Easy PJ Pants with Border Print Fabric & French Seams

Easy PJ Pants with Border Print Fabric & French Seams


Now you all consider me a pretty snappy dresser
of course. But being that I have the top half of the wardrobe all dialed in, I started thinking,
I’ve got to have something great to wear below. And I thought, hey, what about hot
pants? But even though I’m a big fan of 70’s music, I wasn’t into pleather. But
look what I came up with. Can you believe it? See I told you they were hot. And of course,
this new fantastic fabric from Michael Miller. It’s a border print called flames. It was
my inspiration. And I just couldn’t resist making this cool pair of pants out of it.
Now, I want you to focus in today’s tutorial on the actual construction. Of course you’re
going to need some sort of a PJ pant pattern. If you’ve got one you like, just use that.
Like I said, we’re talking construction today. And this is the one I’ve used for
years. It’s from Cindy Taylor Oates. And it’s Sew Easy Pajama Pants. And the thing
I liked about it was all the sizes were in the book, right? You’ll also need a little
bit of a non-rolling, let me say that again, a non-rolling elastic. That keeps it comfortable
on your waistband. And don’t worry, I’ve already filled out your shopping list. All
of these supplies are available at MSQC. And there’s a link in the description below.
Let’s get moving into the actual pattern so you know what to do next. Let me get this
stuff out of our way. The fun thing with Cindy’s book is all of
the pattern sizes are all full size but in order to save them all, I’m going to encourage
you to go in and pop your staples out if you’re working out of a book. And go ahead and remove
the pattern entirely, right? And safely without damaging the book. Once you’ve got that
taken care of the next key is to find it. Now PJ pants come with a front leg and a back
leg and the cut is different so you’re going to be making them individually. And for me,
I am a size medium for this particular pant. And I actually took a pair of PJ’s that
I love and laid it on top of my pants first just to kind of get an eyeball. Something
that I already knew fit versus something I’m going to try to make fit, right? Of course
this is not a pair of suit slacks either so we have a little bit of wiggle room. Now once
you have it all taken out of the book, this would happen to be a two page, so you’re
going to find the lower back and the upper back. There’s a nice grain line and then
mark these together. You can tape them or pin them if you need. What I really, really
want you to hear is don’t cut into this. Please do not cut into this. The best way
to do this is now to take a piece of butcher paper or the wonderful pattern tracing paper.
Lay it out on top. You’ll notice I even put the straight of grain mark. Straight of
grain, while working with garment, is very important because it keeps everything flowing
correctly. Especially if you’re dealing with print and/or stuff that has nap. So something
else to consider being that we’re focused on construction today, right? So I’ve got
my straight of grain. I’ve got this all traced. This now becomes the working pattern
for the size medium. This I can put all the other sizes still together which is fantastic
because my kids want PJ’s too of course. Now once that’s done, check this out. Now that you have your particular size already
prepared, and as I said, you have a back and you also have a front. We’re going to go
ahead and cut out both legs at once on our fabric. So let me just go ahead and slide
this part now out of the way because I’ve already got those ones cut out. I’ll bring
them into camera in just a moment. Something kind of important here. You want to go ahead
and fold your fabrics right sides together. As you can see we’re looking at the back
side of this fabric, right? And then I’ve also laid it straight of grain. Here’s my
grain line. And I also have the straight of the pattern along the straight open edge and
the fold over here to maximize scraps. Sometimes these scraps could be used for pockets or
other parts of any kind of project obviously. One of the things I actually really like about
PJ pants, these ones have no pockets and no fly so I don’t even call them PJ pants.
I call them my yoga pants. Now, I’m just going to go ahead and cut this with my rotary
cutter. Of course, scissors work nice. And if you’re using a pattern at home that has
little notches or triangles along the edge, don’t cut those off. Those are there for
a reason. It helps you get things lined up. Ok, now one of the things we’re also going
to be doing in today’s tutorial, is we’re going to be setting up to do French seams.
So as I’m cutting this a little bit wonky, it doesn’t have to be exactly perfect on
the edges because it’s going to be hidden and bound within those French seams, ok? Something
else to point out real quick. I did pin my pattern to my fabric so it wasn’t shifting
as I was working. And the last thing I want to do is I’m going to go ahead and grab
myself a sharpie marker. And on the inside or the wrong side of the fabric, at the very
top, I’m going to go ahead and label FRONT or at least an F and FRONT again. I once made
a pair of pants and it had such a high waist set up for the elastic, I accidentally stitched
the pockets down into the calf. That will be a tutorial for another day. Not one I recommend
doing. But once I have that all dialed in and labeled
so that I can keep all my parts and pieces together, we’re going to start by stitching
our inseams together of a front panel and a back panel. And so we’re going to do it
because we’re doing French seams we’re going to start with our right sides out. So
check this out, I’m going to set aside one of my fronts right now, ok? And then I’m
going to find the matching back piece. It comes in here, and when I say matching I mean
it’s going to match in the crotch. And because this is now both right sides up, that is the
wrong piece. This is. So this comes in real nice like here, ok? And I’m lining up both
the bottom edge and the crotch. We’re just going to do just from the bottom up to the
point where it would meet. We’re going to come over here and with a quarter inch seam
allowance, I’m going to stitch on the right sides of the fabrics to create that French
seam start up. Ok, so just a nice, really petite seam allowance. And I’m going to
go ahead and stitch this on both legs. Now that the second leg is done, we’re going
to go ahead and join both pieces to build that front or rear crotch seam. So when we
did a front and back the first time, now you’re looking for your front and front. And it’s
going to be this horseshoe in here. And yes, you’re doing all of the raw edging first
and then we are doing the French seam final. So by laying in here, it looks correct but
my double check is, it says FRONT. It says FRONT. It says BACK and BACK. So I am actually
sewing the correct pieces together. Still with that quarter inch seam allowance and
still on the right sides of the fabrics or wrong sides together right now. So we’re
still prepping to be able to do French seams and that’s going to be the next step right
after this. Alright, I have that crotch seam all joined,
front and back now. And this is where it starts to form like a giant H. And we’re going
to go ahead and do our French seams. So one of the things I want to go ahead and do is
press nice and crisp. And the French seam is done by sewing now the right sides together
with a larger seam allowance. So let me see if I can get you a good angle on this, ok?
And I’m getting my iron nice and heated up. And I’m kind of rolling with my fingers,
kind of pre-pressing this to the edge here. Just like that. Now a lot of times, and of
course you all know that I’m much more of a quilt maker than a garment guy, that’s
why we’re starting on pajama pants, right? But garment construction is really best suited
at a little slower pace, lots of pins, lots of pressing, lots of clean cutting, right?
So if you want your stuff to really fit nice you should take the time and do it correctly.
Ok, so I’m setting that seam. Now that I have it all pressed nice and crisp, we’re
going to do that French seam with a half inch seam allowance. And we’re going to up the
inseam back around first and then we’re going to press and do the crotch second. So
it’s a two-part format. And I’m just using the stitch plate on my machine so that I have
now about a half of an inch. So as I start going here. Let me show you how this finishes
out. Here’s a good close up of those French seams
already finished. Now you can see, it’s enclosed all of the raw edge something and
as I wash these, they’re going to wear perfectly. So again, up the inseam first. And then I
came around the crotch seam of course. And you can see that I’ve even caught that in
there. That doesn’t make anything that will be uncomfortable or anything. So that is all
done. The inseam, crotch, all finished, ready to go. Next step is going to go ahead and
this trick I love. We’re going to the bottom of the legs before we put them together so
we don’t have to use the free arm of the machine later on. So what I’m trying to say, and because I
was doing a border print I maximized the length of my fabric for my pattern. I’m using the
selvedge. Of course, a lot of folks, your pants will finish looking like this. You won’t
have used the selvedge but I needed it for my size. The selvedge is not going to unravel
so I’ve just folded it up and I’ve double stitched it here. Let me show you. So I’ve
taken that raw edge, once the French seam was done. And I like to, as I said, press
with every step when I’m doing garment. So we’re going to give this a nice little
security push there. A little heated push. Now I’m going to go back to the sewing machine.
And I first do a stitch across the top edge. And then I’m going to do a stitch across
the bottom edge and that is simply just to make it look cool, a little decoration there.
Now one of the wonderful things about some sewing machines, you’ve been asking in the
comments, I’ve seen it. Look at this thing. I’m talking at regular pace but I’m sewing
in caffeinated mode. That’s right the Baby Lock Jane comes with a built in caffeinated
mode. The button is not labeled correctly but I’m pretty sure it’s caffeinated mode.
So again, back to the bottom here to make it look cool. And this will definitely finish
the bottom leg. And the bonus thread cutter. So just like that it’s finished. Super,
super easy. Next step of construction and take the time
to unpack it all so you get it right. Is going to be set up for French seams on the outer
leg seam well. So I’m turning it again right sides out. Or wrong sides together. And I’m
going to join down here starting at the bottom. And this time I’m going to be able to go
all the way from the bottom of the leg and all the way up to the top so it ends up right
here. I’m just kind of organizing it as I get ready to put it into the sewing machine.
And again because it’s a French seam, it’s that narrow seam allowance, like a quarter
of an inch to start and we’ll finish with a half inch seam allowances. Here we go. Ok, now that the second leg is all stitched
together as well, you should have something that looks an awful lot like this. We get
to turn it back to wrong sides out to finish the outer seam with a French seam again. And
then all we have to still finish up is our waistband, which is going to be super easy
as well. So the French seam, as a reminder, is going to be that half inch seam allowance. Alright as I’m finishing that second outer
seam with a French seam, I don’t know if I pointed out earlier or not but we are certainly
using polyester thread in today’s tutorial. I like poly threads for my garment work, correct.
Now it is time for the waistband. And the waistband is going to be two simple steps.
The first step, I am going to finger turn and then press with my iron here in a second.
Just about a quarter inch under. That’s going to hold that raw edge in place while
I build the casing for the elastic. A lot of you may have, I’ll be talking while we’re
pressing here. A lot of you may have a PJ pant pattern which actually allows for a drawstring
as well. So at this point if you’re using a drawstring in the construction of yours,
you’re probably putting in some sort of buttonhole. That buttonhole will allow the
drawstring to come out. Make sure you’re putting it in the front of your pants. Nothing
is harder than tying your pants behind your back, right? And there’s also some other
fun elastics out there I know especially with some of the ladies pants, they’re actually
joining the elastic on the outside nowadays of the pants. So there’s all kinds of ways
to do your waist. And again I’m just setting this little seam. It’s just going to hold
everything in place while we get ready to build that casing to put our elastic in. Once
we have that tacked in most places, we’re going to head back over to the sewing machine
and we’re going to go all the way around. We don’t need to leave any openings in this
part. It doesn’t have to be too pretty either. The top edge should be prettier than the bottom
edge. The top edge here better than the bottom edge down here. The other things that this stitch is doing
is helping secure those side seams so they won’t get in the way of our elastic and/or
our drawstring when we’re feeding them through later on. So that’s another reason I like
to do this. And also sewing around this top band is kind of like the great equalizer to
areas where maybe it was a little bit longer at the finish than one of the other sides.
Again, this will never show as the finished product but it’s a nice way to make it all
nice and smooth. As we’re getting ready to set that top casing. Ok, and while we’re
having follow up information, I bet you I forgot to tell you I pre-washed this fabric
twice before I ever cut it out. And that’s also another fantastic rule of thumb when
you’re doing garment as well. So you want to find about an inch and a half roll down.
I’m using about an inch wide elastic. I don’t want it real tight in there. I want
it to be able to gather nicely. So I’m coming down about an inch and a quarter, inch and
a half. And my thumbs and my fingers right now are grabbing the seam allowances on the
sides of the legs or those outer seams. So that’s helping me keep everything nice and
secure. Then I’m going to come over here to the, the machine. Now if you have a free
arm on your sewing machine, this would actually be a great time to go ahead and have that
free arm off so it’s a little easier. I don’t have a free arm on this machine so
what I’ve done is I’ve tucked the bottom fabric underneath. I want to make sure I only
am sewing the layers I want to be sewing. I’ve gone about an inch down from the casing.
And I’m going to leave an opening to slide the elastic in in the front of the pant. And
I’m actually adjusting myself right now because I don’t want to leave the opening
over the inseam for the crotch because it just makes life a little difficult later on
when I’m pulling the elastic through. Ok, I am ready to now build the casing. I’m
going to take a couple stitches. And we’re going to be trying these on. So I backstitch
to hold it secure. And this seam really does count. Notice the pace I’m stitching at
is definitely slowed down. This one is important so we want it to look really nice. We’re
getting ready to approach the opening that we’re going to leave to slide our elastic
in, just to point out one of the things I’m really doing with my fingers is making sure
that my seam from the French seam is pressed nice and flat as I stitch over it so I’m
not creating a wall inside of there so it’s hard to push the elastic through. And I’m
going to leave about a two inch opening. And I’m going to do some backstiching and cut
that thread. And now it is time to go ahead and put the elastic in. Once the elastic is
in, I want to try these on so I’m turning them right sides out. Let’s do it like this.
And then I want to go ahead and open my elastic. Now for sizing your elastic, and you never
ask a lady her age, and you don’t ever ask anyone their waist size so simply take the
size pair of pants you like, cut your elastic to that length. You don’t have to put that
in the comments below. You’re going to start with it long so it’s easy to fit. And then
we’re going to size it down on location. I will take them back off to stitch it closed
of course. So our big old safety pin. Here’s a two-part trick, if you’ve never fed elastic
into a casing before, I would like you to try this trick as well. First we’re going
to start by pinning the elastic that you’re not using that side, to the outside of the
pant. So that you don’t pull it all the way through. Now I’m going inside of the
casing with the bigger safety pin and I’m just going to start working this through.
And it’s ok if it bunches up and pull. Bunch and pull. We’re going to go ahead and try
these on. Size them just right. So remember I told you to start with your waist size.
And if you start with elastic at your waist size, it’s not going to hold your pants
up, ok? So once you have it there, you’re going to sneak into your pants. Once they’re
on, come back to the front and get that union of the two pieces of elastic. And now you
can start to cinch it up until it fits nicely, the way that you want it to hold, alright?
At that point you will be making an adjustment to the elastic itself. And so what I do is
usually it’s about three or four inches that you’re going to lose. So I’ve already
figured it out, I need that much cut off, ok? Now what I’m going to do is I’m just
going to put these two seams. Make sure that your elastic has not twisted around, ok? I’m
going to come over to my sewing machine and secure these two pieces of elastic. If I can
reach it, oh ya, thumbs down and everything. Just need a little stitching at first. Of
course I’ll backstitch to really hold that. And I’ll do it on the other end of the tail
also. Right here. Drop that presser foot again and just stitching the elastic only I’m
hoping. And a backstitch, fantastic. So the elastic is now secure at the perfect size
to hold your pants up. It goes back into the casing. I take all the extra fabric and massage
it out of the way. And now I’m just going to finish this stitching by machine. And I’m
doing my best to not stitch on the elastic itself. I want my elastic to be able to travel
nicely. Topstitching this closed. Now that that casing is closed, you have one of the
coolest pair of hot pants in town. As a matter of fact, not only could you wear these all
around town but feel free to slide into them, kick back on the couch and we’ll see you
next time here at Man Sewing.

83 Replies to “Easy PJ Pants with Border Print Fabric & French Seams”

  1. Love the French seams, makes them look so much more classier. Merry Christmas to you Rob and a Happy New Year 2016. Will be watching next year. Thank you for all your hard work, time and effort – most appreciated.

  2. Rob, did you say how much fabric you used for your pants?  If we order the fabric and pattern together, I would like to know the approximate amount of fabric to order for one size medium pair of pants.  Love the tutorial.  The fabric will be perfect for my son-in-law as he uses a logo for his business that incorporates flames similar to those on the fabric.

  3. I am way behind on sewing clothing. I love the way you put these together. I am an old fashioned sewer and I would have had way more seams. Great tutorial.

  4. My machine just died. for those of us that cannot afford a baby lok what would you suggest. Did the shirt and pj's, Merry Christmas.

  5. These pants would also be perfect for the person who has a problem with telling the truth. "Liar, liar, pants on…" Merry Christmas!

  6. Had laugh when you mentioned sewing the pocket to the leg. Years ago I was making my husband a pair of sleep shorts and sewed the pocket to the back seam. Never did finish them.

  7. You are a hoot. Love this approach and how you assemble. I can just hear [sense?] classic sewists from the old days gasp at a couple of things [like not using the fold for the outside leg], but times change and so do techniques! I hope the next generation of sewists follow your lead, grab your enthusiasm and create unique, fun things, including quilts!! I plan to and I'm no longer a spring chicken 🙂 Thank you!!!

  8. Love this video , I ended up making pj pants for my whole family for Christmas All six of the family got pants on Christmas eve. Thanks Rob

  9. I can't wait to make these for my hubby. My sister showed me how to just take his old pj's and use them as my pattern..I know they fit! Thanks Rob! Love the other quilting videos!

  10. Love the border fabric.  My son is a biker and I'm going to make him some with that fabric to relax in after a long day of riding!  He will love them!

  11. Love your tutorials. I owe my husband a pair of PJ pants but he wants pockets in his. This will take me most of the way there though. 🙂

  12. I enjoyed learning how to put together a pair of p.j. pants for my husband that would fit him well and sew up easily with a French seam! I am going to make some for the children too. Explained well also. Thanks.

  13. Totally cool jammies!! After seeing your tute. I made some for my nephew and also made a matching pillowcase, he LOVES them!
    Your iron is fabulous! My iron recently went to that Great Iron Heaven in the sky and I'm looking for a good replacement!

  14. Thank YOU so very much for this tutorial/video. I have made many PJ pants and they have all fit very awkwardly! These are perfect. I am a beginning sewing fanatic and I love to learn. Thanks again so much!

  15. I love the tutorial for the PJ Pants. Your sense of humor makes it fun to learn, and of course your instructions are easy peasy to follow! Thanks Rob.

  16. I love this tutorial. I never knew french seams were so easy to do. I would like to know where you got ur iron too and how does it stay hot? Thank you

  17. You can't go wrong watching any of Rob's videos. His enthusiasm and down to earth personality is infectious. I enjoyed watching him in this video going thru all the steps and confessing his mistakes. And I am sure he didn't realize, that just as in quilting you cut off the selvages. Live and learn. Good job in making your "hot pants"!

  18. I can't even imagine how many PJ pants I am going to be making now! Thanks to Rob, I now know AND understand French Seams! Rob, you ROCK!!!!

  19. Thank you so much, I was looking for ways to use border prints and came across your video. I'm am impressed that you sew standing up, I've never seen anyone sew this way before.

  20. I like how he said to basically be gentle on your pattern book then just tosses it aside two seconds later lol. I love Rob!Such a cool guy.

  21. So you made "cargo" sleep pants! ;P I would've loved to have seen ur face when u realized ur pocket there! lol great video!

  22. If you press your seem out "flat" before you try to press the seem for the beginning of the French seam, it will not only be easier but neater. Well worth the extra press as far as I'm concerned. Thank you for all the cool types you offer to us.

  23. Brilliant demonstration thak you so very much Rob and also love your great sense of humour when some times a little Ooop hapens we sewers all have them lol lol (smiles)

  24. wow mind blown on the French seam -I am in love with it already and haven't even tried it on a project . I can not wait to try it out . great video

  25. Just made a pair and then taught my 22yr old son to sew using this pattern. He is planning on making them for Christmas presents. Thanks!

  26. Rob I would love to see some more garment making projects from you. I’m a quilter as well but would like to start doing some basic garments. I’m thinking lounge ware type stuff. You are an excellent teacher and so easy to follow. Any way you could do a skill builder series for us?

  27. I notice that the selvedge edge is at the bottom . If the grain line runs parallel to the selvedge that means the grain line is running across your pants instead of down ?? Would that be ok ? Great clear video though ….well done . Cheers

  28. I've always wanted to do French seams, and you explained it so well, my next project is going to be a pair of French seamed pants.

  29. One thing I do is see a label (or a loop of satin ribbon) at the back seam of the waistband, to show which way the pants fit, as the back has more room for your bottom.

  30. I do that same technique with the butcher paper! Another thing i like to do with this technique is to tape the pattern on my backyard glass door and tape over the butcher paper to make sure i get it identical. ✏✂📍☺

  31. Darn! How have I not seen this video of yours before?! Rob I have a question. My husband wants pajama pants to lounge in at home on weekends. Do you add more seam allowance to be able to do french seams or do you do the regular size, just with french seams? I have the cutest shark fabric by Michael miller, and want to make sure he can wear the finished product! Thanks!

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