I’m so pleased to see how many people have signed up to join the Pyjama Party. There are well over 100 of us taking part! That’s gonna be one big bed we’ll be sharing. Does anyone have a spare lilo?
I thought that today we’d take a look at our pattern piece. The beauty of making pyjama bottoms is that often it’s only ONE pattern piece that you need to work with. Result!
The sizing is very relaxed – XXS to XL. So choose whichever your measurements fit into and cut out or trace. No toiles needed – hurrah!
The one adjustment you may need to make is leg length. My pattern piece made a perfect length for me – and I’m 5’5″. When I say perfect, I mean that I like my pyjamas to err on the long side. As several readers have commented, no one wants drafts around their ankles!
If you need to shorten or lengthen your pattern piece, there should be a place marked with double lines on the pattern piece for the right place to make this adjustment:
To measure your leg, I would take your inside leg measurement and check that against the centre line of the pattern piece, measuring down from where the crotch line is marked. To get your inside leg measurement, you could measure the inside seam on a favourite pair of trousers, or, you know, get someone to help you. The inside leg measurement should be from under your groin to your ankle, though if you want a longer pyjama leg for warmth – you know what to do! There’s a rather lovely video here about taking your own measurements. (Let that lyrical voice lull you!) At about 6:17 they cover the inside leg measurement.
Once you’ve done all this, you’re ready to cut out your fabric! I’ve decided to make my second pair using some pretty floral cotton that Marie of A Sewing Odyssey kindly gave me at last weekend’s swap. Free fabric, yay!
There isn’t quite enough for my pattern pieces to be cut out on the grain, so I’m going to cut them out cross grain ie lying the pattern pieces horizontal to the selvedge rather than vertical with the selvedge.
THE HORROR! Some people would say you should never do this. Apparently, the weave of the fabric isn’t as stable or strong on the cross grain than it is on the grain. For me, making a pair of pyjama bottoms? Whatever, I’ll take the risk.
I have a few important things to say about cutting out:
Remember that you aren’t working with fabric on the fold. It’s laid flat in one piece to accommodate that large pattern piece.
Because of the huge size of these pattern pieces, it is important that your pieces are accurately placed on your grainline. For a tutorial on how to do this, go here.
If your pattern is like mine, please, please, please remember that it should be placed face up for cutting out one leg and face down for the second leg piece to be cut out. Face up, face down. Got it? I have been bitten on the nose by this more than once, cutting out two identical pieces. You don’t want two identical pieces, you want two mirror images.
Cutting out the second leg piece, my pattern is pinned face down. Important!
Make your notches. This is important because when sewing together the two leg pieces, you’ll really want to be able to figure out which is your centre back seam and which is your centre front seam, for accommodation of (respectively) your bottom and your front bottom. (That’s a medical term.) They’re shaped differently. The pattern sections, I mean. As well as, you know… Moving on!
All of the above took about half an hour, max. Your pattern pieces are cut out! Next up, sewing.