Hey there! I’m so glad you’re here. If you’re on the look out for a quick and easy sewing project then don’t go anywhere, because you have found it! These 5 Seam Pajama Pants are the perfect project for beginners and advanced sewists alike. They are simple and relatively quick – the more you do, the faster you’ll get.
Are these 5 Seam Pajama Pants exactly what you’re looking for?
The answer to that is abso-freaking-lutely if you can say yes to any of these:
- Are you a beginner? These pajama pants are PERFECT for beginners. There’s only 5 seams and two pieces of fabric. The steps are simple and repetitive. The fit is relaxed, so seams don’t have to be perfect. You probably won’t even notice any imperfections. Ideal for beginners!
- Do you hate patterns? These pajama pants require NO PATTERN! You use pants you already have. You don’t have to worry about cutting out the right size pattern or using one pattern to make multiple sizes. Or, my favorite, keeping track of the pattern pieces.
- Are you short on creative time? These 5 seam pajama pants are a fast project! The first couple of times might take a couple hours – which really isn’t very long in sewing terms. The more you make, the faster you’ll get. Before you know it, you’ll go from measuring your fabric to wearing your pants in an hour!
- Do you need multiple sizes? These pajama pants are versatile. They are easy to make in any size and are great for both genders. Simple and comfy for the whole family.
These are one of the first things I ever learned to sew and I still make these at least once a year. I make Christmas Eve pants for my family every year (that’s six pairs!) and THIS is the method I use. These pants are easy, quick and so incredibly comfy.
These 5 seam pajama pants really are the perfect project for beginners and a great quick project for the more advanced sewists. And you really don’t need a pattern!
5 SEAM PAJAMA PANTS – NO PATTERN REQUIRED
5 Seam Pajama Pants Materials:
– Sewing machine (I have the 15+ year old version of this sewing machine. I’ve had it since I was 16 and it’s still going strong.)
– Needle (and extras – there’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a project, breaking a needle and not having any spares!)
– Empty bobbins
– Fabric (See Tips and Tricks below)
– Coordinating thread
– Fabric marking pens or Tailor’s Chalk (see Tips and Tricks below)
– Iron and ironing board
– Straight pins
– Fabric Scissors (I’ve had a pair of these for nearly 10 years and they are still amazingly sharp. Love these things!)
– Another pair of pants that currently fit well (see Tips and Tricks below)
– Elastic or Ribbon/Fabric (see Tips and Tricks below)
– Safety Pin
Tips and Tricks for Successful 5 Seam Pajama Pants
- The fabric types that work best to make these pants are Cotton Apparel Fabric and Fleece. Flannel Fabrics are another great option for cold weather months, although you may consider adding approximately an inch extra to all sides to make up for the limited stretch of this kind of fabric.
- If you have a finished inseam of 25 inches or less, you can use a yard of fabric. Otherwise, a yard and a half should be enough. Two yards will be plenty, even if you have a really long inseam or like a high waist.
- My favorite way to buy fabric is online because then I don’t have to drag my three unruly boys to the fabric store. It never ends well. But, it can be hard to buy fabric you can’t touch. I’ve done a lot of shopping around and my very favorite place to get fabric online is from Fabric.com. The quality is always great, the selection is wide and plentiful, the customer service has been great every time I’ve needed something and prices are competitive and shipping is quick.
FABRIC MARKING PENS
- I actually prefer plain old chalk to do my fabric marking with. You can find it in the art section of most retail stores. Chalk washes out easily, offers the option of making small marks or large ones and can be simply rubbed away if you make a mistake and need to redo your marks. Tailor’s Chalk is my next preferred method. Same idea, slightly more expensive.
WHICH PANTS SHOULD I USE?
- These will, in essence, be your pattern. You will want to choose a pair that fits well and is comfortable. Another pair of lounge or pajama pants are great. I make these 5 seam pants every year for Christmas for my whole family. I use a current pair of athletic-style pants that fits well or are slightly big and add approximately two inches around the entire pair of pants for seam allowance and a bit of growing room. Except the length; I add about two inches to the length so my kids can wear them longer before they become flood pants or capri pants.
- Always err on the side of too large. You can always trim them down, but it’s really hard to put material back once it’s been cut.
ELASTIC OR DRAWSTRING
- Which style you chose is up to personal preference. I prefer elastic and I like 3/4 inch wide. It’s wide enough to not roll, but not so wide it’s cumbersome or uncomfortable.
- If you opt for a drawstring, you will need a ribbon or piece of fabric (sewn into a strip with right sides together and then turned right sides out) that is the same length as the circumference of your pants, plus 8-10 inches.
5 Seam Pajama Pants Directions
* All seam allowances are 3/4 of an inch, unless otherwise stated.
PREPARING AND CUTTING YOUR FABRIC
– Wash and dry your fabric to prevent any shrinkage after you make your pants. Don’t skip this part or your fit may be altered and less amazing.
– Fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together. Fold your pair of pants in half, as if you’re going to fold them up. Straighten all the seams and pull the crotch area until it lays flat. You don’t want any weird bubbles or your pants will fit weird across your hips.
– Lay the pants on top of your fabric near one edge. The straight edge (the outside part of the leg) should be facing the middle of the fabric, the crotch pointing toward the edge.
– Use the chalk, or whatever marking tool you’re using, to draw a line 1-2 inches away from the edge of the pants. The further out you go, the looser your pants will fit around your body. The elastic you will insert later will hold them up, so go for comfort.
This isn’t rocket science and the cut of these pants don’t require precision, so you don’t need to spend too much time getting specific measurements. Trace around the crotch, inseam, bottom of the leg and the waistband. You can trace the outside of the leg if you want, but it isn’t necessary. If you do, you’ll be able to use it as a reference line in the next step.
– Flip the pants on the straight edge so the crotch is now pointing toward the other edge of the fabric. If you did trace the outside edge of the pants you can line it back up. If you didn’t, just approximate the placement. You can move the pants over an inch or two if you’re worried. It will just make your pajama pants slightly baggier, although you probably won’t even notice. Trace the crotch, inseam, bottom of the leg and the waistband. Connect the lines on the bottom of the leg and the top of the waistband. You can set the extra pair of pants aside, you won’t need them again.
– Make sure your fabric is laying flat – it should still be folded in half, right sides out – and pin just inside the lines you drew all the way around the pajama pants. Cut on the lines. You should end up with two identical pieces with the pattern facing you.
SEAM #1: THE INSEAM
– Separate the pieces and match up the front of the crotch to the back on each piece, right sides together this time. Match up the bottoms of the leg too. Pin and then sew the inseam. Repeat on the other piece of fabric. Iron your seams.
SEAM #2 & 3: THE HEM
– Hem the bottom of each leg. You don’t have to do this now, but I find it easier to do it before you sew the legs together, especially on little pairs of pajama pants. Iron your hems.
SEAM #4: THE CENTER SEAM
– Turn one of the legs right side out and stick it inside the other leg. Match the two inseams together and pin. Then match up the front and back of the waistbands. Pin and sew the center seam, or the crotch seam. I always do a double (or quadruple!) stitch over the crotch, where the seams all meet. No one likes to pop a hole in the crotch of their pants!
– Pull the pant legs apart and iron your seams. Hey, they are starting to look like pants, right?!
SEAM #5: THE WAIST BAND
– This is the last part: the waistband. First, you’ll need to make a casing for your elastic. At the waistband, fold down about 1/2 inch of fabric all the way around. Iron to hold the fold. Fold down again just enough to hold your elastic. I like to use 3/4 inch elastic, so I fold down about 7/8 inch to an inch. Pin the fold down.
– Start at the back of the pants and about 1/2 inch off the center seam and sew your casing around the waist band. When you get back to the back of the pants, stop about 1/2 inch before you reach the center seam. There should be a gap where you can thread the elastic into the casing.
– Cut your elastic to size. If you have a fabric measuring tape handy, you can measure the hips of your intended wearer. If not, just stretch the elastic around their waist. You’ll want approximately 2 inches less in elastic length than the circumference of your wearer’s hips.
– Fasten the safety pin to one end of the elastic. Thread the safety pin and the elastic into the casing you just sewed. Thread it all the way around the waistband. Don’t let the other end of the elastic disappear inside the casing while you’re working the other end through the pants. You can pin an additional safety pin to the other end or pin the end of the elastic to the pants to help you keep track of it.
– When you get the elastic through the casing, check to make sure you didn’t get it twisted inside the casing anywhere. If you did, untwist it. Pull out both ends of the elastic and stitch them together. It doesn’t need to be pretty, but it does need to be secure. Once the ends are sewn together, stretch the waistband of the pants and that should pull your elastic inside the casing entirely. Help it out if it’s getting stuck and just tuck it in with your fingers.
– This is completely optional, but I highly recommend it, especially on pants for kids. Cut a length of ribbon about an inch and a half long. Fold it in half and stick the ends inside the gap in the casing where you just pushed the elastic through. This will create a little tag so that it’s easier to tell the front from the back of you new pajama pants. If you don’t want the tag, you can always just check the waistband hem around the center seam and if there is double stitching, it’s the back.
– Sew the casing gap shut.
– Iron your pants.
– Wear those babies all the time. Ok, not ALL the time, but they’re so comfy you’ll want to wear them all the time.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Practice makes perfect and these 5-seam pajama pants are no exception. The more you make, the quicker you’ll get. This past year, I made four sets in about four hours. It’s easier and quicker to make a single pair at a time because you aren’t changing anything (like thread colors or stitch length). I never leave myself that much time and always end up working on several pairs at once. I’ve gotten fast enough I can zip out a single pair in about 45 minutes to an hour, so it doesn’t take much more time to do a bunch either.
I love these 5 seam pajama pants. My kids love them. Mr. Napping prefers sweats and, since he’s so particular about his sleep apparel, it’s easier (and WAAY cheaper!) to buy a pair of sweats than 2 yards of fabric. The guy is 6’3″ and it takes a lot of fabric to cover his long legs.
When he runs out of clean clothes, he still wears my last ultra failed attempt to make him some pants from a different pattern. It makes me laugh and makes me feel loved all at the same time. Only someone who really loves me would wear them!! And it reminds me why I stick to these 5 seam pajama pants!
My favorite thing about these pajama pants is how easy it is to adjust them to make them fit lots of different sizes. I make me a new pair every year too because they are quick and comfy. I don’t get to sew as often as I wish I did and even more rarely do I get to make something for myself. These are the perfect project. They are perfect for grabbing all the snuggles I can get and playing cars on the floor.
Leave any questions in the comments and I will answer them as quickly as I can. Who are you going to make your first pair of 5 seam pajama pants for?