A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Simplicity 1563 pajama pants

Flannel pajama pants with a hacked yoga waist made from the Simplicity 1563 pattern.

Pajamas are one of those things I have never been able to bring myself to spend money on.  I know, it's stupid, I could easily pick up a cute pair at Marshall's without breaking the bank.  But for years, my go-to night look has been a pair of ratty pj pants (bought by my mother some 10 years ago) or ratty shorts with on old, equally ratty t-shirt that I stole from my husband.  It's not a cute look.
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A few news pairs of pj pants are on my informal 2018 to-sew list.  I ordered some printed flannel during Fabric Mart's pre-cut sale last month to make a pair.  This is 44"-wide quilting flannel, which works fine for pj pants, though I expect it to pill quite a bit.  It's very nice and thick.

Flannel pajama pants with a hacked yoga waist made from the Simplicity 1563 sewing pattern.

The pattern is Simplicity 1563 (affiliate link), which I picked up during a Joann's pattern sale sometime last year.  The pattern includes a robe as well as several knit nightgown and pj shirt options, and the pants and robe are sized for both men and women.

I was surprised when I opened the envelope - this is an adult pants pattern with only one pattern piece (well, two, if you count the drawstring, but I don't).  And I was skeptical.

The Simplicity 1563 sewing pattern.

Although my 45" hip put me squarely in the large size, I sewed the medium after consulting the finished measurements (46" hip).

I compared the crotch curve to that of my Calyer Pants, which fit me quite well, to the curves on the Simplicity pattern.  Based on that, I determined that I needed to scoop out the back rise about 1/2" and raise it an inch.  I also took an inch out of the front rise.  Because there is a single pattern piece, I couldn't take a wedge out (or add a wedge in) and taper to nothing at the side as I would normally do when adjusting the front and back rise.  Instead, I drew a straight line across my pattern piece above the rise notches, and marked the center of the line.  I then cut along my line starting on one side, ending just before the center.  Then I cut in from the other side, ending on the other side of the center.  This gave me a "hinge" in the middle of my pattern piece, and I was able to subtract front rise and add back rise with the same pivoting motion.  Here's a picture.

The Simplicity 1563 sewing pattern.

Unfortunately, none of this work ended up benefiting me, because I accidentally cut both of my pieces with the right side of the fabric facing up.  Doh.  I didn't have enough fabric to recut, so I stacked my pieces and smoothed out the waistband and the crotch curves so that they were now symmetrical.  Now that my front and back rises were the same height, I needed to reduce the front rise somehow.  I made it work by taking a horizontal fish-eye dart out of my front rise.

Flannel pajama pants with a hacked yoga waist made from the Simplicity 1563 sewing pattern.

I had planned to make the elasticated waistband per the pattern, but, having lost my full back rise increase when I trimmed my pattern pieces together, I knew the back would be too low.  I decided to cut a cotton/lycra knit yoga band instead.  I cut it 30"x10.5" for a finished height of 5".  I fold it down when I wear these.

Flannel pajama pants with a hacked yoga waist made from the Simplicity 1563 sewing pattern.

If I make these again, I'll definitely do the yoga band.  It's just so comfortable.

After I sewed the pants, I slimmed down the leg, taking in about 1.5" at the hem and tapering to nothing at mid thigh.  This gave me a straight leg at the bottom, rather than a tapered leg, which was good because I ended up having to shorten the pants 2" after I sewed them together.  I'm 5'8", but they do run quite long because they're meant for both men and women.

Flannel pajama pants with a hacked yoga waist made from the Simplicity 1563 sewing pattern.

As you can see above, I don't really have those yucky back leg wrinkles that often plague me in pants.  But I am jutting my behind out a little bit to make that happen.  When I relax, the wrinkles come back.  I think that probably means that the bottom of the back rise, the part that curves to run horizontally, is a little too long.

I'm very happy with the finished pants. I do find myself trying to put my hands in non-existent pockets. It didn't even occur to me to make pockets and without a side-seam, I would have had to make patch pockets.  Maybe next time.

Thanks for reading, and see you next time!


  1. Those are cute pants. I have been tempted to make some to wear around the house in the winter. I like the yoga waist. I have a skirt made that way, and it's very comfy.

  2. You should try the Lisette pattern, it's really nice with the extra details. A bit more work to make, definitely, but with much better opportunities for fitting, a back yoke, and POCKETS.

    1. Ditto, really nice pants but very long legs.

  3. Genius to use a yoga waistband. No worrying about elastic possibly twisting and becoming uncomfortable. Glad you made these work!

  4. These are lovely! They look so comfortable. I love the fabric too!

  5. Yoga waistbands are the best on jammies pants! What a great idea!


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