Often sewing teachers think elastic waist pants are the easiest first garment to make, so there are many videos. These are just some of them.

Some videos are aimed at making pyjamas, some pants.  Usually the only difference is that pyjamas have looser fit.  Just change fabric to change between making pants and pjs.
SOI pjs Sew Over It Ultimate pyjamas
Some videos are aimed at beginners and claim to have fuller instructions. Pyjamas may be easier for beginners, as it doesn’t matter how well they’re made  😀

Topics covered :
If you need to start your sewing with learning how to use a sewing machine, try some of the classes at the top of the right side menu (click on header if it’s not visible).  Then perhaps make an elastic waist skirt.

The main section here is on making elastic waist pants/pyjamas from woven fabrics, with the help of videos.

As people in shutdown have been discovering the pleasures of wearing comfy pants, I’ve included some elastic-waist pant patterns with classier style but no video  😀

Finishing with some videos on making knit leggings.

Elastic waist skirt
If you’d prefer something easier than pants, make an elastic waist skirt.
All the skills just use stitching in a straight line :
– sew a straight seam,
– finish the seam allowance edges,

– sew a hem – 2 methods : (diagrams are cross sections)

– sew a waist casing, and thread in the elastic. Three levels of difficulty :
– – cut-on casing (similar to hem),

– – separate casing, again 2 methods – with and without second fold :
separate casing

– – buttonholes in front casing so can thread a drawstring.

Here are a couple of well known people teaching free video classes.
Gretchen Hirsch – for complete beginners.
Crafty Gemini– some experience needed, uses stretch fabric for waistband instead of elastic.

Elastic waist pants
More skills :
– sew round a curve,
– join together two tubes !
There are a couple of methods for doing this :
The method where you sew leg (optional side seams then) in-seams first, then put one leg inside the other to sew the crotch seam, is the best. Used in all patterns beyond beginners.
In the other method you sew the crotch seams first, and then the inseams. Easier to understand – though beware sewing the inseams first.  May give a lumpy result at the crotch.

As they are a classic basic, there are many patterns for elastic-waist pants and pyjamas.  These are some of the ones with support videos.  (I haven’t included images for these patterns as they all look much the same.)

Woven fabric
Free class :
Craftsy – free video – make your own pj pattern with side seams by copying an existing pair, then sew.

Video not free, pdf pattern included
no side seams :
Thrifty Stitcher– pyjamas, part of sewing course for beginners.
with side seams :
Burda Academy – pyjamas.
Sew Over It – Ultimate pyjamas, part of sewing course for beginners, optional in-seam pockets.
Sonya Philip at Creative Bug – pants, optional in-seam pockets and hem ruffle.

DVD and paper pattern :
Fit Nice – pants with side seams.

Specific pattern to be bought, to use with the video.
Louise Cutting at Taunton Workshops – pattern Cutting Line One-seam pants.
Maree Pigdon : part of sewing course for beginners – pattern Kwik Sew 3553, pyjamas.
Palmer-Pletsch, part of sewing course for beginners : pattern for pyjamas with side seams , instructional DVD.

More advanced pant styles with videos and pdf patterns (not free) – add a pocket :
Closed Core Petra Closet Core patterns – Pietra pants, part of learn to sew course.

SOI Carrie Sew Over It – Carrie pants, in pants making course.

wbm easy
Wardrobe By Me Easy pants with free video

Patterns with photo sew-alongs
If you prefer the gentle self-pacing of a photo tutorial, here are a couple of detailed ones with extra design features.
pattern : Pio pants from Ready To Sew.
photo tutorial
hack to overalls

pattern : Sew Girl Elsie culottes.
photo tutorial

I haven’t gone on a general search for patterns with photo sew-alongs !

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Elastic-waist pant patterns without video
The videos support beginners looking for help with the easiest patterns.

There are also many elastic-waist patterns without extra support for making.   Here are a few of the ‘more stylish’ ones :  (several have more views).
Deer Doe Acajou Deer & Doe Acajou pants

Megan Nielsen Opal Megan Nielsen Opal pants

Merchant Mills 101       Merchant & Mills 101 trouser

PaperTheory Miller        Paper Theory Miller trouser

pattern fant cove Pattern Fantastique Cove pants

Sew House 7 slacks    Sew House 7 Free Range slacks

sew lib arenite       Sew Liberated Arenite pants

Style Sew Me Misa   Style Sew Me Misa pants

More variations
If you’re interested to draft your own elastic-waist pants pattern (with optional slant pockets), Cal Patch has a class at Creative Bug.
Here’s a post from Fit for Art on changing elastic waistbands – applies to any pattern, not just theirs.
The elastic-waist pants in the Saf-T pockets Two for the Road pattern include several pockets which aim to make things more difficult for pick-pockets.
Or if you’re looking for inspiration for using fabric scraps, try Alalucia (left menu for pants).  If you’d prefer help with multi-fabric pants, there are patterns from: Design and Planning Concepts and Pavelka

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Knit fabric – leggings
Best to have some basic sewing skills with woven fabrics before trying knits.
There are many free leggings patterns on the web. I don’t wear leggings, I’m not comfortable in garments with negative ease – garment smaller than my body.  I do wear ponte pants, patterns for them have a little positive ease.
There are also many free videos about sewing leggings.  Nearly everyone who sews knits on a conventional machine recommends different needles and stitches, so try several and find what suits your machine and fabric best.

Below are a few free videos about making leggings using a sewing machine, from well known teachers.  They have a ‘soft’ waistband – a waistband made of stretch fabric instead of elastic, like yoga pants.

Cal Patch at Creative Bug : 2 classes :
Draft a leggings pattern from your own measurements (not free),
Sew leggings (free).

Crafty Gemini – free video – make your own leggings pattern by copying a pair you already have, then sew.

Jennifer Stern Designs has a set of free videos about making her yoga pants pattern.

Not free : Meg McElwee has a detailed video, including in-seam pockets, in her Craftsy class on learning to sew knits.

If you know how to use a serger/ overlocker, you may find you can make leggings very quickly  😀

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Links and patterns available April 2021

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