PJ Shorts with cute frill hem sew-along tutorial

Posted by Sarah Wadey
on June 09, 2018

PJ shorts are the ideal first dressmaking project as they take up very little fabric, have few fitting challenges and look super cute! They can be whipped up in a few hours for a quick win!

You can download your pattern from our website here

How to make your own PJ Bottoms:

Seam allowance is 1.5cm/5/8” unless stated otherwise
Start and end all stitching with a back stitch unless stated otherwise

Choosing your pattern size:

Measure your hips at the widest point and use this to choose the correct pattern size. you can pick up tips on how to measure yourself over on the My Handmade Wardrobe Patterns blog
Measure your leg length and fold up the pattern to shorten if necessary ensuring to include 1.5cm for the hem.

Making your PJ Bottoms:

1. Fold the fabric in half, with the selvedges together, so you have a double layer of fabric. Lay out the leg panels and waistband panel according to the lay plans. Take the time to match stripes/checks if necessary. Pin your pattern down flat and cut out. Transfer your notches - you’ll need these later!

2. Finish the edges of the leg panels by overlocking or using a zigzag stitch. Finish the edges of the side seams and the crotch seams on each of the 4 leg panels. You do not need to finish the waistline or hem at this stage.

3. Take both of your front pieces and pin the two fronts together at crotch curve seam. Sew with a 1.5cm / 5/8” seam allowance. Repeat with the back legs then press both the crotch seams open. You can use a tailors ham to help press the curve.

4. Pin the front and back together at the inside leg seams, matching the seams at the centre of the crotch. You will need to ease the curve at the back of the leg into the curve at the front. Sew up one leg and down the other. Press the inside leg seams open.

5. Pin front and back legs together at side seams and sew both legs. Press the outside leg seams open – you can use a sleeve board to help with this.

6. Take the waistband piece(s) and place right side together. Match the short edges and sew to create a loop.

7. Fold the waistband panel in half horizontally, keeping the loop shape so that it is half the depth, and press.
8. Next, turn the shorts the right way out and slide the waistband over the outside of the waistline, aligning the raw edges of the waistband with the raw edge at the top of the shorts, matching the back seam and waistband seam.
Pin and stitch the waistband in place – stop approx.10cm from where you started leaving a gap to insert the elastic.

9. Using an elastic threader/bodkin, thread the elastic through the waistband ensuring the end does not get pulled through – you can secure with a safety pin.

10. Check the elastic is flat and not twisted then join by overlapping the ends and securing with a zigzag stitch, sewing back and forth several times.
- Sew the gap you left to insert the elastic closed.
- Check the elastic is flat and any gathers are evenly spaced along the waistband by pulling the waistband elastic out and letting the fabric settle around it.

11. Overlock or overcast/zigzag stitch the waist edges to finish.

12. Optional: Take a 70cm piece of ribbon and fold in half. Attach to the centre front of the waistband with a straight stitch, stitching back and forth a few times, and tie it into a knot or bow.

14. To create the frill hem:
- Press the frill strip in half lengthways with wrong sides together.
- Open back out and join the strip with right sides together at the 2 short ends to create a loop as you did for the waistband. Fold back in to create a narrow folded loop.
- Between each of the notches, run 2 rows of parallel long length (gathering) stitching along the raw edge of the loop approx 5mm and 1cm from the edge, stopping and starting again.
15. Attach the frill to the hem:
- Slip the frill loop over the shorts leg hem with the raw edges aligned and match the notches and seams and pin in place.

- Use the gathering stitching to gather the frill so that the raw edges align and use lots of pins to align the gathered frill edge with the raw edge of the hem.
- Stitch the frill to the shorts with a 1.5cm seam allowance.

- Overlock or overcast/zigzag stitch the edges together to finish.

- Press the seam allowance up away from the leg opening and top stitch on the shorts leg close to the frill joining seam.
- Repeat for the other leg. And...

Ta-Dah! You made yourself some pretty, frilly, cute sleep shorts! 


Now it's time to plan your next project and take a look at our other beginner-friendly patterns!

Happy Sewing!