As a trial run for making some trousers for Spring, I had a go at making some pyjama trousers with some cheap brushed cotton I already had in my stash. I’m hoping that the process and my measurements will help me get the fit and finish right for the proper trousers. Here’s how I got on.
My mum recently bought me a copy of Tilly and the Buttoms Love at First Stitch, which handily has a pattern for pjyama trousers. The pattern itself was simple enough to use, with just four pieces for the legs (two front and two back). The only downside is that you have to trace the pattern as the top and bottom of each leg are on opposite sides of the pattern. But that was overcome easily enough, and means that I can recreate the trousers in a number of sizes (is it too soon to be thinking about friends’ Christmas presents?*).
*At the speed I sew, it’s probably already too late.
The brushed cotton was super easy to sew, with little movement and barely any stretch. The trousers ended up being a little on the small side, but the fabric feels strong enough to cope with the extra strain (phew!). Unfortunately there was a slightly faded patch on my fabric – which I made sure was on the back of the trousers – but at least I was only using for a test and a garment only to be worn around the house. Lesson learned: always check the fabric you’re buying carefully!
As the material itself is pretty plain, I opted for a bright (read: fluorescent) orange ribbon and some orange bias binding for the leg hems. The orange works really well with the lilac and stops the trousers from looking too sweet (not really my style).
Aside from taking around a month to make end to end (who would have thought that returning to a house share in London would provide less sewing opportunities than the months spent living with my parents!), the trousers came together quite well.
Tracing the pattern and cutting the fabric was easy enough, as was sewing up the legs (although finishing the seams felt as though it took forever!). To get my head around sewing the crotch, I pinned and tacked these seams, which was really helpful. It helped me figure out how the pieces work together and prevented any movement when it came to machining.
A near-perfect crotch (a phrase I never thought I’d say)
The waistband and ribbon holes came next, and I must admit they are a little wonky as I was starting to get impatient with this seemingly endless project. But they are secure and durable enough to wear, which is the main thing you need from pyjamas.
To hem the leg, I used a bright orange bias binding. Using this site as a guide I sewed the bias binding the the outside, keeping the stiching as close as possible to the fold of the bias binding. For the inside, I slipstitched the bias binding the the trousers, to avoid any stitching being visible from the outside. This does look a bit messy on the inside as my hand sewing is really not up to scratch, but looks pretty flawless on the outside.
And here is the finished pair of trousers! Not-quite perfect and definitely wearable (still my measure of success), I’m really pleased with how they’ve turned out.
My first pair of trousers!
Subconscious colour inspiration in my wardrobe
As pleased as I am with the pyjamas, I don’t think I’ll be using the pattern to make the striped trousers. With no elastic or fastening the trousers are a little tight to get on, and I think I want something a bit more structured to wear out of the house. Watch this space.