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Thursday, January 20, 2022

My New Pajama Pants (and a little trick to make the fabric layout work with less fabric)

I often don't buy the full amount of fabric that a pattern suggests. I'm on the petite side, so I always have to alter patterns to fit my shorter stature. Hence needing less fabric than called for. So, I asked my daughter to order 2 yards of flannel for my new pajama pants (the pattern called for 2 3/8 yards).

Even after shortening the pattern pieces for my shorter legs, I still spent a good 20 minutes trying to make the pattern pieces fit the fabric to no avail. Then I had a thought. This is an all-over pattern that looks good sideways as well as longitudinally, and it has no nap. 

I opened up the fabric, folded it sideways, and voila, the pattern pieces fit just fine.

Anyway, this solved the problem and left me with about 11 inches of additional fabric. I suppose I could have requested even less fabric than the 2 yards.

My question now -- what would you do with a strip of flannel fabric 11 inches by 42 inches?

By the way, turning the fabric sideways worked for my fabric because I'm not very tall. After shortening the pattern to fit my legs, I had not quite an inch leeway in the length. The pattern pieces were about 40 inches from the top of the waist to the bottom of the leg. This would not work as well for someone needing longer pant legs.


  1. They turned out well! I'm not great with sewing projects. Maybe you could make some rice or corn bags with the leftover fabric? The kind of thing you can heat up in the microwave? I was given one as a gift a few years ago and I love it. Good way to warm up on cold winter days and nights. My gifted one developed a hole recently so we saved the corn and my daughter made me a new one from flannel scraps.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Good idea for the warming bags. I have both brown and white rice here. Do you think one would be preferable to the other? I also have lots of lavender buds that might be a nice addition.
      Thanks for the suggestion!

    2. I thought this might be helpful to you (I don't care for her fabric choices but the instructions seemed good). My daughter has a white rice bag. The smell is different from corn when heated in the microwave but the lavender would probably mask the grain-ey smell if you don't care for it. I've seen instructions where you can also add essential oils but I suspect that would wear off after awhile. I don't really know if one kind of rice is preferable to another kind, but if you don't want to buy a huge bag of feed corn, then rice would make more sense. The advantage with rice over corn is that it is smaller and if you needed to use it as an ice pack, I think it would mold better to your body. Let us know if you decide to make them! I think they make wonderful gifts.

    3. Thank you, Kris, for this info. Much appreciated!

  2. Perhaps you could make a long and slender bag to plastic bags you are reusing. Or it would making good backing or liner for potholders or trivets. Also you could use making small rounds for removing make up.
    You are ingenious and so motivating!

    1. Hi Linda,
      I love your suggestions -- big thank you! Along the lines of potholders and trivets, it might also be good fabric for making a teapot cozy. And I think your idea for make-up remover pads would be so soft.
      Thank you for your in-put Linda!

  3. Maybe pockets for your new PJs? And I second the corn bag. We always had enough for each child and a few extras. We still use them but the corn gets broken down over time but I have an ice cream bucket 1/2 full with new corn. When our moms come over for a visit during the winter, we give them a warm beanbag to warm their cold fingers! Don't use treated corn, however. It has to be dried, untreated corn.

    1. Hi Alice,
      I thought about pockets *after* I'd finished sewing the pants, as I was trying them on for the waist elastic! Oops. Pockets might have been nice. I will keep that in mind for my next pair for sure.
      Corn bags -- you Kris and Live and Learn mentioned them. I'd never heard of dried corn as a filling for warming bags. Dried, untreated corn -- I'll be on the look-out for that. Why would the treated corn be bad? Great idea for warming fingers.
      Thanks for your input Alice!

  4. I use my corn bags almost every day. I made different shapes, for different uses. I also keep one in the freezer for when we need to apply cold to an area. BTW, I made covers for a couple of them which makes it easy to take off and wash, without getting the bag wet.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Oh, good idea on making covers. That makes so much sense. Your freezer use reminds me of what a nurse once told me -- to use frozen peas for a sprained ankle. It worked. They formed to fit my ankle and I could refreeze them many times.
      Thanks for your ideas, Live and Learn!

  5. Matching scrunchies! For yourself and the daughter in law and possibly your daughters as well :).

    1. Hi Farhana,
      I love the idea of matching scrunchies! Thank you!

  6. Hi been a while since I posted here but I had an idea for your leftover fabric. Wouldn't it be cute to do scrunchies and put them into a matching zipper or draw string pouch with a little brush and Bobby pins for a on the go hair kit for your purse? May be a great Christmas or birthday present. Just an idea ♡

    1. Hi Gaila,
      That's such a fabulous idea. I love it! Thank you.


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