Beginner sewer · Sarah's Posts · Serger Projects · Sewing

Easy DIY Flannel Pajama Pants

Flannel pajama pants are a quick and easy gift for everyone on your list! Why make them instead of purchasing them at a store?  First, they really are an inexpensive thing to make. I bought my 100% cotton snuggle flannel at Joann Fabrics during Thanksgiving week and it was all 75% off – making most of it $2-$3 a yard. With the elastic and thread, I spent roughly $5-$7 for each pair of pants. Second, they can be personalized. I selected prints that were custom for each of my gift recipients, as well as doing a little research to learn their waist size and inseam length. Finally, these pants are handmade with love. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate a gift that has your blood, sweat, and tears poured in!  Ok, these pants don’t have any of those – they ARE quick and easy – but you get the point 😉


  • Approximately 3 yards cotton flannel fabric, pre-washed
  • 1 yard non-roll elastic (this will be enough for a 36″ waist measurement).  I used 1/2″ wide elastic for kids, 3/4″ wide elastic for women, and 1″ wide elastic for men.
  • Coordinating thread
  • Large safety pin
  • Fray Check (if using a Serger)
  • Either  a pajama pants pattern OR pair of lounge pants in size desired. I used a pattern because I was making several pairs of pants for gifts.


  1. Do a little research to find out the recipients waist size and inseam length. I skipped this step, initially, and guessed at a size. My first “draft” of pants looked MUCH too large. I ended up sewing everything twice since I had to take in the leg side seams and re-hem the pants.
  2. Cut out the pants. If using a pattern, follow pattern instructions.
    IMG_2441If using a pair of pants as a guide, fold the fabric in half lengthwise with right sides together. Fold the pants in half pulling the inside of the crotch taught so it looks like a little hook.  Lay the outside edge of the pants along the fold of your fabric.  Add 2″ on the top (for the waist band) and 1 1/2″ to the bottom for the leg hems. Cut two pieces.Cutting Pants using Pants as Pattern
    Note about patterned fabric: Look at patterned fabric to see if the pattern goes in one direction. That is, there is a definite up and down. Make sure when you lay out the fabric to cut that both pants pieces have the “up” of the fabric matched with the top of the pants (see picture).Directional Print4 Prints with Directional Patterns
  3. Stitch inner leg seam of each pant sections. Stitch Inner Leg Seam_Pants
  4. With right sides together, insert one leg inside the other.
  5. With right sides together, pin and stitch center crotch seam. I used a serger with the 4 thread safety lock stitch, which also finishes the edges. If using a conventional sewing machine, you may want to reinforce the seam by stitching again over the first stitching. Trim seam in curved area to 1/4″ and press seam open.
  6. Mark length- if you used your own pants as a pattern, you should have the length about right. If you have an inseam measurement, take that measurement, add 1 1/2″, and mark that line. Serge or for conventional sewing machine, cut at that line.

    My mom helping with marking pants after I made them too long the first time around – THANKS MOM!
  7. If you are using a serger, serge around waist line edge.
  8. Pressing: If you serged edges, use iron to press up hem 1 1/2″. Similarly, around the waist, press upper edge to inside, forming casing for elastic. Your waist casing should be 1/4″ wider than your elastic. So, if you used 1″ elastic (recommended for men), your casing should be 1 1/4″.
    If you are using a conventional machine: press up hem 1 1/2″ (using marking as a guide). Press under 1/4″ on raw edge. Around the waist, press upper edge to inside, forming casing for elastic. Your waist casing should be 1/2″ wider than your elastic. So, if you used 1″ elastic (recommended for men), your casing should be 1 1/2″. After you press upper edge to inside, press raw edge under 1/4″ so raw edge is tucked inside the casing. IMG_2467
  9. Sew hem: Using a conventional machine, stitch close to inner pressed edge – 1/8″ from edge. Repeat for 2nd leg.IMG_2485
  10. Sew waist: Using a conventional machine, stitch close to inner pressed edge – 1/8″ from edge, leaving a 2″ opening to feed elastic.IMG_2481
  11. Cut a piece of elastic to fit waist comfortably, plus 1″ for overlap/seam. In my experience, take the waist measurement and subtract 1″to 2″ (depending on whether the person wears the pants up around their actual waist, or likes them to ride slightly lower). Insert elastic through opening in waist. Thread elastic through waist band using a safety pin, and when you pull out the other end of the elastic overlap the ends. Sew ends of elastic together securely.


  12. Work elastic into casing and sew waist seam closed.IMG_2491
  13. Take a few minutes to make sure fabric is evenly dispersed around elastic. If your fingers are slightly wet this will help you grab the flannel fabric to move it a little easier.
Problem: fabric is bunched unevenly around elastic


Your pants are now complete!  I picked up a couple of plain t-shirts to pair with my pants for a nice PJ gift set.

His and Hers Pajama Gifts


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