Friday 2 September 2022

Free Pattern Friday: Walk The Plank PJ Bottoms for all!

Welcome to my monthly 'Free Pattern Friday' feature, where I road test a free sewing pattern or tutorial: sometimes a children's one, sometimes an adult's one . I publish these posts every first Friday of the month, timed to provide inspiration for those who plan to get their sew on over the weekend. I firmly believe that, if you pick your projects carefully, sewing doesn't have to be a crazy-expensive way to clothe yourself and your family. I also firmly believe that pattern designers deserve to be properly paid for their work, so if you enjoy using a pattern and can afford to do so, make sure you support that designer. Some designers' websites offer the option to make a donation, alternatively you can buy one of their paid-for products. If you can't afford to do so, you can support the designer by sharing your project via social media to help draw more attention to their work. Thanks to all the amazing pattern designers who have offered up their hard work for us to enjoy for free.

(image source: Patterns For Pirates)

Right. This is now the third time I've posted about the Walk The Plank PJ bottoms pattern by Pattern for Pirates. The first time was having used the pattern to make PJ bottoms in a variety of lengths for my little cuties. The second time I used it to make sleep shorts for my daughter, but highlighted in that post that this pattern is also available in adults' sizing. Well, today I'm posting about both the adults' and kids' versions, now that I've just used both. A big thanks is due to Patterns for Pirates for sharing this awesome, useful pattern for free. 

Pattern type:

These loose and comfy PJ bottoms are described as a super easy, pull-on style with elasticated waist and no side seams. This is basically a one-piece pattern! Both the kids' and adults' versions come with three length options: shorts, knee-length and long. The adult version also includes different leg measurements for the long length, and two waist heights/rise lengths according to preference.

Sizing info: 

The kids' version of this pattern is graded between 3 months and 14 years (17.5" to 34" hip), and the adults' goes from XXS to 3XL (33" to 58" hip). My hip measurement is about 40" but I chose to make the L (41"-43" hip) because my current jammie bottoms are feeling a bit tight and I didn't want to risk recreating that with these pairs. Unsurprisingly, they have come out about a size too big! My daughter is currently between the sizes 8 and 10, so for the tie-dyed versions pictured here that I made the 10 so she has plenty of room to grow into them. 

Fabric info:

The pattern specifies non-stretch, woven fabrics such as flannel (AKA brushed cotton) and cottons. I really think you want to stick with 100% natural fibres for these. Quilting cottons on the softer end of the scale (like these food print and anchor print fabrics), or cotton lawn would work really well. My daughter's were made from an old cotton bed sheet that we tie-dyed at home. Some parts of the bedsheets fabric are more worn, and therefore thinner, than others!


As I concluded in my previous post, this is a simple sewing pattern that would be suitable for beginners, or a pleasingly quick and useful make for more experienced sewers. The instructions are clear with photos for each step. The only parts of this pattern that I would change are based mainly on personal preference rather than any faults or flaws. For example, in the instructions for this pattern the waist elastic is attached by zigzagging or overlocking it to the raw edge around the waist, then turning the elastic under and zig-zag stitching through all the layers to secure it in position. My preference is to create a channel to feed the elastic through, with the elastic overlapped at the ends, which is what I did instead. I like to do this for a number of reasons, but mainly because I can let the elastic out a bit at a later date when my kids' waist measurements increase.

Now that I have made both kids' and adults' versions, I can also conclude that the sizing is accurate for comfy PJ bottoms! In fact, the long length might be the comfiest jammie bottoms I've ever owned. I would say, however, that the shorts version for adults came out quite balloon-y, and not just because I got the size wrong. I think the wide legged style doesn't work so well in that length, so I'll probably use a different pattern for adult PJ shorts in the future. 

Customisation ideas:
  • Disregard the specified length of short-shorts, knee or full lengths, and try board-shorts or capri lengths too (or just make them as long as your fabric will allow!). 
  • Applique contrast knee patches.
  • Use jersey fabric instead of woven to push the comfy factor off the chart!
  • Spilt the pattern piece to include a side seam and add in-seam pockets, or to fit the pattern pieces on an awkward shaped piece of fabric. 
  • Add patch pockets to the front and/or back. 
  • I'm sure you don't need me to suggest this, but download the adults' pattern too and make matching PJs for everyone in your family. 

Would I make this pattern again?

Absolutely! For both myself and my kids. 

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