Pajama Pant Sew-along: First Steps

pyjama sew along 2I promised to post the first steps on June 1st.  Here we are and I am not done photographing and writing instructions for making adjustments to the length and crotch depth of the pants and was sweating getting this done in time to post by this afternoon – because I just might not be able to do it.   While I’m writing up the instructions for making pattern adjustments you can get started with the first couple of steps you have to take before that point.  Either this evening or tomorrow I will post the full first tutorial including the instructions I’m putting in this post to get you started.

The first thing you need to do is some laundry.

How to pre-shrink your fabric and when you should do it:

Whenever you sew clothing out of natural fibers you need to pre-shrink your fabric unless you only plan to dry clean them later.  Polyester and other synthetic fibers don’t shrink and blends that have a large percentage of synthetics don’t generally shrink either.  Cotton shrinks at first.  If you don’t preshrink it before cutting out your pattern you may end up with a garment that doesn’t fit you.

Wash your fabric with a like-colored load.  I have not had a problem with fabric dye bleeding in years as most dyes are truly fixed but if your fabric is red or red is a dominant color in a print – I would wash it by itself to be safe.  Wash the fabric exactly as you will be washing the finished garment.  If you always use cold water and delicate cycles – do that.  If you wash on hot or warm – do that.  Dry the fabric exactly as you will be drying the garment when it hits your laundry pile.  Be sure to remove the fabric as soon as it’s done drying to prevent deep wrinkles from setting in it and iron it right away.

Cutting the tissue pieces out:

Unfold your sheets of tissue and look for the pants pattern which are numbered 8 and 9.  You will notice that they have included the cutting lines for pajama shorts.  If you want to make shorts instead of pants go ahead and cut along the lines for the size you’re making.  If you are making the pants – note that the shorts hem protrudes out of the side of the pants’ cutting line.  If you can eyeball cutting right through it go ahead.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing that here’s how to deal with it:

cutting out pattern 2Using a clear ruler (you can use an opaque one but it is much harder to see what you’re doing) connect the cutting line above and below the shorts hem and mark that line with a pencil.

cutting pattern out 1Now you can cut the whole piece out and the cutting line is unbroken and easy to see.

cutting out pattern 3Cut both pieces out.  Disable the steam function on your iron and iron the pattern pieces.  I can promise you that this is not a wasted step.  Crinkled pattern pieces can cause your fabric pieces to be misshapen and not sew well together.

That shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes since you only have to cut two pieces out.

Please don’t cut your pattern out of the fabric yet unless you already know that you don’t need to make any adjustments to it.  Later today or tomorrow I will post the full tutorial including how to make simple adjustments (if needed) and show how to lay out and cut the pattern out of the fabric.

Those of you who are experienced and just joining for the fun – go ahead at whatever speed you want.

I’ll be back with more soon!

8 thoughts on “Pajama Pant Sew-along: First Steps

  1. angelina Post author

    Doesn’t everyone iron them? I don’t think it’s fussy at all – how else will you have a perfectly flat pattern pieces?

  2. Dawn Suzette

    My mom is a fly-by-the-seat of her pants stitcher… She does not iron her patterns and does lots of other stuff that would probably make you cringe. I have not been around any other sewers so I am just going off of my experience with her! :-)

  3. angelina Post author

    My mom is like that too, actually. I wonder if that’s how come we both take more care?

  4. ikram sonallah

    I want to know you start sewing the pants because when you put the pattern on the fabric there is a selvages and the fold, and there is also a back and front, how you start sewing the sides of the pants do you need to cut the selvages to attach it to the front? I am a confused please if you show me how to cut and start sewing and attach pieces all together.

    Thank you,

    Ikram

  5. angelina Post author

    I have explained and shown these things in my post. I’m sorry if they don’t seem clear enough – you may need to read a few more times. If you follow the directions you can see how I’ve laid the pattern pieces out on the fabric so you will not have any selvedge edges on your pieces when sewing them.

  6. Cassie

    Wow, PJ pants are this easy? I wonder how it would be to fold the fabric on the outside leg, only cut out the “hoo-hah” area and just have a seam to sew on the inner side of the leg. I’ll have to buy some mock-up worthy fabric and test this out. If it works out, I’m going to have a fun time making my own lounge pants. Hmm, I wonder if my left over gauze is long enough… *raids her stash.*

  7. angelina Post author

    I’m so sorry I never replied to your comment! I relegated this blog to archive only and thought I’d turned comments off. Whoops! Yes, I think you can make the pants as you describe with just an inseam. Good luck!

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