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Making PJ Shorts from Melly Sews by Rosie

It’s summertime and I didn’t have summer Pajamas – PJ shorts are a great and fun solution! I found this free pattern from Melly Sews. It’s great as a fast project or a project for beginners. I’ve made two pairs already!

Choosing fabric for the Melly Sews PJ Shorts

PJ shorts in batik and gold fabric

These shorts feature a gorgeous batik fabric that I found in my mum’s stash. There wasn’t loads of it, just enough for this project, so it was obviously leftover from another project – because of this I’m not sure where it was originally from or where you might find it. If you know, let us know in the comments!

decoratie gold and batik fabric

Sewing Machines

I used the Juki NX-7 and the Juki MO-2000 Overlocker for this project. I had a lot of fun with the overlocker choosing different coloured threads and arranging them to get interesting thread arrangements.

the JUKI MO-2000 QVP threaded with blue and brown threads with autumnal triangle quilt in background

This was my first time threading the MO-2000QVP without assistance… Once I’d got the hang of it during my last project, it was super easy for this project! I just LOVE the air-threading feature. For an architecture geek who appreciates the design of these kinds of things, I find this feature sooooo satisfying.

Making the PJ Shorts

The Pattern

The pattern is super simple, and you can find the full instructions over on the Melly Sews blog. It is also free! (I found out that Melly Sews has loads of free stuff if you sign up to the Newsletter!) The Pattern comes as a PDF, with one piece drawn inside the other piece. So, you cut the back first, then cut down the pattern and cut the front. Because I wanted to reuse the pattern, I copied out the back pattern piece onto a big roll of paper, and then cut it down to the front pattern piece. That way I could save both paper pattern pieces for future projects.

Front and Back

Good side to good side, I stitched the backs together along the centre seam, and then the fronts.

Once you’ve done that you can overlock these two seams. I spent a bit of time auditioning threads against the fabric, unwinding them a bit and seeing how they blend or stand out. This Omni thread was a perfect match for the golden-brown in the batik:

OMNI thread cone brown gold against batik fabric

I love how the overlocking stitch turned out, with the mix of golden and teal-blue colours, just like the fabric!

Juki MO-2000QVP Overlocker sewing machine with blue and brown fabrics

Once you’re used to threading the machine, it’s easy to switch around thread cones until you have the perfect combination. I really wanted the golden colour to shine out and then give a hint of the blue, so I switched cones until I had it just right.

Once I overlocked the seams, I was ready to start sewing the front and back together.

making PJ shorts workspace

As you can tell from the pattern and the pictures, the front is smaller than the back (to allow space for your bum!).

The sides an be overlocked too once the seams are straight stitched together.

Next the crotch seams need to be sewn! You match them up on each side, and pin them so that you have one centre seam point left and the other right. This will stop things getting too thick to sew later on.

The Waistband

Next comes the waistband! The waistband uses elastic which is about 1inch wide, and you can easily measure how much you need by wrapping around yourself wherever you want the waist line to sit. The pattern recommends 1 inch below the belly-button.

Fold 2cm of the waist line down and iron flat. Then you fold down however thick your elastic is plus around 5mm. Iron flat.

Going back to the NX-7, I sewed the folded fabric down really close to the edge, and leaving about 5cm open to get the elastic through.

Using a big safety pin attached to your elastic, you can then easily feed the elastic through the waist band. Once it’s through, use a zig-zag stitch to sew the two ends of the elastic together. It’s so easy to change stitches on the NX-7 touch screen!

My stitch was a little messy as I went back and forth a couple times. But thankfully, it’s not going to be seen so I think it’s okay…

Then you just sew up the gap, and it’s onto the hems.

The Hems

On each leg of the shorts, fold back 1cm, then press, then do the same again. Then straight stitch the hem to finish it. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, you can try other kinds of stitches to finish the hem too. I tried different stitches in later versions and it can be a fun way to add some subtle pizazz.

the hems needed when making PJ shorts

Tip – make sure you check which direction your overlocked seams are pointing when you fold over to stop them twisting the wrong way by accident.

And that’s it! Once both hems are done, these PJ shorts are finished and ready to wear!

PJ shorts hang in making workspace

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