Simple Pajama Pants Tutorial

This last Christmas I made pajama pants for my girls. I found the fleece fabric at JoAnn and thought they would be cute for some warm and comfy pajama pants. My sewing friend, Emily, showed me the easiest way to sew pajama pants. It seriously saved me so much time by doing it this way. And since Kaye, my 4-year-old, has the same size waist as a 12-month-old, I was able to adjust the waist size to fit her perfectly. If you make something inspired by Simply Modern Mom, please upload pictures of it to our Flickr group to show it off to everyone. You may be featured on Simply Modern Mom.


  • fleece fabric or other pajama fabric
  • matching thread
  • elastic
  • pattern ease or long butcher paper
  • a pair of child’s favorite pants (pajama or sweats)

1. Grab a pair of your child’s favorite pants and turn them inside out. Preferably another pair of pajama pants or sweats. Then tuck one leg inside the other. Place on top of the pattern ease or large butcher paper to sketch the pattern. Pants are usually made up of 4 pieces – 2 front pieces and 2 back pieces. However, since these are simple pants, you will be drawing one pattern piece where you will only need 2 cut pieces of it.

2. I started out with the back piece of the pants, it’s different than the front piece. See the tag sticking out in the picture. Make sure the pants is folded at the seam to get an accurate drawing of the pattern piece. Trace the pant pattern with the straight leg seam facing inside the pattern. Leave some room around the pattern to draw the seam allowance later.

3. With the pants still turned wrong side out, flip the pants over to sketch the front pattern piece. Now you will match the straight leg of the front piece to the straight leg of the back piece that you just sketched. Label it to help you remember. This is where you combine the front and the back piece pattern into just one pattern to save you sewing time. Just to make sure, the curve for the crotch in the front and back are on either sides of the pattern with the straight leg in the middle of the pattern.

4. To draw the waist portion, stretch out the elastic waist band a bit so that it gathers when you place your elastic. Plus it gives some stretch room to pull the pants up and down. The waist portion stretched out will be about the same width or slightly wider than the rest of the pant leg. And the waist of the front piece may be shorter than the back piece. Mark the difference then draw a line from the top of the back piece wait line to the top of the front piece waist line. This line will be at an angle down. Or to keep it simple, match the waistline of the front (shorter) piece to the top of the back (longer) piece so the waistline is the same for both pieces.

5. Now add 1/2-inch seam allowance around the pants. I usually do a 1-inch at the bottom hem. It’s easier to hem the pants shorter than to make it longer if your pattern came out a bit short. Plus it gives them some growing room. And then consider the casing of the pants. How wide is your elastic? Mine was 3/4-inch wide. Take the width of your elastic x 2 for the fold over + 1/4 inch for some room + 1/2 inch for the seam allowance = your casing at the waist. So I added an additional 1 1/2 inch at the top for the casing since I already had an inch from the pant pattern’s waistband.

6. Cut out your pattern, including the seam allowance. Then trace onto your fabric. You will need two pieces of this pattern, one for the left leg and one for the right. So I folded my fabric in half, trace the pattern and cut both pieces out at the same time.

7. With the right sides together, match the inner straight leg to the point of the crotch curve. Pin and sew the two separate pieces. I did a straight stitch then a zig zag in the seam allowance. If you have a serger, you can serge the seam allowance. The top curve won’t match up and that’s OK. It’s not supposed to match up (see picture below).

8. Once you sew the inner leg portion of the pants, flip one of the legs right side out. Tuck the pant leg that’s right side out inside the wrong side out pant leg with the crotch part lined up. The two pant legs should have the right sides touching.

9. Pin the curves together and sew one big U that’s the curve. This is the curve that’s from the crotch to the top of the waist.

10. Pull out the other pant leg and you have an almost finished pair of pants.

11. Fold down the casing for your elastic at the waist. Sew it in place but leave an opening to pull the elastic through.

12. The elastic is the length of your child’s waist measurement + 1/2 inch for sewing the end together. Pin a large safety pin at one end of the elastic and use it to help pull the elastic through the waistband. Then sew the elastic ends together.

13. You may have excess seam allowance at the waist. You can trim that off to make it even after you sewed the elastic casing.

14. Sew the opening close. I added a little tag at the back so my kids can easily identify which is the front and which is the back when putting it on.

15. Have child try the pants on to see how much to hem at the bottom of each pant leg. And done!

» Have you made pajama bottoms before? How did you make them?

68 Responses to “Simple Pajama Pants Tutorial”

  • Sherry

    I just made these for part of a Christmas eve package for my 5yr old boy. I recycled a pair of his big brothers fleece pj pants by cutting the pattern out of the legs of adult pants. I could use the original cuff. I just had to line up the original leg seam with the midline of the pattern. Thank you for a great tutorial!

  • Michelle

    Thank you for posting this very simple pattern. It worked great for me as I am just learning to sew on my own. My 5 year old adors the things I make him and is so proud to wear his pants. I am going to try with the top next, as I am getting braver. Any recommondations?

  • Robin Reed

    Thank you so much this is just in time our tiny tornado needs some more pants!! I am going to try these today. I have shared a link back to your site so others can see where it all began!

  • BIBI

    These are super easy to make! Whipped one up for my li’l man…..and hubby…..and me, too. And I am a novice…you make it sooo easy. I thank you…..

  • Dee

    I tried this last night to make a pair of PJ’s for my 17mth old grand daughter. I was so amazed I actually made a pair of pants, boosted my confidence as not a sewer as a rule. Thank you so much for you easy to follow tutorial. Have tried this method to a degree on a top for her pj’s seems to have worked. 🙂

  • sarah schneider

    how much fabric would i need for an adult medium or large?? I wanna make some for my boyfriend for valentines day.

    • Jennifer

      Measure the length and width of the pants he has you are using for the pattern. Don’t forget to make sure the fabric is wide enough.

  • Tracey G.

    I made these today using a pair of my daughter’s jammie bottoms as a template. I turned them into capris instead of full-length bottoms, though, to make them a bit cooler for the summer nights in the Adirondacks. They turned out beautifully! I’m new to sewing, and this tutorial was perfect; it was easy to follow & simple enough for the novice. Thanks!!

  • Jennifer

    I made these pants last night in purple corduroy. It was so easy. I am not good at sizing even with a pattern using a well fitting pair of pants to make a pattern was the easiest pattern ever! Thank you. You made it so easy for me understand. Iam going to make a pair for myself too!

  • Avery

    These pants were so easy to make, and when they were done they looked so professional and cute! I have made 3 pairs already and one for my friend. Thanks so much for sharing this to me and all of us!!!!


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