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Tutorial: Fleece Pajamas Bottoms and Screen Printed Tee

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It may be January, but I finally got to make pajama bottoms for my son. (They were on my to-do list for Christmas, and hey, it’s only a few weeks late…) The pajamas look pretty good and I am super pleased with the way the matching screen printed t-shirt came out.

How to make pajamas

DIY Pajama Bottom Tutorial

Have you tried making your own pajama bottom pattern yet?  If not, you should give it a shot.  Making them out of fleece makes it even easier because, like knit, fleece doesn’t fray and you don’t have to hem it.

I have put together a quick little tutorial as a guide if you want to try a pair of pajama bottoms on your own.  At the bottom off the post you can find the materials I used to make the shirt.

Materials Needed:

  • Fleece (however much you need to get your desired length- I used a yard to get a boy’s 7/8)
  • scissors
  • 1 inch wide elastic
  • fabric marker or chalk (If needed)
  • basic sewing supplies
  • loose-fitting pajama bottoms to trace


1.  Tracing and cutting the pattern.
Fold your fleece in half, selvage to selvage.  This way the stretch of the fabric will be going side to side.  Turn the pajama bottoms you are tracing inside out and fold in half.  Find the crotch seam and pull it out all the way to the back.  (You can see what I mean in the photo below.)  The shape of fleece pajama bottoms is very forgiving, that’s why they are such a great make-your-own- pattern project to begin with.

Lay the bottoms to trace on the folded fabric, with stretch going side to side.  Trace around the fleece, giving yourself a 1/2 inch seam allowance around the sides.  Add an extra 3/4 inch at the bottom hem and 1 1/2 inch at the top for the elastic.  Cut out the two back pieces.  Then flip the pants around and pull the crotch seam out to the front and repeat the tracing cutting process to get 2 front pieces.

If you have a rotary cutter and large cutting mat, you can skip tracing the pants on the fabric and just use your rotary cutter to trace and cut at the same time. (I linked to the ones I use.)

Step 2:  Assembling the pants:

The fleece is so thick, I have found it easier to use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Step 3:  Attaching the elastic.

Lately, I have been adding elastic to my knit leggings and fleece pants in a slightly different way.  Instead of creating a casing, I’ve been sewing the elastic directly to the fabric.  (If you feel more comfortable making a casing, you can still do that, just add another 1/2 inch to the seam allowance around the waist band when cutting.)

Cut the 1 inch elastic to your child’s waist measurement minus 1 inch.

Overlap the ends of the elastic slightly and sew together using two rows of a tight zig zag stitch.

Next, fold the elastic circle in half and mark the half way spot on both sides.  Fold the elastic in half the other way and mark those half way points.  This will divide the elastic in to 4 equal sections.

Line up these marks with the seams of the pajama bottoms and pin into place, about 1/4 inch down from the fabric edge.

It will look like this:

how to make pajamas

Line up the pants/elastic under your sewing needle at one of your marks.  Lower the needle into the fabric (so it stretches out to the width of the fabric underneath.)  Sretch the elastic from the 1st mark to the second mark.  Sew along the edge of the stretched elastic, all the way around, using a zig zag or stretch stitch.  (Sew along the blue line indicated in the photo below.)

Fold the elastic over to the inside and sew right along the edge of the elastic (but not over the elastic.)   You could use your zipper foot or stitch in the ditch foot the help hug the edge of the elastic, though I just used my finger to feel the edge and went slowly…

If you want a more professional-looking finish on the inside elastic, you could fold the bottom edge under and sew over that, but since fleece doesn’t fray you can just leave the edge raw like I did…

Here is how the waist bad looks finished:


Now to make the t-shirt, I used a zip screen sent to me by one of my sponsors,Fashion Art Projects and fabric paint.  The zip screens can be found at Wal-mart.

They also sent me an assortment of inks, but I wanted off-white.  I custom mixed the shade I wanted using white, brown and yellow fabric paint.

 I placed the screen where I wanted it on the shirt and spread the paint with the applicator.  That was it!  (Helpful hint: make sure you peel of the protective plastic coating on the bottom of the screen, so the paint will transfer to the shirt and not the plastic sheet…  🙂

All done…

He loved that I let him bounce on the bed to take these pictures!


What do you think, will you give them a try?  Let me know if you do!

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  1. Patty Galerie says:

    I was trying to get the link for the shorts but was directed here…did you use the same pattern?

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      Yes, I believe those shorts were based off an old mcalls pattern. It is not a pattern I have for free.

  2. Upstatemamma says:

    Thanks for the screen printing tutorial – my son likes screen printed shirts but I haven't been able to figure out how to make them. 🙂

  3. A great tutorial!! And those pajamas look so warm and comfy! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  4. Judy Whatilivefor says:

    He sure looks happy & comfy. I just finished a pair of flannel jammies for my son and will probably be making more soon.

  5. M.J. Powell says:

    You have some great ideas and we would like for you to share with our readers too. We are hosting our first link party tomorrow and we would like to invite you to link up with us. We have a fun blog to co-host with us. Hope to see you there.

    The Busy Bee's,
    Myrna and Joye.


  6. That looks easy enough that I may even try it!

  7. Creative Kid Snacks says:

    This looks so much easier to do than I would have thought! Pinning this post! Great, easy-to=follow, tutorial 🙂

    Amy @ Creative Kid Snacks

  8. OnceUpona Sew says:

    Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing today
    Donna @onceuponasewingmachine.com

  9. Love it! Just today I was thinking it would be fun to screen print a shirt. I'll have to check out the zip screen.

  10. Stella Marie says:

    Thank you for the great tutorial! I've been dying to try pajama pants for my son, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Love the screen printing too!