Pajama Pants To Shorts With A Ruffle

pajama pants refashion before and afterAs devastating as it was ruining my lovely pajama bottoms; (if you didn’t see, check out my last post) I decided to make the best of it.  So after sulking for a little bit and debating whether I should just try to patch it up, I finally decided I would turn them into pajama shorts, but add a cute little ruffle to the bottom with the material from the pant legs.

pajama shortspajama shortspajama shorts pajama shortsThis is actually something you could do with your old favorite pajama bottoms that may have seen better days.  I guess it is my first refashion of sorts.  I hope one day to be able to do more refashions as I really like the idea of taking something old and giving it a new life.

I only wish I had spent a little more time making sure my gathers were better.  I feel one side is more full than the other.  (I think I got a little better at it the second time around.)  Honestly, I could try to redo the one side, but I just don’t feel like going through all that effort.  It was more of a learning process for me and I really did learn a lot with this project so I’m just going to settle with what I got and just do a better job next time.

So, want to know how to cut down your old pajamas and turn them into cute ruffled shorts?  Well…this is what I did:

First, I made a rough cut, cutting off the excess pant leg on one side.  I made sure to leave enough room though with the pant leg so I could use that fabric to make the long strips for the ruffles.

Then, I put the pajamas on and pinned up the bottom of just that one side to the length I wanted the shorts to be, or basically where the seam for the ruffle would go.

After this, I took them off and put a pin here and there along the folded crease to mark the length.  Then, on the wrong side of the back of the pajamas, I marked where the pins were with my chalk, like you see here:
DIY pajama shorts with ruffle bottom

After that, I removed the pins, then using a ruler, I connected my marks making one clean line.  But I still needed to add my seam allowance as this was the mark of where I wanted the seam for my ruffle to be, so I measured  5/8″ from my line towards the bottom of the pajamas and marked across here and there, just along the back side.  Then I connected those marks making one straight line.  This is what it looked like at this point:

DIY pajama shorts with ruffle bottom

Then, making sure both sides were laying flat, I cut along that bottom line through both sides of the pajamas, like so:

DIY pajama shorts with ruffle bottom

Now, with the one pant leg cut to the proper length, I simply folded it over, making sure to keep everything nice and flat and matching up my ends  and seams very well, and I traced a line across the bottom edge onto the other pant leg to get the length on that side even.  I did also measure all sides to make sure they matched up with the other side of the shorts before I cut, just to make sure it was all even.  After making sure, I cut that side.

DIY pajama shorts with ruffle bottom

Next, I took one of the pant legs and folded it in half length-wise.  Then, I drew a long rectangle with the short edge at 2.75″ and the long edge was about 22 in”.  For that measurement, I basically measured the bottom edge of the pajamas, which were 12″ on one side, and added 10 in” to that, which gave me 22″.

DIY pajama shorts with ruffle bottom

Then, I put pins in the middle to hold everything in place, and cut out my rectangle, going through all layers of the fabric.  This made four equal strips of fabric, like you see here:

DIY pajama shorts with ruffle bottom

I took two strips and placed them right sides together and then sewed the short edge on one side together with a 5/8″ seam allowance, like this:

DIY pajama shorts with ruffle bottom

Then, I trimmed the seam allowance down about half and pressed the seam open.  This created one long strip of fabric, which I then folded in half length-wise and pressed creating my long ribbon for the ruffles, like this:

DIY pajama shorts with ruffle bottom

I did the same thing with the other two strips of fabric.  Here are my two long strips.

DIY pajama shorts with ruffle bottom

Then, I made two basting stitches along the top of the strip.  To do that, I set my machine to the lowest tension and the stitch length to the longest.  I used a contrasting thread and made the first stitch using the 1/2″ seam allowance then another stitch about 1/8″ next to that one (towards the raw edge).  Just like you see here:

DIY pajama shorts with ruffle bottom

Then I took the two bottom threads on one end in one hand and pulled the fabric over with the other hand to create gathers, like so:

DIY pajama shorts with ruffle bottom

I worked my gathers over to the middle on one end and did the same with the other end.  I continued to work the gathers along trying to keep them as even as possible, until the whole thing was a nice looking ruffle.

Then, I pinned the ruffle onto the bottom edge of the pajamas.  I did this by first lining up the raw edges together on the RIGHT side of the pajamas.  I started at the inner seam of the pajamas, matching up that seam line with the one in the middle of the ribbon, pinned down, and worked my way around on both sides, pinning down making sure the pajama bottoms laid flat against the ribbon.

So, as I got to the outer seam where the ribbon ends met, I laid both ends flat against the pajama bottoms until they met and folded up against each other.  At that fold, lining up with the outer seam of the pajamas, I put a pin through the two ends of the ribbon, holding them together, and marked with my chalk where that pin was.  Then, I sewed the ends of the ruffle together where my mark was, which aligned with the outer seam of the pajamas.  I checked to make sure that the ribbon did indeed lay flat against the bottoms and that the two seams matched up well.  Then, I trimmed down the excess ends, and finished my seam allowance, and then pinned that end down to the pajamas.

DIY pajama shorts with ruffle bottom

Then, with my ruffle all pinned around the pajamas, I then stitched it down with a 5/8″ seam allowance.  After which, I took out my gather stitches, gave the edge of that seam allowance a little press to flatten it down a bit, and then I finished my seam allowance.  I pressed the seam allowance towards the top.

And that created a cute little ruffle hem, like this:

DIY ruffled hem pajama shorts DIY ruffled hem pajama shorts

Hole-y Pajama Bottoms

Well, I finally got back to making my next project after a week of not feeling so well.  It is the second project in the book “Love at First Stitch”, called the Margot Pajamas.  Everything was going along well, until I made a BIG boo boo.  The Margot Pajamas and my mess-up

Yep, that’s a big hole.  What happened, you might ask?  Well, I was cutting my seam allowances and I wasn’t being careful enough, and the pant leg got caught in my scissor underneath, and, well…you can see what happened.

I was so disappointed.  I couldn’t believe that happened!  It was my own fault though.  I should have been more careful.  Oh well, I guess these things do happen.  At least it wasn’t very expensive material.

So, despite the big mishap, I thought I would go ahead and finish them just the same.  I figured I would like to see how they turned out for future reference.

This project was very easy.  I used the size 2 pattern and used a light-weight floral material.  I don’t know exactly what type of fabric it is (I really should start asking and keeping track of this in the future.)  I believe it is a cotton-polyester mix. I made matching drawstring with the material and I didn’t make any changes to the pattern.

They turned out good.  The fit is great and I definitely want to make some more of these; hopefully next time, without cutting them.

After finishing them, I decided not to hem them as I would try to save them and turn them into shorts.  So, stay tuned for my next post, as I will be showing you all what I did to save these.

The Margot Pajamas The Margot Pajamas It really is too bad I messed these up, because they turned out so great.  I wonder how many more mishaps I am bound to have in this learning to sew process?

The Madeleine Mini-Bloomers by Colette


(Sorry about my pale blotchy legs.  They hardly every see the sun.)

As I sit here in my bed, writing this, I have a strong desire to just shut the computer and go take a nap.  My eyes hurt because of lack of sleep…and why you might ask?  Because I was up late searching sewing blogs  and looking up reviews on sewing books.  I really need to get some balance as I have been very absorbed in all things sewing lately.

However, I am going to suffer through the fatigue and get this post out.  A while back I made these free mini-bloomers by Colette Patterns and I think they are a great beginner project.


W_141028-_DSC0306I made two.  (This poca dot one I gave as a gift.)


Of course, in my inexperience, I forgot to mark where the buttonholes would go and when it came time to sew them I had to figure out where they went exactly, making sure I kept them even.  I think I did a pretty good job though in lining it up right.

I did have the hardest time with sewing the buttonholes.  I followed my manual but again and again it wouldn’t work.  (Its a good thing I practiced this first on scrap fabric). The thread would just bunch up in one spot forming a huge clump.  I finally started messing with the settings more and finally figured out a way to get it to work correctly.  Now, for the life of me, I can’t remember what I put the settings at for it to work (I really should have written that down).  So I guess I will be starting over again when I have to make a buttonhole in the future…Oh well.

Other than my buttonhole ordeal, everything else went very well.  The pattern instructions were very easy to follow.  I think I’m going to like independent pattern companies better than commercial.

The only thing is that these are super low rise…I mean SUPER LOW.  I had done a lot of research before I made these and most people were saying the same thing.  So I knew I was probably going to have to add length to the top, which I absolutely did.  I added about 2 inches.

The other thing I did different was use elastic for the bottom casing.  I wanted the bottom to feel comfortable and not feel too tight but I still wanted the cute bows sticking out so I simply sewed pieces of the ribbon to the ends of the elastic, so that the ribbon would show but I would have the comfort of the elastic inside.

So all in all, I think these bloomers are a great project and I would definitely make another pair.

Ok I’m off to rest a little. Bye for now.