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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sewing Pajama Pants

I am LOVING Sewing Pants 101. By Natasha on June 18, 2010 in naptime crafting.  I have made each of my kids to sets of pajama bottoms this week!

"I thought I’d start with a good play by play on how to sew pants. I don’t care how little you know about sewing, if you have a machine & you know how to thread it give these a try.

This process will work for all sorts of pants…elastic waist, drawstring, sweats or pj’s. First off you’ll need to make a pattern. Best way to do that is find a pair of pants that fit the way you’d like & lay them out on your fabric (or paper if you want to make a copy you can use over & over) with the crotch pointed out like in the picture below. Trace the legs just to the outside (and therefore adding about a 1/4″ seam allowance) & extend your pattern 2 & 1/4″ at the top of the leg to account for the waistband you’ll be making. Cut out the fabric pieces so they’re folded in half like so. (that way when you open it up it’s an entire pantleg & not just the front, it’ll save you from sewing a side seam like a pair of jeans would have)

You’ll need two of these.

Now you’ll want to sew each pantleg from the crotch down to the bottom of the pant with the right sides facing together. Pin first, sew second. (you can see my stitches in blue)
*Also here’s a tip, if using a regular sewing machine (NOT a serger, been there, done that, no bueno) if you pin seams horizontally (perpendicular to the way your machine is stitching) then you can just sew right across the pins, no need to take them out as you go.

Next step is a neat trick. Lay your two legs next each other like the pic below. Turn the leg on the left right side out but leave the right one inside out. Slide the right-side out leg into the inside out leg. Line them up & pin the seams from the bottom of the crotch to the top of the waistband.
Stitch this seam being sure to stitch back & forth (reverse & forward) a bit at the beginning & end of the seam. This is sometimes called a “lockstitch” & just means you’re locking the seam into place so it won’t unravel later when it gets stressed. After stitching you can pull the leg back out & wah-lah!

They’re lookin’ a lot like pants, aren’t they? Last step is making the waistband. I’ll show you how to do both an elastic waist & also a drawstring…Measure the waistline of the intended pant-wearer & cut a piece of elastic that is that length + 1″. Set elastic aside.

Fold the waistband in one inch & pin in place. *Another trick, if you aren’t crazy about pinning or just want to make your stitching easier you should iron your seams first, then stitch. I rarely take the time to do this because it requires setting up the iron but whenever I do it really does make things easier. Stitch waistband down (therefore making a casing for the elastic) but don’t go all the way around, leave a 2″ opening so we can thread the elastic through it. Take a safety pin & attach it to one end of your elastic, use the safety pin as something to hold onto while you thread the elastic through the waistband casing & back out the 2″ opening. Being careful to make sure the elastic isn’t twisted anywhere inside the casing first, go ahead & stitch the two ends of your elastic together. Go back & forth several times to make sure that sucker’s not coming apart no matter what. Stitch the 2″ opening shut.

If you were just making elastic waist pants then congrats, you’re officially done!  That’s it! Lots of directions but it’s actually kind of easy, right? Once you make a few you’ll be able to make pants in 15 minutes, easy. Not to mention capris, shorts, bloomers…they’re all just slight variations.”

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