIY

Let’s be real: everyone can use more pajama pants. After all, you need a pair at the ready whenever the idea of changing into jeans sounds like the actual worst. Plus, it’s a quickie sewing project — especially if you whip ’em up using your own pattern. That’s exactly what we did here, right after choosing a fun, floral fabric that simply screams vacation. Pack ’em in your suitcase, or slip them on at home. Either way, you’re guaranteed to feel stylish and comfy.

Rainforest Pajama Pants

Level: Easy

What You Need

  • Pattern paper (We used a roll of white bulletin board paper; exam table paper or butcher paper also work)
  • A pair of pajama pants that you know fit well (You’ll be able to make minor adjustments, but it’s best to start with something pretty close)
  • Pajama fabric, such as cotton or flannel (the amount will depend on the size pants you are making — we used Lamina Rainforest by AGF Studio)
  • ½” wide elastic
  • Matching thread
  • Instructions

    1. Make Your Pattern

    Fold your existing pants in half and pull the crotch all the way out, flattening them out as much as possible. Lay them on top of your pattern paper. Trace around the pants, making sure to trace the waist as stretched out as possible. If you need to make minor fit adjustments, such as raising or lowering the rise of the pants, or making the legs slimmer or looser, do that now.

    2. Add a Seam Allowance

    Set your old pants to the side. Trace a second line ½” outside the first line. For the waist and hem, increase the seam allowance to 2”. Cut the pattern out.

    3. Cut Your Fabric

    With your fabric folded in half, place the long, straight edge close to the fold. Pin in place. Cut the pattern piece out and repeat another time, giving you 4 pieces in total.

    Pro Tip:While you can always finish your raw edges (with pinking shears or a serger) as you sew, it’s easier to do so before you before you begin sewing the pants together.

    4. Sew the Side Seams

    Place one front piece and one back piece, right sides together. Pin along the side seam (the long straight edge), then stitch using a ½” seam allowance. Repeat for the second leg. Press the side seams open.

    5. Sew the Inside Seams

    Flip one of your legs back, right sides together. Pin along the inside seam, then stitch from ankle to crotch using a ½” seam allowance. Repeat for the second leg. Press the seams open.

    6. Stitch the Crotch Seams

    With the pants wrong side out, put your hand into one leg and grab the hem. Pull upward and place that leg into the other leg. Keep pulling the legs into place until the hems touch and the side seams and inside seams match.

    Lay the PJ pants onto your work surface; finger press any wrinkles while making sure the side seams and inside seams stay aligned. The crotch seam raw edges should now be on top of each other. Pin along the crotch seam. Stitch using a ½” seam allowance.

    Turn the pants inside out.

    7. Make the Elastic Casing

    Fold down the top edge of the waist ½” and press.

    Fold down the top edge of the waist ½” and press.

    Use pins to mark an opening about 3” long to insert the elastic. Sew the top and bottom edges around the waist, making sure not to sew the opening closed.

    8. Insert the Elastic

    Place a piece of elastic around your waist, leaving about 2″ extra and cut. Clip a safety pin to one end. Find the 3″ opening in the waistband and insert the safety pin, feeling for it on the outside of the waistband. Gently guide the safety pin through the casing (make sure to keep the opposite end of the elastic on the outside so it doesn’t sneak into the casing).

    When the safety pin has been threaded through the entire casing, clip the two ends together. Try on the pants and adjust the safety pin on the elastic until it fits comfortably around your waist. Take off and sew the ends of the elastic together, cutting off any excess. Stitch the opening of the casing closed.

    9. Hem the Bottom

    Hem to the desired length. One easy method: Fold the hem up ½” and press. Fold another ½” and press again. Topstitch around each hem. (Remember to backstitch!)

    Now throw ’em on and lounge in your new comfort pants!

    Photos by Marni Weaver.

    • (will not be published)

    28 Responses to “Pajama Pants Are Cute, Comfy and Easy to DIY”

    1. fab

      Or does “Pull upward” mean to pull them until they are right side out? You need a proof reader for sure.

    2. fab

      ” put your hand into one leg and grab the hem. Pull upward and place that leg into the other leg. Keep pulling the legs into place until the hems touch and the side seams and inside seams match.” Put my hand into one leg– from the waist? You don’t state. There is no hem yet, just a raw bottom edge. “Pull upward.” What do you mean by upward? Towards what? Do you mean backwards towards the waist? Fix your comments. Remember to re-read your words as though you cannot picture what is meant, because we can’t see what your mind is seeing. You must spell out every movement. Otherwise you are not giving directions; you are pretending to give directions. Also how do we sew the crotches when they WON’T MATCH?” They are different sizes.

      • Barbara Walker

        I want to make these and adjust them for hunting pants liners with fleece fabric. Thank you I’ve solved a problem with doing this.

    3. Glenda J Veil

      Never thought of this. Everyone will get pajama pants for gifts now. Thank you.

    4. Margie

      Consideration should also be given to the type of fabric used in the old garment and the new garment. If the old pajama is made of a stretchy fabric additional width must be added to the pattern for non-stretchy fabric. Example: If the original pj is made of fleece or knit (like a t-shirt) you may feel like a mummy if your new pj is made with old pj measurements out of non-flannel or cotton broadcloth.

    5. Shizuka Campagna

      I’ve always wondered if I can make a pattern from tracing the existing clothing. Thanks for the confirmation!

    6. Dr. Yasmin Akhtar Kazi

      Love to make pajama pants for my husband. Now I will try the way your tutorial is. Thank you dear.

    7. Susan Mercurio

      Yes, but women’s pants are smaller at the front than the back. You need to make two measurements of your old pants: one for the back crotch seam and one for the front crotch seam. The back pattern will be bigger than the front.

      Any pair of pants in which the front and back pieces are the same are going to be uncomfortable.

    8. sonja banister

      Error on amount to fold down at waist for elastic casing – should be at least 1″ casing for the 1/2″ elastic to fit thru! – also back crotch should be inch or so longer than front crotch seam.

      • Donna

        Cute and simple pattern. I haven’t used this site much yet but I’m sure I’ll be using it more often in the future. Thanks for the pattern.