Thursday, January 6, 2011

Repurposed PJs

Before I start the tutorial, I must amend my post the other day about vanilla. It has been brought to my attention by a couple of you that even pure vanilla (which is what I ended up buying) has alcohol. So I checked the ones that I bought and they have 35% alcohol!

There was also brought to my attention a suspicion about an ingredient called vanillin, which is in my "alcohol free" stuff. So I googled it and got very mixed information. Some sites said it contains alcohol. Some said that only the natural vanillin contains alcohol and the man made stuff doesn't. And some said that it doesn't contain alcohol, it IS alcohol. And some said that it was just flavoring.

So as for me, I'm going to take my chances with my old brand. Yes it contains vanillin (which they all do), but at least there is no extra added alcohol. I googled that brand as well so I could figure out where I got it and.... It's Dutch Mill brand and can be found at Harmons. (I should get paid something for that little advertisement, don't you think!)

Okay on to the tutorial:

We have a tradition give the kids pajamas on Christmas Eve so that they have new ones to wear for Christmas. This year I decided to make them all pajama bottoms and then just buy plain white t-shirts to go with them. Here's what I did for my two girls.

I took their old sleeper pajamas from last year that don't fit anymore:

And turned them into new pajama bottoms for this year:

Fun huh! Here's how:

Step 1:
Cut off the feet right above the elastic on the back. Cut off the arms about an inch out from the armpit. Just make sure not to cut it in line with the side of the pjs. You need some material for seam allowance so you can extend your side seam all the way up.

Step 2:
Cut off the top of the pjs. I found it easiest to cut right below the snap piece so that I didn't have to worry about trying to unpick it. If your pjs don't have a snap piece cut right under the neck. I cut right through the zipper because I have to need for a zipper that long. But if you would use the zipper for another project go ahead and unpick it at the top of the pjs before you make the cut.

Step 3:
Turn your pjs inside out and pin the sides together at the "arm holes" (or where they used to be).

Step 4:
Sew together. I started on top of the original side seam, remember to back stitch, and then continued along that line all the way to the top of the pjs. Back stitch at the top. Then clip the extra material off.

Step 5:
Now unpick the zipper.

Step 6:
With right sides together, match the two front edges of the pjs where the zipper used to be. Pin together and sew starting at the top of the pjs for about 3-4 inches. Remember to back stitch at the start and finish.

Step 7:
Turn the pjs right side and trim the top edge to make it straight.

Now did you notice that cute embroidery at the top of the pjs? It is close enough to the top that if you try to fold down a waist band it will hit the embroidery. So if your pjs have embroidery read the next step and I'll teach you how to save it. If your pjs don't have embroidery skip step 8, the extra work is not necessary.

Step 8:
We are going to make a higher waistband for our pjs so that the cute embroidery will be nicely visible on your pajama bottoms.

First your going take the sleeves that you cut off and cut them along the seam. Then lay them out flat.

Now using a rotary cutter and ruler (scissors are fine if you don't have a cutter) cut four strips 2 inches wide. To figure the length of your strips, measure around the top of your pjs, divide by four, and add on 1/2 inch for seam allowances.

Using 1/4 inch seam, sew your strips end to end and make a circle with them.

Pin right sides together around the top of your pjs. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Step 9:
If you made the waist band in step 8 your pjs will now look like this. If you didn't make the waist band your pjs won't have the seam just below the top.

Turn your pjs inside out and fold the top down 1 inch. Pin and sew at 1/4 inch to make your elastic casing. Make sure to leave a 1-2 inch gap so you can insert your elastic and remember to backstitch. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of this.

Step 10:
Look at the crotch of your pjs. It should have a diamond shaped piece like this:

Carefully unpick that piece. DO NOT cut it. You need this piece.

Step 11:
Measure how far down from the top of the pjs you want the crotch of you pants to be. Pin the diamond piece, right sides together to the front of the pjs at this point. Make sure the long points of the diamond go down the legs.

Now turn your pjs inside out and pin the other side of the diamond to the back of the pjs, again right sides together. Then sew in place at 1/4 inch, remember to backstitch. I found it easiest to sew one side at a time so that I did four lines of stitching rather than trying to pivot at the corners.

Step 12:
Lay your pjs flat. You'll notice at the point where the crotch used the legs now have points. Cut these off so that the edge of the inside legs are straight.

And stitch up the legs at 1/4 inch. Remember to backstitch.

Step 13:
Now measure from the top of the pants how long you want them. Make sure to add in seam allowances. Trim the legs and hem.

Step 14:
Insert 3/4 inch elastic into the waist band and sew ends together. Then sew of the gap in the waist seam. And your done!

I made each of my girls two pairs of pants. Here are the other three pairs I made:

The two printed ones didn't have embroidery so I didn't add the extra waist band. But notice on the middle pair I used the sleeves from the leopard print ones to make the extra waistband. It added a fun dimension. My girls even recognized their old pajamas and were so excited to have them back!


Marcia said...

What a neat idea!

Following you from Friday Blog Hop.
Feel free to stop by if you get a chance. :)

High Street Cottage said...

Brilliant! Stopping over from the Shabby Nest, applauding your excellent recycling skills! xoxo tami

Jae said...

Awesome idea, I'm just no good with a sewing machine. My PJ's would come out looking like a quilt.

Christine said...

this is such a cute and clever idea! they look great

My Garden of Eden said...

That is simply amazing! WOW great job!


My Garden of Eden said...

P.S. I featured you on my blog today:)

Living on Love and Cents said...

WOW You are so talented! You should come link this up at our Frugal Friday! Thanks for joining us at the Hop Along Friday! I follow you via google. I look forward to your updates! If you are not already please follow my twitter and facebook too! Have a wonderful Friday! ~HEather

BabyDealsDujour said...

You are amazing!

Now following from
We list all of the best baby daily deals in real-time. Would love for you to follow back!

Shelly said...

Great tutorial! I read the whole thing, and my "boys" are teens now! I got a little lost in re-positioning the diamond. But, I am not a skilled seamstress. :) If I find an old pair when cleaning out a closet, I am going to try it anyway!

Tiffany Christie said...

That's really great!
Here from the bloghop.
I follow you on GFC. I'd love for you to follow me back
Tiffypoot @ (

Madame Deals said...

Following you from the frugal friday blog hop Amee I am jealous I can barely sew a button on

Hanna said...

HI there! I'm your newest follower from the blog hop! Lovely blog:)
You can find me at
Great tutorial

Vanessa@Southern In My Heart said...

What a great idea! We have pics of me and my sister when we were little just wearing footed pj's with the feet cut off to make them last longer so this is definitely a step WAY up from that! LOL! Thanks so much for linking this up to the Inspiration Friday party this week and I hope to see much more of you in the future!

WobiSobi said...

I Love this. Such a great Idea, Great instructions . Now a follower. Have a great Sunday! said...

I have to be honest. I didn't read the tutorial.
a) because I don't sew
b) because I have no little ones.

But! I must say the pictures of how you did this amaze me!
great repurpose!

Jennifer- Kids on the Grand said...

So I can't sew to save my life...but this is amazing! I MUST learn!

Sherry Lynn said...

WOW...what a great it...
I am your newest follower so glad I found you via a monday blog hop..


Lisa said...

What a cool idea!

Hi! I'm a new follower from Hop Along Friday. I'd love for you to follow me back.

The Nourishing Homemaker

Heavensent1 said...

That is absolutely brilliant...thank you for sharing~!!

Following from Mingle Monday and GFC follow *heavensent1*...ifn you have a moment...could you please stop by my place and have a look around... Mad Moose Mama - Have a groovy day...peaces...xoxo