Turn Pajama Pants into a Skirt

(And You, Too, Can Be Secretly Comfortable in Slightly Dressy Situations)

I'm in my pajamas!

Why is it that if you wear soft cotton pants (with happy pineapples and winking lemons on them) out in public, you’re a slob, but if you wear the same fabric made into a skirt it’s cute and summery? Anyone? Beats me. I don’t make the rules, I just complain about them.

Max took this next picture for me. He’s six, you know. Six is a great age. He’s getting very responsible, and he can do all sorts of new, exciting things. Like use a camera!

What a bum!

Well, you know. Sort of.

Here’s the thing. It’s hot here. It’s too hot for jeans. With few exceptions, I don’t do shorts. Most of my skirts (and the skirts I’ve seen out shopping) are not suitable for lounging around the house or sitting on the floor playing roll-the-ball with toddlers. I spent most of last week wearing a very lightweight pair of snowman pajama pants whenever I was home, but I started to get some funny looks from Greg and friends that came over.

I’ve seen a lot of tutorials for turning jeans into skirts, but I’ve never been a jean-skirt kind of girl. (Plus, denim is hot!!!) Pajama pants turned skirt seemed like an obvious solution – but then again, maybe it’s just the heat melting my brain. C’mon, you know you want to make some, too!

Just take one pair of comfortable pajama pants (a little big is better than a little small) and rip out the inseam all the way across. Just go up one leg and down the other, being sure to completely separate all seams and hems and joins and what have you so that you are left with what is essentially a very long, strange skirt with slits in the front and the back.

Then, decide how long you want your skirt to be. I go for just-longer-than-knee-length, myself. Now, ADD about an inch and a half to that measurement. (I wanted mine to be a little longer in the back, so I added another inch to that side.) Now cut off the extra length!

Turn your skirt inside out and flatten it to the side (so that the front is at one side and the back is at the other, instead of being in the center). You have a problem.


That is not a shape you want to see in a skirt. So, for the front only (although, I’ve just realized that this picture is of the back), I just sewed a new seam like this:

About that straight, too.

and cut off the excess. I went ahead and sewed the pieces together all the way down to the hemline, because I wanted the front of my skirt to be straight and flat. TIP: if your pajama pants are made of a knit material, you must be extremely careful not to pull or stretch the fabric as you sew it, or you will get puckers and ripples in your seam. If you do not have a serger (I sure don’t) you can run a tight zigzag stitch up the inside of the seam to prevent the fabric from raveling. (Unraveling? Kind of a flammable/inflammable grammatical situation going on, there.)

If you want to have a straight skirt and you’ve got enough fabric to go around, you can do the same thing in the back. I’m not a fan of straight skirts, myself, and I wanted to have more room to move around in, so I decided to make a little kick pleat in the back with the leftover leg fabric.

So: instead of sewing the little triangle (I’m afraid I don’t know the technical term. Crotch?) closed, I just cut it off so that my fabric went straight down from the behind to the hem. Then I cut a triangle from one of the legs, as wide as I could get:

Like so.

And inserted it into the gap in the back. Then all you have to do is turn the hem and sew all the way around! I did a very thin double hem (turn it up, sew it, turn it up again, sew it) because that’s how I was brought up, dang it. I also stretched the fabric while I was hemming it to make a soft ruffle reminiscent of a lettuce edging. I could have sworn it was called a cabbage ruffle, but Google disagrees.


It’s quick, it’s cool, it’s cute, it’s comfortable. I’m satisfied!

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