Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DIY easy, one-hour, one-yard Slumber Party PJ's

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As any seamstress knows, sometimes you just need an easy project that you can whip out in an afternoon. Whether it's to help build confidence for a new sewer, restore confidence for a seasoned sewer after a project-gone-wrong (yes, it still happens), something you can do with your girlfriends, or something you can crank out a bunch of for a party, gifts, or for all of your kids, easy projects should always be on your to-make list. Which is why I was thrilled to find these Slumber Party PJ shorts at SewDaily.com.

SewDaily.com is the online accompaniment to Stitch Magazine. They have a ton of free patterns. The only catch is the sewing instructions can only be found in the magazine. But, these little sleep shorts were sew simple I was able to figure them out on my own and, lucky for you, am here to share!

You'll need to download the pattern from SewDaily.com, tape together the pages per their instructions, and cut your size based on the cutting guides that's included in the download. All you need for this pattern is a yard of fabric, elastic, and ribbon. I used Michael Millers' "Find The Narwhal Bloom" for something a little unexpected. This is a great opportunity for teens and adults to visit the novelty section of the store and have a little fun with the fabric choices! Additionally, I picked up some pre-packaged elastic. You'll need something quite thick...anything between 3/4" and 1" should do and enough to fit snuggly around your hips. I also used 5/8" grossgrain ribbon in navy (feel free to go larger, if you want, for a fancier bow in the end) and navy thread. Buy as much as you bought of the elastic plus 1/2 a yard for the bow.

Once you've got all your supplies, wash, dry, and press your fabric to allow for shrinkage. Now, we're ready to cut and sew!

Lay out your fabric per the instructions on the download. If your fabric has a nap (or a clear direction that it should lay) make sure to keep that in mind as you lay out your pieces. You don't want upside-down Narwhal's, do ya?!

Next, we have to sew in some button holes that the ribbon will thread through. To determine the height of your button hole, place your ribbon in the button hole foot for your machine and adjust the gauge so the ribbon fits in and moves through it easily.

Sew your button holes to the right side of the front pieces of the shorts. There's a mark on the pattern indicating where the button holes go. Transfer that to your pattern and sew the button holes there. For a super professional look and to add durability, iron on some lightweight interfacing behind the area where the button hole will go first. I did not do this, FYI. (Laziness at its finest!)

Next, take one front piece and one back piece and lay them right sides together. Then sew the inner leg seam.

Do this for both sides. Open the fabric and press the seam flat.

Then, place the two funky looking pieces right sides together and sew along the "U" shape in the middle. This is the crotch of your shorts.

Flip the pieces around so that they look like inside out shorts. Kind of hard to explain this, but you unfold the shorts and the refold them so the crotch loops around and the inner legs are on the inside of the shorts.

Next, sew up the side seams.

Now, hit the serger (or the zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine and finish all the seams up to this point. You'll also serge all around the top waistband opening.

Now, flip over the top of the waistband about an inch. Keep in mind where the buttonholes are...they'll need to be centered on your waistband when you're done.

See the button hole tucked under there??

Using your seam ripper, gently rip the fabric on the inside of the button hole. Feed your elastic through this hole using a large safety pin to help you move it through the casing.

**Note: If you used a ribbon that is significantly narrower than your elastic, you won't be able to fit it through your button holes. Instead, leave a two inch opening in your waistband and slip the elastic through there. Then, sew the hole closed once you've got the elastic sewn together to the right length.**

Once you've got the elastic running all the way around the waistband, sew its ends together using a zig-zag stitch. I also sewed down the seam allowances of the elastic just to make sure the elastic lays flat in the front.

Next feed the ribbon through in the same manner as the elastic.

At this point, you should try your shorts on to check a couple of things. First make sure your elastic is tight/loose enough and adjust accordingly. Also, mark the length of the shorts. I ended up having to cut off a little more than an inch. Depending on how short you like your sleep shorts, you could cut off more or less. Once you've got your legs cut to the desired length, serge them. Now, flip under your hem and sew.

**Update: Spoken from experience, you'll need to sew down the ribbon so it doesn't slip back through the hole in the wash. There are a couple of ways to do this:

  • an "X" in the back
  • continue the side seams up through the elastic on both sides
  • on either side of the button holes

I honestly, don't know which would be the best way since this is clearly an afterthought on my part. Leave some suggestions in the comments if you know of a fool-proof way to keep the ribbon in place.

Finally, fray check the ends of the ribbon.

And, just like that...you're done! Now, jump into you cute little sleep shorts and cuddle up with a good book! Now, that's a perfect weekend project!


  1. I absolutely love the fabric choice :) wicked cute.

  2. Can you provide better instructions for the step after you sew the crotch

  3. absolutely love these! great directions! made around 6 pairs and my whole family loved them


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