Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pajama Pants

Some truths in life are absolute, and this is one of them: tall women cannot buy pajama pants from a store. Believe me, I've tried, but there's no fudging this rule. Even if you are lucky enough to find a store-bought pair that falls past your ankles, your luck will turn right around the first time you put them through the clothes dryer (or maybe I just have the unluckiest clothes dryer ever).

I'd completely given up pajama pants by the time I was 16; there was just no hope for it. Then one day the thought occurred to me, 'why don't I just make my own?' It was a perfect solution. Could there be a simpler item of clothing to make than pajama pants? You cut out two long rectangles and sew them together. I went to Walmart and bought the simplest pant pattern I could find. It wasn't even designed specifically for pajamas; it was just a straight, wide-leg, elastic waist pattern (fashions of the 90s you know). I spent quite a bit of time in the fabric section agonizing over the important decision of which fabric I should use. Flannel of course, but there were so many cute patterns! I finally selected a Blue's Clues pattern - yes, I am only mildly ashamed to admit that I liked to watch that show at my age. I decided to buy some backup fabric too, in order to try out the first draft of sewing. That way if I screwed something up, I hadn't wasted my good fabric. I did in fact make a practice version of the pants, and afterwards realized that I needn't have worried. It would be impossible for anyone over the age of 10 to screw up this pant pattern. It was just so simple! Cut, sew, thread the elastic.

But the best part was, I could make them as long as I wanted. Of course the pattern itself didn't allow for a 37-inch inseam. I think it only went to 30 inches. No problem. I just grabbed my handy-dandy ruler, and extended out the ends as far as I wanted. When I finished the product, I had the intense satisfaction of having pajama pant legs that extended almost to the floor, covering my ankles and heels and keeping them toasty warm.

I highly recommend this method to any tall women out there. It is simple and cheap. I can't remember at all how much the pattern costs, but it's not that expensive plus it is reusable. A couple yards of fabric and some elastic is $10 to $15. I always use flannel. Time to make, for cut, sew and finish is approx. 5 hours, so labor costs......well, it is a labor of love. I have made several pairs since, moving to the much more sophisticated smiley-face pattern, and most recently cute teddy bears.

Pajama pants....problem solved!