Here is very proud Caitlin wearing her second sewing project, a pair of PJ’s (the first was a pillowcase – several months ago). At age 6, she’s pretty amazing with the sewing machine – motivated and already sewing with a plan. It was her request to “make pajamas that are shorts and with a spaghetti strap top”. She chose the fabric from my stash. I cut and Cate could hardly wait to start. She eagerly sewed the seams and finished them with a zig-zag stitch using my vintage Bernina 707 with the speed on “slow”. Cate did all of the sewing except for the ruffles. Total sewing time was about 2-1/2 hours, with a few interruptions. Last of all she found some pre-made ribbon roses to embellish her new sleeping attire.
After wearing the pj’s for the remainder of the day and through the night, Cate reported that they were “perfect”.
If you’d like to work with your favorite girl to make these pj’s you don’t need to run out to the store for a pattern.
Pajama Pants (PJ’s) Tutorial:
- Measure the child’s hips (22″ for Cate)
- Find an existing pair of shorts, pants or leggings.
- Turn the pants inside-out and lay the pants on top of the fabric with the center front facing you.
- Cut along the edges of the crotch front.
- Cut along the side, adding width to the side to assure that there will be at least 6″ of wearing ease plus 1/2″ seam allowances. For Cate, 28″ was the total circumference of the pants with the finished width of the front of 13-1/2″ and the back width of 14-1/2″. There’s no need to fuss about the size as loose PJ bottoms are needed for comfort.
- The length is your choice but the inseam should be at least 2″ plus the amount you need for a hem.
- Turn the pants so the center back is now facing you.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5.
- Sew the seams as you would any other pair of pants. Note: for the ruffles, I added them after the side seams but before the inseams were sewn.
- Add elastic for the waist.
PJ Top or Pillowcase dress
Here is the pillowcase dress pattern I used. If this one doesn’t work for you, there are many other free pillowcase dress patterns on the web and YouTube has lots of video tutorials as well. Cate, Mira and I watched one of the videos. Mira noted that the woman put her fingers “too close” to the sewing machine needle. I learn so much when teaching Cate and Mira to sew.
As you can imagine, these pj’s have been a hit – suitable for bedtime or playtime. Give it a try with your favorite child and let me know what you learn.