These is nothing worse than trying to go to sleep, and having to fight with your pajama pants to keep them down. I love this Pajama Hack by Melissa of the Sewing Rabbit Team, and her solution to helping solve this annoying problem. By adding a hidden layer of elastic underneath the bottom of the hem, she not only keeps the pants down, but she does it without altering the look of your pants. How to keep your pant legs from riding up – genius!
Pajama Leg Hack – How to Keep your Pant Legs from Riding Up.
Christmas 2012, I asked for a pair of pajamas and received a flannel set from Santa. Woohoo!! I was so excited that I changed into them immediately and they’ve been my favorite sleepwear ever since. But my affections have waned lately; the wide leg design means the fabric creeps up on me when I’m climbing into bed and trying to get into my optimal sleep position. Then, I try to pinch the fabric with the toes of my other foot to pull it back down where it belongs. Once I do fall asleep, I dream that I am running as fast as I can, trying to merge into traffic like a car, but I can’t run fast enough because my pajama pants are tripping me. Dreams are weird/tough enough as it is, without wardrobe failure added in the mix. As the Mitch Hedberg joke goes:
I hate dreaming, because when you wanna sleep, you wanna sleep. Dreaming is work, you know? Like there I am, laying in my comfortable bed in my hotel room… next thing I know, I have to build a go-cart with my ex-landlord.
Normally, I’d say to just make a little cut in the hem, insert some elastic and be done with the whole matter. But these jammies are too cute, so I wanted them to still look like a wide leg, without the elastic showing. Thus, enough of mimicking LL Cool J, it’s pajama hacking time!
- 1/4 yard of 2×1 ribbed knit fabric (medium weight jersey would work fine as well)
- less than 1/2 yard of elastic (you can use scrap pieces, so whatever width elastic you have or like best will work fine)
- Measuring Tape
1. Measure the leg circumference of your pajamas. Mine came in at 20.25 inches; since the fabric stretches, I just used 20 inches to make measuring easier to remember.
2. Measure the depth of the cuff; if yours don’t have a cuff, just pick an amount to use as your distance from the hem, no more than 2-4 inches. Mine came in at 2 inches, plus 1/2 inch seam allowance at the top.
3. Measure around the heel of your foot and ankle together; this is the widest part of your foot and we want to make sure it can fit through the new elasticized panel opening. This was 11 inches for me.
4. Measure around your ankle. This was 8.5 inches for me. You’ll want to use a measurement that is a little less than your ankle measurement. Since this will be elasticized, it will stretch over your foot easily. I tested out a 7 inch piece of elastic and was able to get my foot through easily. If you make it too big, the elastic won’t fit snugly under calf area and that would defeat the purpose.
5. Mark your fabric, like in the diagram below, adding 1/4 inch seam allowance on the sides and 1/2 inch seam allowance on the top and bottom lines. I didn’t want a lot of extra gathering in the elastic area, so I left it at 7 inches”. There’s enough stretch in my fabric to accommodate the little I will lose when I connect the two ends of the elastic to make a loop. Make sure to substitute the measurements below with the measurements for your pajama pants.
6. Cut out 4 pieces of your hourglass shaped piece.
*Note: all further instructions will be for one pant leg; I recommend doing each step for both legs before moving to the next step, to make it faster.
7. Pin 2 of the pieces together, right sides together.
8. Stitch 1/4 inch seam on the v-shape sides, pivoting when you reach the middle.
9. Clip the corners at the top and clip a slit into the v: to, but not through, the stitches.
10. Press your seam allowances open.
11. Fold wrong sides together and press the trapezoid piece with the right sides out, creating a nice crease line where the elastic will sit at the bottom.
12. Curl your elastic around to create a loop, overlapping less than 1/2 inch. Stitch the overlapped edges of the elastic together.
13. Place the elastic loop down into the ironed crease.
14. Pin elastic in place in center of crease.
15. Using a zig-zag stitch, stitch the elastic down inside the crease. You’ll need to lightly stretch on the fabric and elastic as your stitching. The opening of the piece was just wide enough to get over my sewing machine arm, so that provided enough stretch for me to work my way around.
16. Your piece will have a point on both sides; cut off the access into a gentle, rounded curve, which will make it easier to attach to the leg of your pajama.
17. With the elastic portion pointing up into the leg of the pajama, on the inside of the fabric, pin the elasticized panel into place. My pajamas have an embellished cuff piece, which are the stitch lines I used as my guideline for attaching the panel. If your pj pants don’t have that, just use the measurement you decided on earlier as your distance to pin away from the hem.
18. Stitching into the trim, or into your cuffs’ stitching line, stitch the elasticized panel into place. No need for zig-zag stitches here; you want the stitching to be as minimal as possible.
19. Turn the elasticized panel down towards the hem. Now, you have it; a semi-free-floating elasticized pant leg.
Voila! You can’t even see the hidden panel on the inside. Now, I’m ready to fall asleep easily and dream sweet, hassle-free-pants dreams, where I’ll dance the night away with Fred Astaire, while a purple, rollerskating aardvark critiques our style and panache. LL Cool J, it’s cool if you want to come also, but you’ve got to put your pant legs down. And, bring cookies while you’re at it.
As always, thanks so much for stopping by and until next time…
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