Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shirred Pajama Top and Cropped Pants Tutorial Part I - Cutting Out

First off I have to thank Amanda from Kitschycoo for introducing me to the technique of shirring in her excellent Shirred Sundress Tutorial. Truly, this opened up a new world of sewing for me.

What follows is the first part of a two part tutorial. Today, we cut out...using a pair of pj pants that you already own as your guide...if you want your new pj pants cropped and your pants are full length just fold them up until they are the length you want.

1. For pajamas(top and bottom)for a woman (size med-large) you will need approximately 3 and 1/4yards of fabric.

2. Lay your fabric on the floor/cutting table and fold it over from the selvedge like this...see, my toes are pointing to the folded edge
3. Fold your pj pants as shown with the outside edge of the pant on the folded edge of your fabric...if you need your new pants to be a little larger as I did, just move the pants a little bit away from the folded fabric edge...i moved mine about 4 inches in.

4. Cut around the pants about 1/2 inch away from their edge to allow for a seam allowance and on the waistband area cut about 2 inches above the pants to give yourself fabric to turn under to create a waistband. DO NOT cut the folded edge. You will end up with a piece that looks like this:
5. Using this piece as your pattern cut another one out exactly like it making sure to position it on the folded edge...these are your 2 pj pant pieces.

6. Using the extra fabric left over from cutting out your pj pants cut out two 6 inch by 18 inch rectangles...these will be your little shirred cap sleeves...they will look like this:
7. For the body of the shirred pj top take the chest measurement around...bra size plus a couple of inches.... and add to it 1/2 of that measurement. For example: I used 36 inches and added 18 inches to that to get 54 inches.This means that before shirring, the top will be approx 54 inches around(it will get significantly smaller when shirred - don't panic) Then, measure to determine your desired length ....add 2 inches to this length for hemming the top and bottom....I wanted mine to be 23 inches long so I added 2 inches to get 25 inches. So, using these calculations I needed a 54 inch wide by 25 inch long piece of fabric for my top. Since my fabric was only 45 inches wide I had to cut out two 27 inch wide by 25 inch long panels which when sewn together to form a tube will be just a little under 54 inches wide (taking a 1/4 inch seam allowance into account) and 25 inches long. Mine looked like this:
So there you go...all cut out! I'll post the sewing instructions very soon...like how I'm being noncommittal? Baby bird is not sleeping very well lately so I'm not getting my sewing/blogging time without a struggle...sigh...I'll post it just as soon as I can :)


  1. This is super, Jennifer :) Thank you... When you have time, and I have time, when we have tiiiiiimmmee.....I have no doubt this will bring us BOTH hours and hours of fun!

  2. This is super, Jennifer :) Thank you... When you have time, and I have time, when we have tiiiiiimmmee.....I have no doubt this will bring us BOTH hours and hours of fun!

  3. They look really comfy, great job! Maybe it'd convince me not to sleep in the clothes I've been wearing all day? Worth a shot ;)

  4. love this... you make it look so easy.

  5. @Victoria - yes tiiiimmme...that's what we all need more of :) I'm glad you like the tute!

    @Kitschy Coo - worth a shot but really, "24 hour wear" (as my friend Dianne calls it) is what it's all about :)

    @ Briana - thanks! It IS easy...you definitely can do it...make the top longer and it will be the sundress you've been looking for

  6. Thank you for the turorial it's always good to learn something new.

    take care and thank you for your comment - it's lovely to meet you.

    I'm off to take a better look at 'shirring'

    Nina x

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