Did you hear the good news? Project Runway returns this week (July 28)! I can’t wait. Tim and Heidi and Michael and Nina have been away for far too long. And I’m even more excited this season because I’m starting to sew again myself. Nothing too fancy; I’m easing my way back in with things like pajama pants. I’ve made two pair this summer, one for Sam and one for her Dad.
I forgot how easy pajama pants are to sew. If you’re new to sewing or getting back to it like me, do consider a pajama pant project. You’ve only got one pattern piece that you’ll use to cut the two legs of your pajamas, three seams to sew – two inner leg and one center seam, one elastic waistband and two hems on the legs. That’s it! And each of those three seams will work wonderfully with a French seam. Do you know about French seams? They’re the best. A perfect finish – as neat on the inside as the outside. That photo on the left shows the inside of Sam’s pajama pants. Pretty nice, huh?
Another good thing about sewing pajama pants is how easy it is to find fabric for them. It can be difficult to find nice dressmaker fabric in your local shops these days, but it’s pretty easy to find fabric for pj pants because all those quilting stores carry a boat load of prints that will likely allow you to match an interest of your pj pant recipient with just the right fabric. You’ll also need a pattern and there are any number of them available. I have an old McCall’s pattern that I use for my husband and myself and I actually traced Samantha’s from a simple pants pattern in the book, Carefree Clothes for Girls. I found a roll of tracing paper from an old drafting class I took that worked perfectly for that task.
Now about those French seams. They work well on straight seams and will even work on your center seam for pj pants because the curve is nice and big. You wouldn’t want to use a French seam on a tighter curve like a set-in sleeve because it would be too bulky. I use them whenever I can because they are simply the most elegant seam finish. To begin, instead of placing your fabric pieces right sides together as you usually would, place them wrong sides together and sew a very narrow seam – about 1/8″.
Next, press the seam just as you stitched it. Then turn the pieces wrong sides together and press the seamed edge.
To make a 1/2″ seam, stitch 3/8″ away from that edge and again press the seam as you just sewed it.
Press the remaining seam allowance to one side.
We might not be ready for Project Runway, but we can make a fine pair of pajama pants.