Leggi questo post in: Italiano
I always say that the best project for a beginner sewist after learning some of the basics are PJ pants. But even more advanced sewists love sewing them because they’re easy, comfortable and useful! I have a great PJ pants pattern with lots of options here in my pattern shop, but if you just want to save some money, you can make your own DIY pajama pants pattern just by tracing around an old pair of pants!
Oh, and yes, you read that correctly! Once you understand how to trace the pattern correctly, it’ll only take you 10 minutes to draft this pattern!
As long as you use a pair of pants with an elastic waistband that fits you correctly, and you follow the advice here, you’ll end up with a simple pattern that is perfect for beginners!
(If you’d like to add pockets or a drawstring waist, or make shorts or 3/4 length, or perhaps have more sizes to choose from, go check out my Evening Primrose Pajama Pants pattern for women or the version for children!)
Watch the video above here or continue reading to learn how to make a DIY pajama pants pattern by tracing your pants!
First, let’s get the few materials that you need for this project.
Materials for a DIY pajama pants pattern:
- a pair of pants that fit well, with an elastic waistband
- paper that is large enough to spread the pants out on. I use this simple medical paper* for all my pattern tracing and drafting, but you can tape together smaller sheets of paper or even use newspaper.
- a ruler. A quilter’s ruler* is really useful because you can easily line it up with the traced lines.
- a pencil.
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Like I said before, the first time this will probably take more than 10 minutes, but once you know how to draft a DIY pajama pants pattern from your pants, it’ll be really quick and easy in the future.
Prepare the pants to trace:
1. Turn the pants inside out.
2. Then put your hand through the bottom of one leg (A above), grab the bottom of the other leg (B above), and pull it through so that one leg is inside the other.
3. Adjust and smooth out the pant leg on the inside so that the bottoms more or less match up (top image above). Notice how there are two seams going up the leg from the hem. This is because there are two leg pieces: front and back.
Notice how you can see the crotch curve as a big U-shape (bottom image above).
Also note the black tag sticking out on the right of the waistband in the bottom picture above. This marks the center back of the waistband. That side is the back piece of the pants.
Draft the back of the pants:
4. Lay the pants flat on the paper, with the back leg part on the bottom. Position the long side seam flat on the paper. The inner leg seam will be visible. (Note the arrows in the top picture above.)
5. Trace along the bottom and the long side seam all the way up to the waistband (shown by the red lines above).
6. Mark a corner at the waistband. (top image above)
7. The inner leg seam is seen on top, not on the edge, because the back leg piece is wider than the front. Carefully roll the fabric away from the long side seam, towards the inner seam (in the direction of the arrows) until the inner seam lies flat on the paper.
8. Trace along the inner seam, adjusting the fabric bit by bit as you go. As you move up towards the crotch, the leg gets wider, so you have to roll the fabric more to lay the inner seam flat.
9. At the crotch, check that the side seam is still lined up well with the traced line (top blue arrow), then roll the fabric down carefully until the point of the crotch (bottom blue arrow) is flat on the paper.
10. Still rolling the fabric down from the side seam, continue tracing a little bit up the first part of the crotch seam from the point. Don’t trace all the way up to the waistband.
Trace the elastic waistband:
11. Line up the corner of the waistband with the line made previously and press down on it with your fingers to hold it in place. (red arrows above)
12. Stretch the waistband so that the fabric is flat, not gathered. Hold the center seam at the waistband in place with your thumb (blue arrow above), and trace down the edge of the waistband.
13. You can let go of the elastic now. Line up the center seam at the waistband with the end of the line you just traced and make a little mark down the center seam. (red arrow above)
14. Line up the crotch point (blue arrow above) on the traced line again, and continue tracing out the crotch curve from where you left off.
Label this piece “back” so you don’t get confused when sewing.
Now let’s continue to the front. It’s the same thing, except for the inner leg seam.
Draft the front of the pants:
15. Flip the pants over and lay them flat on the paper so that the inner leg seam is hidden under the fabric (blue arrow above).
16. Trace along the bottom and the long side seam all the way up to the waistband (shown by the red lines above).
17. Holding the fabric in place with your hand, lift up the folded fabric edge until the edge of the inner side seam is showing, flat down on the paper. (red arrows above)
18. Holding the fabric in place, trace along the inner side seam, moving bit by bit until the crotch.
19. As you did with the back part of the leg, clearly mark the tip of the crotch and the side seam at the waistband (red arrows above).
20. Move the top layer of fabric out of the way as you trace a little bit up the crotch curve (right image above).
21. Stretch out the waistband and trace along it, and continue tracing the crotch curve as described in steps 11-14. Label this piece “front”.
I then traced over my pencil lines with marker to make them easier to see in the photos.
Your DIY pajama pants pattern is almost ready to use, but you still need to add seam allowances!
Add seam allowance to the sewing pattern:
Look at the seams of the original pants and measure the seam allowance (the distance between the fabric edge and the stitching). Mine was 5 mm. I like to sew with a 1 cm seam allowance, so I had to add an extra 5 mm to the sides and crotch curves.
An easy trick to add seam allowance is to tape two pencils together. Draw with them and measure how far apart their lines are. In my case it was 8 mm, which was a little more than what I needed to add. So I simply traced with one pencil just inside my original traced line. The resulting line was about 5 mm outside of it.
22. Do this along the side seams, inner leg seams and crotch curves.
Calculate the hem allowance and waistband casing:
23. Decide how wide of a hem you want on your pants and add another 5 mm to it. I wanted a 1.5 cm hem + 0.5 cm extra to fold under = 2 cm. So draw a line parallel to and 2 cm from the leg bottom.
24. Measure the width of the elastic you’re using. Mine is 2 cm. If you plan to sew the elastic directly to the waistband (which I suggest with leggings), just add the width of the elastic to the top of the pattern.
I prefer sewing a casing for most pants, and in this case you need to add another 5 mm to fold under. So add that to the elastic width: 2 cm + 0.5 cm = 2.5 cm. Draw a line parallel to and 2.5 cm from the top waistband.
Cut out the pattern pieces along the seam allowance lines…
…and you’re ready to sew!
Now that you’ve drafted an awesome new DIY pajama pants pattern, read my pajama pants tutorial to sew them up!
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