DIY Tutorial: Child’s Pajama Shorts


Here is a very simple project to make some cute good quality DIY Pajama Shorts Project for your little monkey. This project might sound a bit advanced, but it’s actually very easy once you understand the steps. I was able to make a pair, minus the pattern making, but including taking all the pictures in 30 minutes.

Items Needed for this Project/ Cost of Project:

$3.00 for 16 inches of fabric (Joann’s Fabrics $4.99- $5.99/yd, it was $2.00 off the original price. It would have been a better deal to have bought it not on sale with a 40% off coupon though. For some reason they weren’t running those coupons for awhile.)

Free: Elastic (I already had this, I probably bought it at Walmart)

Free: Thread (I already had this)

Free: Pattern or a pair of shorts that you can use as a pattern

Free: Sewing machine (I already had this, it sure makes this a fast project)

Free: Puffy fabric paint (I already had this around for marking socks, I think it was about $3.00 for three bottles)

Free: A couple pieces of paper to make a pattern

Total Cost of Project: $3.00 per pair of shorts

Let’s begin!


Step 1: Make yourself a pattern. Above is half of one side of a pair of shorts. Inside out your pattern shorts and adjust the size larger or the same side, depending on what your size needs are. It’s better to make it a bit bigger, since the child can always grow into the shorts or you can re adjust them, however if they are too small you can use them as a pair of boxers or give them to another child. Since I was making these for multiple sized kids, my first one was a prototype I made as a size 3 for my large two year old. They fit him on the slightly long side and they fit my five year old on the slightly smaller side. (Pictured at the bottom) So the fitting are pretty wide ranging even if you make a bit too big or too small.


Step 2: Join another couple pieces of paper together, fold over and cut out the other side. Now it looks like this. You need to cut two pieces. Make sure you trace it on the inside of your fabric and add 1/2 an inch around the whole pattern for the seem, except at the bottom. At the bottom I added about 2 inches to do the seam turning, otherwise your shorts will be too short in the inner leg area.

IMG_20130818_174808 IMG_20130818_174741

Here’s a couple shots of the length of the fabric I used. I believe this was the 45 inch widths.


Step 3: After cutting out two pieces you are going to begin getting the leg seam ready. First fold the fabric over once, using your finger nail or an iron to make a straight crisp line. Can you see the pen line in the picture above? That’s were I’ll be folding my next line to.


Step 4: Here is my next fold to the line.


Step 5: Now you are going to sew your folds down on one piece of fabric at a time. In other words, don’t sew the two separate pieces together yet. You should be making two separate leg seams, one on each shorts leg.


Step 6: Now your shorts are going to start coming together. Sew the two pieces of cut fabric together, following your pen lines ONLY to the end of the curved line. Don’t sew the bottom straight part on the right of this picture yet. Leave the top (the waist part) not sewn either.


Step 7: I want these shorts to last in quality for multiple children, so I went ahead and sewed a double seam on this area for added strength.


Here is what your shorts should look like at this point. Only have the sides sewn to the end of that curved line. NOT the last straight little part. Everyone still with me? Please leave comments if things aren’t clear so I can correct any misunderstandings and make better tutorials in the future.

IMG_20130818_174427 IMG_20130818_174405 IMG_20130818_174342

Step 8: Now you are going to work on the top seam where your elastic will be going. You are going to begin with the same folds that you did for the bottom of the shorts legs. Fold over and fold over again. I made this top fold a bit thicker than I did on the bottom, since the elastic needs to fit inside the seam. Now sew it all around in a big circle since now the two pieces are joined, when sewn it will look like a waist. The only difference is you are going to leave a little gap for the elastic to get strung through.

IMG_20130818_174311 IMG_20130818_174239

See the gap? Now attach a safety pin to your elastic to use like a needle and push it through your seem and back out the same hole. It connects back in one big loop.


Step 9: If you want to personalize your shorts cut out a small square and paint a initial on the square. I used a foam letter to trace as a guide, or you could used your printer to print out a pattern letter. Use a pencil to mark your outline your letter onto the fabric and paint over with the fabric paint. I had to paint over my letters 3-5 times (depending on the fabric color) to get the paint thick enough, drying in between each coat. After the paint is dry, sew a little fold to the underside all around the edges. In this picture only the top and bottom is sewn. You will want to sew all the edges though.


Step 10: Now sew it to your shorts. Or if you like you could do this before sewing your two pieces of fabric together and it will be even easier to turn to sew on the machine. I only thought to add the patch at this point. You could very easily just paint the letter onto your shorts, please have a piece of cardboard in between the shorts legs, so you don’t soak the backside with paint seeping through. I chose to use a square patch instead so that way when the shorts go to another child, you can simply cut the threads and take the patch off.


Step 11: Final step. Sorry these are another pair of shorts, but the step is the same. With your shorts inside out, match up the legs. Remember that last straight seam? Now you have the two of them in the middle and you are simply going to sew a double seam along your pen line to finish. Take care to keep all your ends matched up. For example, shorts leg seams match up and the crotch area matches up, if not you will have too much fabric on either end and then it just won’t look fabulous. Boo hoo, no one wants that. So just add a little time to carefully do this part.

IMG_20130818_174111     IMG_20130821_200128

Some of my finished projects lined up.

IMG_20130818_175035     IMG_20130818_174949

IMG_20130818_174903     IMG_20130818_175013

Here’s my goofy five year old modeling the size 3 shorts, since my two year old was not having any part of this picture taking business. Azure (pictured) is a pretty tall fellow, but as you can see these still fit him rather on the small boxer type fit. I made his own pairs (not modeled) a size bigger by adding half an inch to the pattern and they are plenty large enough for pajama shorts and he will probably be able to use them again next year. So there you have it lovelies, a great pair of fun patterned and good quality pajama shorts. Good quality, because of the good quality material used and the awesome double seems you made. Your littles will love rocking their personalize sleepwear.


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