My Material Life

Trouble with the Curve? More on French-Seamed PJ Bottoms

I made these short pj bottoms and a matching bag just in time for the start of summer break which began at 1:35 pm today.  I sewed both pieces yesterday and even fit in a trip to the emergency room (not to worry – everything turned out fine thank goodness).  But I was happy to work on the bag when we returned from the ER because it helped to calm my nerves.  Trips to the ER are worrisome, aren’t they?  First you have the medical event itself to be nervous about, then you wonder about the eventual out-of-pocket cost of your visit and any tests that are ordered, and finally one must consider the possibility that you will pick up some horrible germ in the ER that will leave you far worse off than you were when you went in.

But, (knock on wood) things are good now.  So let’s return to these bottoms, shall we?  I purchased this fabric from Hancock Fabrics when I found Samantha’s gold rush dress material.  I couldn’t not buy it.  It reminded me of the seventies, of something I would have worn when I was Samantha’s age.  It was about time I made her a new pair of summer sleep shorts as we just retired the pair you can see in my original post about sewing pj pants with French seams.  So I used the same pattern (but made it bigger as I did with the gold rush dress) and I made a matching gift bag as well.  It’s not that I expect her to keep the shorts in the bag, but it makes for such a nice presentation and she can use the bag for shoes when she travels (because she is the kind of girl who likes to travel with a bag for her shoes).

But what I really want to tell you about today is the curve.  The curve is the center seam of your pants.  It runs from the top center front of the pants all the way down and around the crotch and up to the top center back.  It joins the right leg to the left leg, and quite miraculously – it allows you to create a most useful and enjoyable garment from just one single pattern piece cut two times (once for each leg).

It’s just not that easy to grasp how to put those legs together in order to join them – even when not attempting a French seam.  So that’s what I’m going to show you now.  Because I’m telling you, French seams are the way to go here.  Go French or go home.

So, let’s begin.  After you create the legs by sewing each of your two pieces together along the inseam (the inside of the leg), lay each leg side-by-side with one leg right-side-out and one leg wrong-side-out.


Take the wrong-side-out leg and insert it inside the right-side-out leg.


Insert until the edges of the center curve align.  Now you’ve got your wrong sides of fabric together which is what you want for the first step of making any French seam, curved or not.  Match your inseams and any notches you may have transferred from your pattern.  Pin and stitch about 1/8″ from the edge.


Press the line of stitching you just made and turn your pants legs until the right sides of the fabric are facing each other.  Stitch the remaining amount of your total seam allowance.


Press your seam to one side.  Because this is a curved seam you will need a tailor’s ham to do this properly.  Mine has wool on one side (for wools) and cotton on the other.


As with most things in life, the proper tools are essential.


A piece of soft twill tape or some such material may stand in as a label to indicate to the wearer which side is the back.


The drawstring bag is optional.  Watch for more on drawstring bags coming soon.



  1. CS

    Thanks so much for posting this w/ pics! I came across your initial French-seamed jammies post and couldn’t visualize how you were able to French seam the curved crotch, so the above pics were indispensable. Just made a pair out of a cotton jersey bed sheet and they’re perfect! 🙂

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