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Old Shirt to PJs

My eldest won't stop growing!!  We recently had to buy him new jeans, money we are willing to pay for extra durability because this boy is ROUGH on his clothes (I highly recommend Wranglers, they have worn better than any other brand we have tried, and you can get them at a deep discount from VF Outlet, especially on clearance).  While we were shopping to for jeans I looked at pajamas as well because they were also getting short on him.  OUCH!! I forget how expensive PJs can be every time until I go looking.  Sometimes we get a good deal at Costco, but they have already stocked their spring/summer wear and the nights are still cold here, so that was a no go. I was considering just letting him wear PJ pants a few inches short (nobody will ever know.....) until the weather warmed up.  But then I saw them: two perfectly good long-sleeve shirts that my husband had put in the donation pile, one was even made of thermal fabric.  "Light Bulb!"
So out of the box they came and in I came with the scissors.  I had done this before when he was much smaller, but was worried that he *might* be too tall this time around.  I laid one of the new pairs of jeans on top of the sleeve and it looked like it might just work, IF I ignored the shoulder seams and just went over them.   Here is how I did it!

1. Fold your shirt in half so that the sleeves meet up perfectly (as seen above).  Smooth out any underlying wrinkles from the sleeves and top half of the shirt.
2. Fold a pair of pants in half (one that you know fits) so that the back pockets are facing out.  Make sure the crotch is pointing out all of the way.  Jeans are a perfect pant for this because the waistband won't need to be stretched out as you cut around them.  Lay the folded pants on top of the shirt, the bottom hem lined up with the sleeve edge.  It just so happened the that the point of the crotch lined up perfectly on this shirt with the armpit.  The other shirt I had to cut past the armpit a bit to get the crotch point which meant I had to extend that inner sleeve seam up to the crotch point before sewing the crotch.

3. Cut from the top of the waistband and around the crotch seam.  If you are using a knit (stretchy) fabric, you can cut pretty close to the pants.  If you are using a woven (not stretchy) fabric, you'll want to leave some extra room for the sleeve allowance.  I haven't tried this with anything but knits, so if you do let me know how it goes.  DON'T cut down the pant leg edges (unless part of it come in above the armpit of the shirt), they are already sewn so this saves you time and effort.  If the pattern pants have an elastic waist, stretch it out and cut to its widest stretched out point. 

 4. Now you have two sleeves/pant legs.  Keep one rightside out, but turn the other one inside out.

5. Now slip the right side out sleeve/leg INSIDE the inside out sleeve/leg.  I do this by putting on one sleeve first, and then the other one on top of it.

 5. Make sure the bottom edges are lined up, and then line up the center seams and edges.

 6. Sew along the curved edges (crotch edge) all the way from the front to the back.

7. Make sure you didn't accidentally sew along the straight edge that runs along the top (this is the waist).  Go ahead and flip your pants so that they are all right side out and finish with your favorite method of elastic.  I used a no casing elastic so that I didn't lose any length in the torso so he still has room to grow.

VOILA! Pajama pants for next to nothing!!


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