I have a small problem in winter when I have flannel sheets on the bed and wear flannel pj pants I stick to the bed which is a small issue when I need to turn over every 30 – 60 mins. I wake myself up as I have to really put effort into moving and the bed really jerks around. My solution was to make some pj’s in some silky fabric that would slide against the flannel. By chance when I was clearing out my linen cupboard I found a queen size polyester satin top sheet that I never use. It was just the thing I needed to make my pants. I love the idea of upcycling and it is something I really want to do when I get the chance.
PJ pants have been on my todo list for ages, months ago I drew up my pattern Simplicity It’s So Easy. I did the size XL It is a nice basic pattern and that was all I needed.
I’d never worked with any type of satin before but that didn’t faze me. It was very slippery as I was trying to place my pattern pieces on the fabric but I had a solution last year I purchased a foldable cardboard cutting board at the Simplicity Industry Day. Laying that on the table first than placing my fabric on top instantly made it more stable to work with. This was the first time I’ve used my cutting board and it won’t be the last so if your ever thinking about one I can recommend them.
I overlocked all my edges first then stitched it on the regular sewing machine. I cut my fabric a little larger than the pattern as I wasn’t sure how much would come off when I overlocked it. The pattern says you can easily make it on the overlocker and to be honest next time I will. It took longer the way I did it this time but never mind I still ended up with the same result. I did have a laugh just before I stitched up my side seams I looked down and thought “Oh crap I’m making scrub pants” If you have ever had to wear scrubs that tie at the side you’ll know what I’m taking about.
For the elastic I went through my stash to see what I had. I decided to go with the a knit elastic I found, it was the right width and felt nicer than the woven elastic I had of that same width. I stretched the elastic around my waist until it felt comfortable and marked it with a pen I then added about 1″ to the pen line before cutting. Silly me forgot to measure how long I cut it out of curiosity. Once I threaded it through the casing I tried the pants on to check the fit before sewing the elastic together. Threading elastic through casing is one sewing job I just don’t like. A nappy safety pin is now going to live by my sewing machine for this purpose as I struggle with anything else.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to determined the front and back of these so by chance I left my elastic gap in the back (I never checked when making the casing) So I did some decorative satin stitches to close the gap and identify which way they go.
Originally I tried to use the border pattern at the end of the sheet as a feature at the bottom of the pants, however when I tried on the finished pair they were miles to long. I should’ve actually cut the them and fixed it properly with a double folded hem but I just folded the ends up and hemmed them that way. As you can see I had to take them up a lot.
These pants are by no means the neatest sewing I’ve ever done. There are pleats in my hems and a few other tiny flaws but it doesn’t matter I still ended up with what I wanted pj’s I could wear that would slide on the flannel sheets and they cost me nothing. I’ve tried these out and yes they work. The pattern is unisex and I’m really happy with it. The fit does look a little bit loose but if you adjust the elastic to your waist you’ll be fine. These aren’t fashion items they are functional comfy pants to wear at home. I live in pj pants summer and winter, I don’t want tight ones I just want ones that stay up without my having to hold them. I’ll be making these again but I will be adjusting the length. Also next time I think I will just do them on the overlocker and only do the hems and waistband on the machine. I need to get more knit elastic too as it is perfect. They still do look a little like scrubs but I’ve never seen scrubs this fancy or this flammable 🙂