Tutorial ~ Simple Summer Pajamas

by Destri on August 18, 2011

Summer Pajamas Tutorial

I love these jammies!  So much so, I am considering making myself some.  My little one hates nightgowns (can’t blame her), they just twist around her at night, and she hates shirts and shorts because the shirt ends up around her chest.  I decided she needed something like a onsie.  A soft knit, one piece, form fitting number, that’s comfortable enough she can wear it around the house all day morning.  I settled on a romper style, and she has loved them.  They have been perfect for this summer of off the charts heat index we have been so enjoying – but hey…it’s only 98° today. :)

Summer Jammies Tutorial

I know, we’ve seen cuter, but I’m telling you, these have been a favorite.  The best part is that you can sew one up in less than thirty minutes.  You only need two measurements, half a yard of knit fabric, and you’re set!   Oh, and don’t be afraid of the knit part, it’s super simple to work with, promise.

Romper Pajamas Tutorial

Update** Here is a new version I’ve made for this year with wider lace and a simple lettuce edge you make with just a zigzag stitch.  The pajamas are still very much a favorite!

Summer Romper Pajamas Tutorial

If you are new to sewing and have questions with any of these terms I have a Sewing Tips Directory that might help.  It has an entire section on sewing with knit fabric (like we use in this tutorial). Feel free to leave any questions in the comments too.


  • ½ yard of a knit cotton – soft and stretchy.  Make sure to wash it!
  • 2 yards of soft stretch lace or less if you are zigzag stitching the legs – I used ½ inch wide on the white pair, and 1¼ for the flowered pair.  Lace Haven has a great selection.
  • ball point needle for your sewing machine
  • all your sewing stuff


You will need the waist measurement, and the torso.  For the torso, measure from the top of the shoulder (or under the neck) down to the crotch.

Fabric cuts:

To make the first cut you will take the waist measurement and divide it by four, then add an inch.  My little girls waist came in at 21, divided by four = 5.25+ 1 inch = 6¼.  Once you have found your number, lay your half yard of fabric folded in half on a flat cutting surface.

Now fold the ends over like shown to allow for the first cut.  This will give you four layers with two folds.

From the fold measure over the length of the measurement and cut.  So I cut 6¼ inches from the fold.  Leave the pieces folded for the next cuts.

Now take the torso measurement and cut the pieces to that length.  My little girls torso came in at 16.  I cleaned up the edges on one end and then measured from there, and cut at 16 inches.  Leave them folded.

Okay, now don’t let this part scare you, super easy!  You are going to be making a cut just like shown in the picture.  You will notice that I took off about an inch, starting about 2 inches from the bottom, on the cut edges (not to folds).

I left two inches at the bottom, then just arched my cut to 1 inch and cut straight up from there.  This doesn’t need to be perfect, just get the basic shape as shown in the picture.

You should have two pieces looking like this when unfolded.  Now it’s time to sew!

If you have a stretch stitch on your machine, now’s the time to use it.  It kind of looks like a slanted stitch.  My machine doesn’t so I use a slightly longer stitch length.  I normally sew on the “B” setting, so for this I set it on the “C” setting.  Not as long as a basting or gathering stitch.  This way the stitch will have a enough give to allow the knit to stretch, and the thread will not feel tight and break. I have used this technique a lot and have had great success.

Make sure you have a ball point needle in as well.

If you want the lettuce edge finish, just zigzag stitch along the bottom edge of the legs, pulling the fabric to stretch it as you sew.  The more you stretch the fabric while sewing the more of a ruffle effect you get.

To finish the legs with lace: Cut two pieces of the stretch lace to match the length of the leg as shown.

Sew the lace onto the bottom of the leg by overlapping half the lace onto the right side of the fabric.  Then sew right along the edge of the lace like shown.  You can do two rows of stitches if you have a wider lace.

Repeat on the other pieces, and they should both look like this.

Here is a shot of the backside just to give you an idea of how much I overlapped the lace.

Take one piece and fold in half with right sides together like shown.  Sew up the little two inch section where the dots in the image indicate with a 1/4 inch seam allowance (edge of fabric lined up with edge of presser foot).  Repeat on the second piece.

Now take one piece and turn it right side out.

Tuck that piece into the piece that is right side in.  This will make it so the right sides are together on the inside.  Line up all the edges, and make sure the fabric is nice and smooth.

Pull the two inch section over to the center and form a U shape like shown.  You will sew the two pieces together like shown, right along the u shape, still using 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Make sure that when you get to the crotch seams, they are laying flat on both sides when you stitch over them.

Now turn right side out and lay flat with the seams running down the center of the front and back like shown.  We are cutting out the armholes now.  You can use a shirt for a guide if you like, but I just measured down two inches on the side and two inches in from the center on top and cut out at a curve connecting the two points.  On the white one I made, I only went in 1 1/2 inches and you can see in the pictures, the romper is a little broad across the chest.  Going in two inches was just right.  You can adjust this depending on how old you are making for based on mine.

Now cut two pieces of lace, matching the top.

Sew the lace onto the top of the front and back in the same manner that you did the pant leg.

Now for the arms.  I cut a 13 inch piece of lace for each arm hole, and just used a shirt as my guide.  If you are worried about getting it too small, just cut it extra long and then after you have sewn it on the arm, you can try it on and make sure before you sew up the last bit.

I had my romper laying on the side with the arms spread out semi flat.  I then just centered the lace on the arm hole like shown on the picture.  You can pin if you like, or just wing it like I did ;).  Sew the lace onto the arm holes just as you did on the legs and tops.

Now just sew the top of the straps up, right sides together, and you’re finished!

This picture cracks me up…”no wait!  Let me pose!”

“Behold, the Summer Romper Pajamas!”

Romper style pajamas

She wears these pajamas non-stop!  I have to beg her to get out of them in the morning.  And like I said, I might just make some for me, but you won’t be getting any pictures of that…nope :).

If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments and I will answer them there.

If you make some, let me know!  I love feedback, you guys are like my pattern testers :).  Let me know what you think!

Hope you like this one,


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