Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Christmas Eve Pajama Pants tutorial- size infant to 8 years

Christmas scares me to death. I have nightmares about forgetting to buy Christmas presents and having to rush out on Christmas Eve and buy presents at the gas station. There is so much stress on me as a mom to not only make Christmas special for my children, but MAGICAL! How the heck am I supposed to do that without totally blowing the budget!? That is why I start planning, sewing, and even buying in July. When December finally does roll around, I can relax and enjoy the season. Plus I just had to have this super cute flannel when it arrived at my shop the other day!

Pajama pants are the easiest thing to sew in the entire world! So if you do wait till December 24th to start your Christmas sewing, no worries, these come together in no time at all.

The first thing is picking out your fabric. I chose this darling flannel fabric by Riley Blake Designs called Colorful Christmas. This tutorial is for up to a size 8 kids, any bigger than that and you'll need to buy a lot more fabric. But for little kids you can get away with just buying the length of their legs. So measure your child's legs, add 4 inches for your waist band and bottom seam, and buy that much fabric. For my 6 year old daughter I bought 3/4 of a yard, and for my 8 year old son I bought 1 yard. For my 3 year old (pants not shown, because they are not sewn yet) I bought just 2/3 of a yard!

Next, you'll need to get some pajama pants your child already has. These will be your template for your new pants, so pick some that fit pretty well. If you're like me and you are using last year's Christmas pajamas, just add a couple inches to the bottom so they will fit next year.
Open up your fabric (as you can see, my salvage end is now running along the right hand side), lay it right side down, and then fold the sides in till they meet in the middle.

So it looks like this...
Take the pajama pants you already have and fold them in half, nice and straight, and pull the crotch out into a nice point in the back. Make sure you fold it smoothly, you may want to pin to get it just right and so they don't move around on you.
Line up the long straight edge of your pant leg with the FOLDED side of your fabric. Then cut, giving yourself at least a half inch (as you can see here I gave myself about an inch) along the other side of the pants. I cut the pants a few inches longer in the leg knowing by Christmas he'll grow quite a bit. Also, be sure and give yourself at least 2 inches extra on the top for your waist band.
I then set my template pajama pants aside, took the leg I just cut and flipped it to the other side of the fabric, lined up the folded edges nice and straight, and cut out my other leg....

Once you have the legs cut out, open them up....

set them on top of eachother, right side together....

and sew just along that curved edge on the top. Start at the top of the curve and follow it down and off the side. Do not sew along the straight edge of the pant legs yet!
Hopefully you can kind of see in this picture, I just sewed along that curved edge and stopped.

Repeat it with the other side, just that curved edge on both sides.

After you have that part sewn, open them up and refold them like in the picture below. Line up your two sewn seams on the top of the pants, making sure they are centered. So basically, instead of those two curved edges you just sewed being on the sides, they are now the front and back seams of your pants.

**Note** if you are making the girls pants with the ruffle edge, now is a good time to sew that ruffle to the bottom, BEFORE you sew up the pant legs. Skip down to the ruffle instructions on the bottom of this post to learn how to create the ruffle. **

Now you are going to sew up the legs and the crotch. Start at the bottom of one of the legs, sew up the leg, around the curve of the crotch (see picture below) and down the other leg.

Now they are starting to look like pants, huh?! All you have left to do is sew your waist band and bottom cuffs. Turn your waist band down 1 inch, twice. Press your seam. You can pin if you like.

Sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance around the bottom of the waist band (see picture) and leave a gap about 2 inches wide to feed the elastic through. I used 3/4 inch elastic. Measure how much elastic you need for your childs waist by wrapping the elastic around their waist before you insert it into the pants.

An easy way to feed that elastic through is to use a safety pin on one end. That way you can feel it as it goes under the fabric and around your pants. Keep feeding it through, inch by inch, till you come out the other end. Make sure you don't lose the end of the elastic inside the pants. You may want to safety pin that to the outside of the pant leg so it doesn't get lost inside.

Sew the two ends of elastic together...

Insert the elastic all the way into the waist band and sew up the gap. Next, fold up the bottom of each pant leg an inch, twice, like you did the waist band, and sew that down to create the hem of your pants.
To make the cute ruffle on the girls pants I skipped that last step and instead took a strip of contrasting fabric, 3 inches wide and width of fabric long (so about 44 in long), and folded it in half the long way and pressed the fold. I then lined up the raw edge of the ruffle and the bottom raw edge of the pant leg and sewed it in place, making pleats about every inch. You will not be turning the bottom of the pant leg up 2 inches like you do when making a cuff, so you will want to make your ruffle pants about 1 1/2 inches shorter than the cuff pants.

I then opened that up and pressed the pleats and my seam with a hot iron and top stiched 1/4 inch above the ruffle (see picture below)...

Once you have the ruffle on, go back up this tutorial to were you sew along the leg of the pants and finish that step. Then continue on with the tutorial, and when you are finished, you will have a cute little ruffle along the bottom of each leg.

That's it, you're done! You now have a very special present for your child this Christmas, or in our family's case, the night before Christmas.
If you have any questions you can leave it in the comments for me or e-mail me at

P.S. The fabric for these pants was purchased at Pine Needles at Gardner Village in West Jordan Utah. By far the cutest quilt shop around!!! You can also see them on display there, until I take them down and wrap them up for my kids right before Christmas.