How to Sew Your Own Glamping Pajamas in an Hour!

Supplies to make cotton pajama pants with Timeless Treasures camper themed fabric.
One of my best teachers in college would begin her lessons by telling mistakes she made as a teacher.  These examples made a huge impact on my teaching career and my personal life.  Learning how to deal with mistakes is an important part of sewing.  It teaches you how to both avoid making them and what to do when it happens.  Full disclosure here.  I love this project and how it turned out.  I am going to show you how to make easy cotton pajama pants.  This tutorial also includes how to overcome and fix a mistake.  You can thank Dr. Callahane and her teaching style for this now.

I probably have written before to measure twice and cut once.  I need to learn to take this advice and apply it every single time I sew.  This project is a lesson in this sewing rule for me.

Pajama pants are basic and can be done in about 1 hour.  Before you start this project, I urge you to MEASURE your hips and waist.  Write this number down and save it.  Sorry for yelling at you in all caps there, but this is VERY important.  There, I did it again.  Okay.  Once more.  Measure your hips and waist and write those numbers down.

The supplies you will need for this project are:
  • Timeless Treasures Mini Campers Fabric - For an adult, I would recommend at least 2 1/2 yards because of the length.  You might want to get 3 just to be sure.  You can use the leftovers for other projects.
  • 1 inch no roll elastic - You will need enough to go around your waist.
  • Light pink thread to match your fabric
  • Pins
  • Measuring Tape
  • Large safety pin
  • Newspaper or tracing paper to make your pattern
  • Scissors
  • Pair of pajama pants that you like the way that they fit.  This will be used for the pattern.

Step One

Before beginning any sewing project, wash and dry your fabric according to the materials directions.  I typically do this as soon as I get my fabric even if I'm a few days from actually starting to sew.

Step Two

Make a pattern using a favorite pair of pajama pants.  I used tracing paper to make my pattern.  If you think that you would use tracing paper more than once, this is a good supply to have on hand.  I use this to make my own patterns for projects like this.  Because of the width, I had to tape two pieces together side by side to give me enough width.

Fold you pajama pants in half.  You will want to pull the seams nice and taught so that each part is easily traceable.  See the example below.  

Here is where you measurements come in handy.  This is also where I made my mistake.  So, avoid doing what I did!

Measure across the top of the waistband of the pants.  Multiply this number by 4.  If the number you get is less than the waist measurement, increase the waist by enough to get your waist measurement.

You will also need to check the hip measurement doing the same thing.  Measure across the widest part of the hip.  Multiply by four.  Add enough to equal your hip measurement.

Bottom line, if you are using knit fabric, you might want to add a little here.  Cotton fabric is not going to stretch.  You have to be able to get these pants up and over your hips.  To ensure that you have about 2 to 3 inches to spare in the hip and waist,  you may need to increase your pieces to do this.

Just remember that you have four pieces.  So anything you add should be divided into each piece and side.  Therefore, if you need to add 2 inches to your waist, you will add 1/4 inch to each side of the waistband.  Over 4 pieces, you will have your 2 inches.  I hope this all makes sense.

Adjust your pattern as needed at the hip and waist.  Next, you will want to add 1 1/2 inches to the top of the waist to allow for the elastic.  You can add another 1 inch at the bottom for the hem.  Finally, add another 1/4 inch all the way around for a seam allowance.  See the image below to see how I did this.  Using a pencil and tracing paper made this easy to do!

Step Three

Once you have adjusted your pattern to your sizes, cut everything out.  Fold your fabric in half on the long side.  You will want to make everything nice and smooth.  You will need a large flat surface for this.  You are going to be cutting this pattern piece twice with the fabric folded in half.  This will give you 4 pieces all together.  Cut the first piece.  Then flip the pattern to give you a mirror image of the first to cut the second piece.

Now that you have 4 pieces, pin the legs together with right sides facing.  You will pin along the one long straight side and the side with the curve up to the curve.  Leave the top and bottom open along with the curved portion.

Stitch the pinned sides together with a straight stitch.

Step Four

Now, turn one leg right side out.  Leave one wrong side out.  Stuff the leg piece with the right side turned out into the piece with the wrong side out.

Once you have one leg stuffed into the other,  pin the curved edge together.  This will create the crotch inseam of the pants.  You are pinning this so that the right sides are facing each other.

Step Five

Stitch along the curved edge.  Next, pull the leg out that was stuffed into the other so that the pants are now connected and the wrong side out.  Try on your pants here to make sure they fit!  If they don't, then I'm going to tell you how to fix that at the bottom of this post!

Step Six

Now you are ready to roll the waistband down and pin so that you can insert the elastic.  Be sure to leave about 1 inch open to insert the elastic on the actual waistband..

I pinned the bottom so that I turned the end over hiding the raw edge.  Be sure to measure this so that you have about 1 1/2  to 1 1/4 inches to insert the elastic.  Stitch all the way around the waistband leaving that one-inch portion unclosed so that you can pull the elastic through.

Step Seven

Wrap a piece of elastic around your waist to determine the length.  Cut the elastic giving yourself a couple of extra inches.  Attach a safety pin and begin guiding the elastic through the waistband.

After feeding the elastic through the waistband, make sure that it goes through and gathers all the way around.  You may need to trim a little more.  Sew the elastic together.  Once the elastic is joined, stuff into the waistband.  Close the opening either by hand or with the machine.  

Step Eight

Now, turn up your leg bottoms and fold to hem.  I used a regular straight stitch for this.  However, you could use a hem stitch if you prefer.  I just went for easy on this.  

If you are smarter than me, your project will end here.  It will all work together.  However, my project required a little work.  And, this next part needs to be done before the elastic goes in.  

How to Fix a Problem

Here is the part where I tell you what to do if you find out that your pants will not fit over your hips!  First, don't make that mistake.  Go back and reread the first part of this post to avoid it.  But, if you do, don't through your hands up.  You can fix this.  

Measure from the waist to the bottom of your hip.  Cut a piece of fabric in a V shape that is the length of the measurement from waist to bottom of the hip.  Make it wide enough to give you enough width to fix your error.  Trim the V from width to bottom that will give you a piece you can insert into the hip.  

To insert this little piece into the pants to make them wider, take a seam ripper and open the side of the pants the length of your V.  Pin the V-shaped piece with the wrong side outward and stitch into the side of the pants.  

Once you have done this, it will be virtually unnoticeable.  Again, don't do this if you don't have to.  But, I also think that I would be remiss if I didn't show you how to fix mistakes.  They happen.  And it is okay.  If you have ever done any sewing, it has happened to you.  

And when you are done, you will have this little number!

I love how these turned out.  I don't love that picture of me wearing them above.  But, you get the picture.

These are going to look great at the campground!  I paired these with a basic white tee shirt that I found at Walmart.  You can pick any color.  This fabric is really soft and comfy.  I love how it is not too thick or thin.  They are perfect for spring and summer.

This same process can be used to create anything from kids shorts and pajamas to adult boxer style shorts.  You can really customize these to any length.  And, if you really want to be crafty, you could make a matching set for your whole family.  In fact, save this pin for Christmas and make those Christmas PJs for everyone in your family.  I mean Christmas is only a few months away.  If you start now, you have plenty of time to get that project done.  And, with it snowing in much of the country still, it feels more like winter than spring!

Be sure to share this with others on Pinterest.  Share on social media.  As always,

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