Here’s a nice assortment of patterns and tutorials to make pajamas for sizes baby to adult. You’ll find several for bottoms (shorts and pants), a few tops and a few nightgowns…most of these are super easy to whip up and suitable for beginner sewers. Many include free pattern piece downloads but most use a top or pant that is the current size of the intended pj-wearer. These are great handmade gifts for Christmas which will be enjoyed all year round.
I also added a couple vintage pajama bag patterns (a retro doll and calico cat), you’ll find those at the bottom of the page. Have fun!
Drawstring Pants: Twill tape drawstring pants with free pattern download (pdf), sizes for small (36-38″ hip); medium (39-41″ hip) and large (42-44″ hip).
Baby/Toddler Pants: One size fits many! Knit bottoms (shorts or pants) with a cute bum applique. Free pattern pieces to download (pdf). Includes references to make a matching top.
Pillowcase Nightgowns: Free tutorial download (pdf) that includes pattern pieces (girls 4T but can be adjusted). Ruffle or straight hem.
15-Minute Jammy Pants: Elastic waistband, made with a bit of clever cutting and folding, uses a current pair of pants as a template.
Kimono PJs: Detailed measurement instructions are provided so you can make one that fits just right.
Lazy Sunday PJs: Tutorial for making both the top and pants, can be made in any size using a current top and pant as templates.
Simple Women’s Nightie: (top) Made with just a yard & a half of fabric, has spaghetti straps and body piece gathers at the top. Can be made shorter or longer as you like.
Summer Nightgown: Another charmer for girls made with a pillowcase, this one features a split bodice and sleeve. Pattern available in several sizes (3-4; 5-6; 7-8). Free pdf download.
Vintage Bed Sheets: No hemming! Pick out an old sheet from the linen closet and whip up a pair of cozy bottoms.
Retro Doll Bag
*First published October 8, 2010 and moved to this page for better organization
Size: 44″ long
- 36″ cotton: 1 yard print for body and cosmetic bag, 1/2 yard rose, scrap of purple
- scraps of rose, white, turquoise felt
- 14″ neckline zipper
- 2 buttons
- 2 snaps
- 12″ chain
- medium-weight cotton yarn
- stuffing for arms, legs and head
- turquoise ribbon
Use 1/2″ seams except on zipper.
- For body pattern, which includes seam allowances, draw a right-angle triangle 8 3/4″ wide at base and 20″ high. Fold print fabric, place 20″ pattern edge on fold and cut body back. Adding 5/8″ zipper seam allowance at 20″ edge, cut 2 body fronts. Sew zipper to front, about 1″ above bottom seam allowance.
- For legs, cut one 13″ x 25″ rose piece; machine-applique nine 5/8″ x 13″ purple strips 1 3/4″ apart. Cut appliqued fabric in half lengthwise. Following photograph, applique print slippers about 4″ long to half of each leg at one end. For arms, cut two 5 1/2″ x 13 1/2″ strips. Fold legs and arms in half lengthwise, right sides in; seam, rounding one end of arms and slipper end of legs and leaving other end open. Turn and stuff. Sew straps and buttons to slippers.
- For head, cut two 9 1/2″ diameter circles. Applique purple mouth and 2 1/2″ diameter pink cheeks. For eyes, stitch 7/8″ blue circles to 1″ white circles.Fold blue lids with lashes at an angle and stitch on. Sew on eyes. Seam head pieces, leaving 3″ opening. Turn head and stuff.
- To assemble, pin legs to body front about 5 1/2″ from corners; pin arms 12″ above corners. With right sides together, seam back to front; turn. Insert body into head opening; machine-applique neck to body.
- For curls, wind yarn around broom handle; apply starch and let dry. Remove from broom handle; cut curls desired length and tack around side seam and across back of head. Add bow.
For cosmetic bag, cut 7″ x 16″ print strip. Fold over 4″ at one end, right sides together, for double flap. Seam sides; clip seam allowances and turn. Hem other end of strip. Turn in side seam allowances, fold up 4″ and topstitch seams. Attach snaps and 12″ chain to bag.
Source: Woman’s Day Magazine (1960’s)
Calico Cat Bag
*First published June 22, 2011 and moved to this page for better organization
Here’s a sweet vintage pattern from my collection for making a child’s pajama bag or laundry bag that was published by the National Cotton Council and Wright’s Trims. Pattern pamphlet was titled “Easy Gifts To Make” and there’s no date marked anywhere but I believe this is from the 1950s.
The bag is made with printed fabric and trimmed with bias tape around all the edges. There’s a loop on top of the head for hanging and bias tape is used to define the front legs and paws.
Crafty bits are put to use for the facial features, rick rack for the eyelashes, a felt scrap for the nose and pretty ribbon is tied around the neck for a bow. The head is stuffed lightly with cotton batting and the body of the bag is used to hold garments (there’s a slit opening at the back). The tail is a bias tape covered pipe cleaner.
I’ve typed out the details below and scanned a copy of the pattern for you to download at the bottom (via jpg file). Here are the instructions:
Supplies You’ll Need:
- 1/2 yd. printed percale
- 5 yds. Wright’s double fold Bias Tape
- 1 yd. Wright’s Jumbo Rick Rack (eyelashes)
- Felt scrap (for the nose)
- 1/2 yd. ribbon, 2″ width (neck bow)
- Cotton batting (for the head)
Directions For Making:
- Cut as in diagram. Cut 9″ slit at neck back and bind.
- Face: Shirr 12 points of rick rack for each set of eyelashes. Shape and tack in place. Stitch tape mouth and felt nose in place.
- Head: Bind together leaving 3″ free. Pad lightly and complete binding.
- Body: Stitch tape legs and feet to front, then bind together.
- Assembly: Bind ears and pleat. Attach body, ears and 3″ tape loop to head. Add bow at neck.
- Tail: Stitch 18″ tape edges together. Insert pipe cleaner. Hand tack in place.
There are no pattern pieces but they are simple shapes and the diagram is nicely detailed with measurements so it’s easy enough to make your own (this is common for vintage patterns). Here’s the jpg file to download, simply click the image to view the larger size, right click on it and then save it to your computer’s desktop (it will print small, select “fit to page” in your printer options and you’ll be able to read it easily):