19 June 2020

Fitting the Jaimie Pyjama Bottoms and Shorts

Fitting the Jaimie pyjamas sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Jaimie pyjama bottoms or shorts and want some advice on getting a good fit? Well, that's lucky - you've come to the right place!

The great news is the Jaimie PJs are easy-peasy (lemon squeezy) to fit thanks to the loose, loungewear style and waistline cinched in with elastic or a drawstring. Yay! And, as they are pyjamas, the only people who will see you wearing them are the people you live with, your pets, and anyone you're showing them off to on your Zoom meetings, so there's no need to worry if you don't nail the perfect fit on the first try.

For more involved projects we often recommend you make a toile or wearable toile (a practice version made in cheap fabric to test the fit) but it's not necessary here. Sure, if you have your eye on some expensive and stunningly beautiful, one-of-a-kind fabric, you might want to make a practice pair in cheaper fabric so you're not devastated if they need a bit of tweaking. Otherwise, just go for it!

If you're new to sewing I'd like you to listen very carefully to what I'm about to say: your pyjamas don't need to be perfect. So what if they turn out a bit wonky or baggy? You made them. How amazing is that?!

In this post we're going to cover:
  • Choosing your size
  • Lengthening or shortening 
  • How to combine different waist and hip pattern sizes
  • Full booty adjustment
Fitting the Jaimie pyjamas sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Choosing your size

Using a flexible tape measure, find the circumference of your:

- Waist - where you bend at the side
- Hips - the fullest part - it helps to turn to the side and look in a mirror to see where this is

Check the tape measure is sitting level with the floor all the way round.

Fitting the Jaimie pyjamas sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Circle your measurements on the ‘Body Measurements’ chart in the pattern instructions. If a measurement falls between sizes (for example, if your hips are 42in rather than 41in or 43in), it’s better to choose the larger size as you can take the pyjamas in more easily than you can let them out.

If your waist and hip sizes fall into different pattern sizes, that's totally normal! For this pattern, you should be able to easily get away with cutting out the pattern size that matches your hips, so long as your waist size is no more than two pattern sizes bigger or smaller than your hip size. The elastic and/or drawstring in the waist will cinch it in to fit you.

If, however, your waist is three or more pattern sizes bigger or smaller than the pattern size that matches your hips, you'll get a better fit by combining pattern sizes, which I'll explain a bit later. But before you do that...

Lengthening or shortening the pattern pieces

Our patterns are drafted for a height of around 5"5 (165cm). If you are much taller or shorter than this, you might consider lengthening or shortening the pattern pieces.

Fitting the Jaimie pyjamas sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

1) To lengthen or shorten the full-length pyjama bottom legs

If you have particularly long or short legs, you can lengthen or shorten the pattern along the set of lines marked "lengthen or shorten here" on the lower part of the front and back leg. Here's how to lengthen or shorten pattern pieces.

The inside leg measurement for the pyjama bottoms is 79cm (31in) - compare this to your own inside leg measurement before you decide whether to lengthen or shorten the legs. If you're not sure if you need to shorten them, leave them as they are and shorten them at the hemming stage if you need to.

Fitting the Jaimie pyjamas sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

2) To lengthen the shorts

The inside leg seam measurement for the shorts is 4cm (1 1/2in). If you think you want these a little longer, you can draw in a new hem line to your desired length.

Work out how much you want to extend the shorts by, measure down from the shorts hemline and mark this point. Draw a new line, roughly following the curve of the original shorts hemline, and squaring off the corners into right angles. Bring out the inside leg and side seams just a smidge to retain the shape of the shorts - use the pink lines above as a guide.

Fitting the Jaimie pyjamas sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

3) To lengthen or shorten the crotch or hips (both versions)

The Jaimie pyjamas are designed to sit 5-7cm (2-3in) below your belly button, and the back sits a little higher than the front for a flattering fit. If you are tall or short overall and usually find trousers and pyjamas come up a bit too high rise or low rise for you, you can lengthen or shorten the crotch using the set of lines marked "lengthen or shorten here" on the upper part of the front and back leg. To learn how to do this, take a look at our post on how to lengthen or shorten pattern pieces.

Fitting the Jaimie pyjamas sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

How to combine pattern sizes

As I said above, pick the pattern size that matches your hip measurement, unless your waist is three or more pattern sizes bigger or smaller than your hips. In the latter case, you can "grade" between sizes, or combine the waist and hip sizes that best match your measurements.

We have a blog post with step-by-step diagrams to show you how to combine sizes in more detail. If you do want to combine sizes for the Jaimie pyjamas, start grading about 5cm (2in) below the waistline seam. This will ensure the waistline casing isn't affected too much. In the image above I've shown an example where the pattern is graded from a size 9 waist to a size 6 hip.

Fitting the Jaimie pyjamas sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Full booty adjustment

Due to their loose-fitting design, you shouldn't have to worry too much about adjusting the bum area (ooh-er) on your Jaimie pyjamas. However, If you have a fuller behind, you might find that extending the back crotch seam will make the trousers fit better and be more comfortable to sit down in. A sign that you need to do this is a back waistband that pulls down, and drag lines that come from between your legs.

Cut along one of the lines marked "lengthen or shorten here" on the back leg, from the crotch seam to 15mm (5/8in) away from the side seam. Cut from the side seam to this point so that the two sections are still attached by a tiny pivot point.

Pivot the top section away from the bottom by the amount you would like to increase the crotch seam by - 20mm (3/4in) is a good place to start. Tape or stick down over a strip of paper, and then redraw the crotch seam with a straight line to neaten it out. Cut away the excess.

For an easy-to-follow guide on other common trouser fitting adjustments, check out our dedicated post!

Fitting the Jaimie pyjamas sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

And that's it! Now you should feel ready to go forth and sew a gorgeous pair of Jaimie pyjama bottoms or shorts. They'll soon be your favourite thing to lounge around the house in, made even better by the fact you will have made them yourself :)

We love seeing your progress shots and finished makes - it really makes our day. Tag us on Instagram @TillyButtons using the hashtag #SewingJaimie.

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Author: Nikki Hoar
Photography: Jane Looker
Gorgeous Models: Megan Valero and Jess Burrell