The best kid’s pajamas, in my opinion, are the cotton knit fitted pajamas by Carter’s (Old Navy and Gap sells some like these too). They are stretchy, comfortable, and pretty forgiving when it comes to buying a size too big. They are also on the pricey side and worth finding ways to extend their life. For years, however, I would sadly put away the winter long sleeve, long pant pajamas when spring came, only to find that once the cold came around again, the sleeves and legs were too short for the kids to wear the following year.
Until, with my youngest child, I had donated one too many pairs of barely worn pajamas, I decided to try cutting the sleeves and pants to make short sleeve and short pants and discovered the perfect way to extend the life of these high quality clothes!
No sewing required! These high density knits do not fray or unravel once they are cut, no matter how many times you wash them.
Cutting the pajamas
Simply lay the shirt or pants flat and make sure all of the seams line up. This will help you get a straight cut. Also, use fabric sheers if you have some designated. It makes cutting easier and cleaner.
Cut 1st sleeves about 3-4 inches down from the shoulder seam or 1 inch from the pits. (If you want a muscle shirt, you can cut just past the seam.) Cut across in the same direction of the cuff, this is how the shirt is designed to lay best.
Then fold the shirt in half and line up shoulder seams. Use cut sleeve as a guide so you cut the other sleeve the same length (learned this step after the first couple times of uneven sleeves).
For pants, if you want to be specific, you can measure the inseam of your child’s leg down to the length you want the shorts. Since they are jammies, I just eyeball it, about 3 inches from the crotch. Cut these straight across.
Voila! Instant summer pajamas! I literally do this in 1 minute at bedtime when it warms up and I can’t find short sleeve jammies. Usually I start with the shirt in the spring and keep the pants long until it’s hotter. With short sleeves and short pants, I’ve even been able to extend some of these pajamas for 2 summers! I still get weepy eyed giving them away after that because they hold up so well!
I have wanted to take the leftover sleeves and legs, sew them together and stitch the ends closed to make rice bag heating wraps, but I haven’t had time to pull the trigger on that one. I hope you guys can find other uses for these leftover strips, too.
So hopefully this will help you extend the life of your kid’s pajamas and save yourself some money in the process! Happy repurposing!