Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Riley Blake Designs Union Jack Pajama Pant Tutorial

A friend of mine mentioned she would love to see Riley Blake's Union Jack panels made up into a pair of pajama pants with each leg being a different print. I thought it was brilliant, so Miranda, this tutorial is for you!

Let's get started!
I decided to start with the basic Red, White and Blue panel, but Riley Blake came out with the cutest Pink, Purple and Yellow panels as well. I'm sure I'll be making more of these jammies in every color! 
Before cutting into the fabric, I decided to add a little visual interest to the solid red blogs by adding a few pintucks. To make pintucks, you need a pintuck foot and a twin needle. You can find a super easy tutorial for using your twin needle here. 
Here is what the panel looks like after adding the pintucks. It just gives the solid red a bit of texture and visual interest, but you could definitely skip this step.
Now you will want to find a pair of pajama pants or lounge pants that already fit the intended recipient. They should be loose-fitting. We are going for a very comfortable, loose pant here.
Fold your Union Jack panel in half lengthwise. Now fold the pants in half and lay them on the fabric so that the outer folded edge of the pant leg lines up with the fold of the fabric.
You are going to trace and cut around the pants, leaving extra room for your seam allowance. I left 1-2 inches around the sides and top, and 1/2" at the bottom. (My daughter's pants were already very long, so I didn't need to add additional length at the hem.)
Use your cut piece as a pattern to cut the second leg.
Stitch up the sides of your pant legs using a 1/2" seam allowance. I always serge the seam for a nice finish. You could also finish it with a zig-zag stitch. Leave the crotch-to-waist edges unstitched for now.  
Next, turn one pant leg right-side-out. You will have one pant leg wrong-side-out and one right-side-out. 
Stuff the right-side-out leg inside the wrong-side-out leg, matching up the crotch seams.
Now with your crotch seams lined up, stitch from the waist, down to crotch, and back up to the opposite waist. 
Turn the pants right-side-out. 
 For the waist, I am using 1" elastic, so I will be creating a 1.5" casing. At this point, you may want to try the pants on the intended recipient and make sure the waistband will fall where it is comfortable on him/her. My daughter wasn't worried about how baggy the pants were here because she likes to roll the waist, so I didn't make any changes to the crotch-to-waist measurement. If you don't like to roll the waist, you will need to adjust the crotch depth here.
To make the elastic casing, fold the raw edge of waistband over 1/4" and press. 
Now, because I am using 1" elastic, I folded the fabric over another 1.5" and pressed. If you are using a smaller elastic, just add an additional 3/8" to 1/2" to your elastic measurementFor example, for 1/2" elastic, I would fold the fabric over 1".
 Stitch 1/4" from bottom edge, leaving about a 2" opening where we will slide the elastic through.
To measure your elastic, simply take the measurement of where you want the waist to fall. My daughter wanted the waist to fall between her natural waist and hips, so that is where I took my measurement from. 
Grab a large safety pin and pin it to the end of your elastic. Begin threading the elastic through your casing, leaving a few inches of the elastic exposed. 
Now take both pieces of exposed elastic and, overlapping them about 1", stitch them together.  I use a rough zig-zag stitch. 
Work the elastic into the casing and stitch the opening closed with a straight stitch. Your waistband is now finished.
 For the hem, cut the pants to the desired length + 1/2". Fold the hem over 1/4" and press. Fold over another 1/4" and sew, using a straight stitch.
 Voila! You are done! This project can be completed in 30 minutes to 1 hour!

I am absolutely in LOVE with these panels because they are so versatile. I can see teens and college students tacking them straight onto the wall, however, this Blog Tour is giving me tons of ideas for finished projects.

Here is the schedule for the Blog Tour. Be sure to follow along for more great ideas!

Tuesday 4/1 – Paula at The Sassy Quilter

Thursday 4/3 – Jina at Jina Barney Designz

Tuesday 4/8 – Karin at Leigh Laurel Studios

Thursday 4/10 – Marni at Haberdashery Fun

Tuesday 4/15 – Julia at My Fabric Obession

Thursday 4/17 – Molly at Rose and Odin

Tuesday 4/22 – Amanda at Jedi Craft Girl

Thursday 4/24 – Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt

Tuesday 4/29 – Julia at Riley Blake Designs

Thursday 5/1 – Ginny at Darling Adventures


  1. I love them! Thanks for the tutuorial - my college student will for sure get a pair of these!

  2. ok, now that was worth coming back for....lol...I did enjoying your tucking...was that along the seams?

  3. Great idea for teens. Thanks.

  4. I know a few in my family who would love these! I have to try this out! Thank you!

  5. Great tutorial for pajama pants...thanks!


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