PJ bottoms, make your own pattern.

PJ shorts tutorial showing how to make a pattern with existing pj bottoms


Over the next few weeks I might not post every Friday as I usually do, I’m in the process of attempting my first ever quilt as a present for my Nan and Grandad for Christmas, wish me luck, I’m going to need it!

I still hope to make a few side projects I’ve had planned to share with you guys though, including this! easy PJ shorts with plain pre bought top and a little applique to make it a little more personal.

Less of a stash buster this time! But if you’re making for smallies it still can be! I used under a metre of fabric for these two pairs of shorts!  No pattern needed! Just use a pair of shorts/PJ bottoms/ trousers that already fit and you’re good to go!


I use grease proof paper to make my patterns, but anything like that will do. I used a pair of the twins PJ bottoms and just folded the legs up as I wanted to make shorts rather than trousers. So fold in half and place on the edge of your paper.


Use existing clothes as a pattern


You want to draw around the edge, including your seam allowance.



You want enough space at the top for whatever the width of elastic you want to use, mine was 1″ plus a little extra for folding over. I left 1″ for hemming and 1/2″ for the rest. Once done your pattern should look something like the picture below.




Place your cut out pattern on the fold of your fabric.


Do this twice and open up.

pj shorts

You should have 2 pieces that look like this.


Place your pieces right sides together and sew (or serge) along the 2 longer curves.




Open up your piece of fabric and turn it so the side seam is now at the front.



Now the next stage depends on personal preference. I hate hemming but I’m not a fan of the raw look (if using knit this would be an option for you also), so I cheat and turn over my edges here and hem the straight line (or even before you sew the 1st 2 pieces together), much quicker (for me anyway) the look isn’t quite as professional, so if it’s a gift you might want to skip onto the next stage.





Next line up and pin the crotch area, sew or/and serge around. If you’ve already hemmed your shorts make sure you’ve lined them up properly.









pj shorts tutorial

My cheat way of hemming – would look better if I matched my serger thread to the shorts, but I only have black and white at the moment.


pj short tutorial

Hemming the right way (as you can see no stitching is peeping out the end).


If you haven’t hemmed yet, this is the time to do it.

Now fold over your waistline 1/2″ and press then fold over again the width of your fabric, sew all the way across leaving a couple of inches (I usually leave this gap at the back so i can sew a tag in) for threading your elastic through. I used a stretch stitch for this, if you don’t have one then zig zag is fine. Straight stitch could work but you might find some stitches “pop” when stretching the fabric.

To get the correct length I measure my boys with the elastic, fitting it so it sits nicely and I can get my thumb in between easily, mark this then add an inch for sewing – or omit this step if you’re sewing without the bulk. For these shorts I saw no need, so I added my inch.

Using a safety pin, guide your elastic all the way through.  Once through measure up the extra inch over where you marked the sizing, check there is no twisting and sew over back and forth with a zigzag stitch a few times. Sew up your gap – perfect time to add a tag and Ta-Dah! you’re done.




I made 2 pairs of these in a couple of hours, as you hear me go on about often, I don’t get much time to sew and the twins needed new PJs so instead of making the top, I bought some cheap plain cotton long sleeve tees from Next and to make them co-ordinate a little better I drew the 1st letter of the little guys names and attached them using heat-bond. I bought the wrong type, so was unable to sew around the edges, so I can’t see mine lasting in the wash – though the label seems to think its permanent!



I just ironed on! – In hindsight I kind of wish I had attached these to the front and not the back, there’s always next time though!

Quick tip on how I drew these letters.


To make it nice and symmetrical I 1st made it square.


Curve the corners like above and rub out the extra.














2 little monkeys ready for bed!  Definitely “cheat” PJs but quick and easy, I think the boys approved. Do you have an “cheats” you use fora quick sew?

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Any questions feel free to ask in the comment section below!


Quick and easy tutorial for PJ bottoms using existing trousers or shorts as a pattern.





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