When you start blogging one of the biggest fears you can have is that your posts will be terrible…and even worse people will try to make what you posted about. This is one of those posts. If your wanting to hear about how I regressed from a mediocre sewer to a horrible one… by all means read on.
Having made 3 pairs of these pants now, I can officially say that they have got to be the hardest things to execute and not be embarrassed of. Every year I make flannel PJ’s for our entire family for Christmas and I have gotten pretty good at them whipping out. I decided to really go all out for the basket and “design” a luxurious pair of pants that somebody would want to be buried in they were so comfortable. This consisted of an adorable outer flannel print, a super soft knit lining and satin trimmings. The first pair where for me and meant to be a practice so that I could work out the bugs in my idea. The second pair were actually for last years basket. They ended up being a little short for Lisa. This current pair was to be a Christmas present for my dear friend Leslie… LAST YEAR! Since I am so late getting them to her I really wanted these to be perfect for her…she really is the sweetest person I know.
I’m going to line out here the steps I took in making these pants, but if I hear of anybody making them you’re going to hear from me. Just don’t do it…for your sanity. If anything learn from my mistakes and if your wanting pants like these seek the help of a professional.
*sigh…* here we go.
Your going to need about 3 yards of flannel. I have tried to cut corners here and get as close to the required amount but just get more than you need and save yourself some hassle. Get the same in soft knit fabric (the devils fabric is what I call it) and about a half a yard of satin.
Find your self a pair of pajama pants that are roomy and not stretchy. This is going to be your pattern. (JUST BUY A DAMN PATTERN!!). If you plan on going cheap like I did (still do) you’re going to be sorry, but here’s how you use pajama pants as a pattern. Fold your flannel in half. Fold the pajamas in half, pulling the crotch out so that it makes a point. The long straight edge of the legs needs to go on the folded edge of the flannel, leaving about a inch of the fabric for a seam allowance. Cut out around the pajamas, once again leaving about an inch for a decent seam allowance. If this is confusing just make sure that the flannel is an inch larger than the pajama pants all the way around. When you have it all cut out, use the newly cut flannel as the pattern to cut out another piece the exact same size.
Do the same with the knit only this time use the pajama pants and don’t leave the extra inch for seam allowance. The knit is so stretchy and its so hard to sew it is impossible to make it work…so make them on the small side… heavily. Its stretchy, so the worse thing that could happen is that you have a pair of leggings lining the inside of your flannel PJ’s.
Since knit is such a pain to sew (for a novice like me) I sew the lining first to just be done with it. When sewing knit use a zig-zag stitch so that it retains its stretchy-ness. No matter what I did it always looked like crap…so good luck. Take the two pieces of knit that you have, face to face and pin down both curved sides at the top. Pin a lot-a lot. The fabric will move on you if you don’t. Put a seam in both sides. Fold this in half so that the seams meet in the middle. Pin up the inseam of both legs and sew the seam. You now have knit pants. Keep them inside out.
Go back to your flannel, but before you sew them into pants you will need to put in the satin piping. Keeping both sides together and even, cut about 6-8″ off of the bottom of both sides. Doing this will make sure that your accents are even. Measure two strips of satin that are 2 inches wide and about an 2-3 inches longer than the width of the pant legs you just cut the bottom off of. Fold and pin the satin in half with the shiny side out and sew into a pipe, leaving the rough edges open. Take one top, and one 6-8″ piece from the bottom and sandwich a piece of piping in between the two. Sew all three pieces together using the same seam allowance for each leg, then iron the seams flat. You should have two pieces that are EXACTLY the same.
Now make the pants. Sew the curved sides on the top, fold in half with the seams meeting in the middle. Then sew up the legs. I always pin the piping together first to make sure they line up and let the rest of the “chips” fall where they may… more often than not it means there is some kind of bunching in the crotch…see I told you not to make these pants.
Tuck the lining into the flannel, still inside out so that when the pants are all done the unfinished edges are together and out of sight. Turn them both inside out so the knit is facing out. Trim up the bottom of the legs so that they are even, pin it together making sure the seams line up…mine never did. Put your first seam into the cuff, then roll up a little bit (1/3 to 1/2″), pin and sew. Do it one more time to hide your rough edge. Do the other side.
I’m not really sure why I didn’t hem up the legs last, so I could trim up any “extra” but I saved that for a much bigger problem, the waist. In all three sets of these pajamas I really struggled to finish the waist band and frankly… they all look absolutely horrible… not fixable. The first set (mine) I used a long piece of satin as a draw string. My pants are very rarely not exposing my bum. The second two had elastic waist bands with a bow accent (purely cosmetic) and I hope they are staying up.
These pants ARE very comfortable and they ARE super cute. However, they are heavy. The legs are so wide that my big toe catches in them which ultimately causes me to turf it in front of my kids repeatedly. They also have to be run through the dryer twice because they are so thick that they rarely dry fully with one cycle. Don’t make these pants.