Hack: Pj Benita trousers

Sometimes simple is best. This is definitely the case when you are looking for patterns with great hacking potential. Even small adjustments can make a huge difference to the finished garment, and you don’t have to be skilled in pattern drafting to achieve good results. One such pattern is the Fibre Mood Benita, a pull-on trouser with wide legs.

My first attempt with this pattern is making a matching pajama bottom for my Box shirt. I haven’t thought this out myself, the instructions are readily available on the Maker’s Atelier journal. The main alteration I made was to remove the side seam, as suggested in the blog post. This is great for a pj bottom because fewer seams is more comfortable when laying down.

I simply laid the two pattern pieces, the front and back leg, next to each other and taped them together. It’s really important to measure the waist to ensure that it’s wide enough to go over the hips. I measured the hips too, to ensure enough ease. You need 4-6 cm extra width for a comfortable fit. Most fabrics will mould to the body when worn, so there’s no need to overdo it. The next step was to add the two waistband pieces (for the elastic) to the top and tape them together with the leg piece. I decided against sewing this separately for the very same reason, less bulk with fewer seams. Finally I straightened the top and the front crotch a bit. The resulting pattern piece is as simple as it gets – just one pattern piece cut on the double, and that’s it.

I sewed the front and back crotch seams first, then the inner leg seams. For a neat finish I used french seams. Since I hate anything restricting when I sleep I worried about the elastic being too tight, so I went with both elastic with some ease and a string, both encased. I added two buttonholes to the inside of the casing so the strings could be hidden inside the trousers. It looks less messy this way, I think. The elastic sits comfortably on my high hip and the string holds the trousers in place. The waistband lays nice and flat and is really comfortable to wear. All that was left to do was the hemming.

The inside of the pj bottoms

I’m thrilled with my new pyjamas, it turned out exactly as I hoped and is soft and light to wear. The timing is really good, too, now the temperature is dropping and it is about time to add more layers for a comfortable night’s sleep.

I have a feeling that I’m not finished with Benita yet. She will transform into a lot of interesting, easy to wear versions: Wide leg pull-on trousers in ponte, athleisure wear with a stripe down the side, wide culottes in a vowen fabric just to name a few. Whichever way you choose to make them, the Benita trousers are a super quick and simple make.

Pattern: The Benita trousers from Fibre Mood 7
Size: M
Fabric: 1 m lightweight linen from the Fabric Store Online
Time: Less than two hours

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