Tutorial ~ Scrap Buster Pajama Bottoms

by Destri on January 20, 2012

Srap Busting Pajama Bottoms
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It has been a while since we have had a good ‘ole re-purposing project, no?  They are kind of my favorite – less pressure if you screw up :).  What I love most about this idea is that it helps tackle my ever growing scrap fabric basket.  Plus, they’re cute, quick, and easy.  I made the pink pajama bottoms from a knit shirt, and the brown pair from a pillowcase, and some cute scraps I just couldn’t part with.  I ended up loving them so much, I used the same concept for my kid’s Christmas jammies.  I will have to snap a picture of them and add to the post when I get a chance.  Onto the tutorial, catch me after the jump!

Fabric Topped Pajama Pants Tutorial


  • Fabric (I used scrap fabric and an old shirt and pillowcase)
  • all your sewing stuff
  • 3/4 – 1 inch elastic
  • pair of pants that fit well as a guide for pattern


If you are just starting out sewing, I have a sewing tips directory that will help you with any terms or techniques you are not familiar with.

Here’s a little tip: when repurposing clothing for sewing, use the elements of the garment that you can to make your life easy. I have all sorts of sewing tutorials showing how to do this, and in today’s project I used the hem of the shirt as the hem for my pant legs.

Place two layers of fabric on a cutting surface and then fold in half like shown in image above.

Now take the pants you are using for your guide and turn them inside out, fold in half and place on the folded edge of the fabric as shown.  Take into account how you will be sewing them up.  I didn’t need to hem the bottom of mine, but the pants I was using were too short for my little one, so I made sure that I left a couple inches at the bottom.  If you need to hem the bottom of you pants, make sure to leave that allowance at the bottom as well.

Now following the pants as a guide, cut out the pieces.  For the top, you just want to use your eyes to decide where you want the fabric top to meet the bottom.  I wanted it to hit just below the hips, so that is where I cut.  Write down the amount of inches you left at the top, you will need that.  I had four inches that I needed for the top.

Now you should have two pieces.  If you don’t have the legs hemmed yet do that now.

Now take the scrap fabric and cut it to match the length of the top of the pant legs like shown, and then make sure that you have enough height to account for the fold over for the elastic casing.  I could have used a little more, but my fabric piece was just a little short..I rolled with it.

Now place the fabric so that is lines up with the top edge of the pant leg, right sides together and pin.

Sew the two together, and then finish the seam with a zigzag stitch, or serger. Repeat on the other pant leg.

Press the seam up towards the top and then topstitch along the upper edge to lock the seam into place.

Now fold one pant leg with the right sides together and sew up the inside seam like illustrated with the dotted line.  Repeat on the second leg. You will want to finish the seams if you are not using knit.

Next turn one pant leg right side out and tuck inside the pant leg that you left right side in.  You will line up the inseams and the top, then sew where the dotted line indicates.  Finish any seams you need to.

Now turn them right side out and they should look like this.

Fold over the top edge a 1/4 inch and press, and then again as much as needed to allow the elastic you are using to fit in the casing, and press.

Then sew right along the bottom edge (mine is on the inside) to make the casing, leaving a two inch opening in the back to thread the elastic through.

Take the elastic and pin a safety pin to the end.  Insert the end through the opening in the back and then thread the elastic through.

Using a zigzag stitch, sew the ends of the elastic together, then sew up the opening in the back. You’re finished!

See, there are those hems I didn’t have to do.

I hope you find this useful, and I would love to see any pics if you try it!

I have a couple posts that show different ways to add elastic too: Sport Elastic Waistband Tutorial (like boxers, boys love these), How To Make A Knit Elastic Waistband (extra soft for little tummies). Both are great for pajama bottoms.

Hope everyone has a great weekend,


Linked to the fabulous Skip To My Lou

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy January 21, 2012 at 6:02 am

What a great idea! I too have an abundance of scraps. This is a great way to put them to use! Thanks for sharing another wonderful Mother Huddle tutorial.


Destri January 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Thanks Kathy! I need to do an entire year of scrap busting posts to get rid of all mine :)


Kelly R. January 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Just found your blog and immediately signed up via e-mail. What a lovely group of wonderful ideas, recipes, etc. Looking forward to hearing so much more from you!!


Destri January 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Thanks so much Kelly, you made my night! We’ve had a hiccup with our email, but a new one will be going out on Tuesday!


taryn January 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Thanks for sharing. I made a pair for my 2 year-old today. They are so easy to make and he loves them :)


Jill January 30, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Just finished my first pair and they turned out great! Thanks for sharing! I’m excited to make more. (I cut each of the leg pieces separately, using the side hem of my t-shirt for the outer seam on the pants, as it was a cute double-serged hem and when finished it gave the side of the little pants some cute detail.)


Ruth January 31, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Brilliant! Pinning this for future fun!


Angela February 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Thanks so much – this tutorial saved me! I was able to make a pair of white flannel pants so that my daughter could be comfortable while pretending to be a polar bear! You can see my story here: http://resolvingcrazy.blogspot.com/2012/01/i-tried-it-she-liked-it.html#!/2012/01/i-tried-it-she-liked-it.html

Thanks again – I’ve got a pair of Diego pants and some cute pink flannel ones on the sewing menu for this weekend!


louise February 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Great Idea!! These do look great. And would be nice pants for outside too, not just pj’s!


Holly M. February 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Originally I was going to just make the pans without the coordinating waist band, but I had a blonde moment and forgot to allow extra fabric in the waist and I accidentally cut out my pattern exactly the size of the pants I was measuring them against, so it would have been way too tight. I haven’t tried them on my daughter yet, but they look about the right size compared to her other pants. Might have made them a smidge too long, but it’ll be ok if they fit everywhere else. GREAT tutorial. I can’t wait to make more. I’ll post again once I try them on my baby girl if they fit properly! :o)


Holly M. February 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Oops, second blonde moment of the day…posted the web address in the wrong place. Geesh, I might need to stop and start over again today!



Destri March 10, 2012 at 9:45 am

Dang it, it won’t let me see! Thanks so much for letting me know though. It truly makes my day :)
You can try posting a pic on our Facebook wall, I think it will let you!


Holly M. March 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm

That’s odd…. I’ll try again. I also looked on your FB page…and no place to post photos… Unless I’m missing it on the new timeline layout. Which is a possibility!



Lacey March 23, 2013 at 9:32 pm

I made these, but they are somehow too small in the rear area, any suggestions?

I modeled them after some pants that might have been a little too stretchy/form fitting and I’m using a flannel for the ones I’m making. I probably should’ve used a pair that are looser.



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