Friday, November 8, 2013

How To Fix Footie Pajamas

Little Gal has long, slender, feet, unlike footie pajamas have.  The combination of long and slender vs. short and wide creates holes!  Two years ago, I had a pile of about 8 pairs of footie pajamas that had holes in the toes where her little toes had rubbed and worn the fabric.  After making attempts at mending them with darning stitches, hole-sized patches, cutting the bottoms of the feet out and sewing new ones back in, I gave up and discarded the pajamas.  It drove me nuts throwing them away because they were still very usable and not worn out at all.  Except for those feet.

When one of my son's footie pajamas got holes in them a month ago, I left them in his closet instead of tossing them because I really wanted to figure this footie thing out.  When we updated our kids' room, I cleaned out their clothes and had to face these pajamas again.  As I looked at them, it hit me.  I didn't need to anything more than sew an inner lining of the bottom of the footie, stitched in around the seams.

I mended two feet (footies? ha!) of the pajamas in about 20 minutes, and even let Little Gal help with about 10 stitches.  He has been using them off and on for about a week now and they're working great!  No complaints from him, which is the real proof of success.  I discovered the holes one night when he begged me to change his pajamas because the feet were bothering him.

Disclaimers:  Yes, that is a nasty crack on my dried out thumb.  I've been using more lotion and my hands are getting better.  Handling all of the fabric with the costume-making at Halloween plus the change of weather has been rough on my already cursed skin.  I'm sorry you have to look at it!  My hand model wasn't in for the photo shoot  ;)  Also, that nail polish was an experiment with Little Gal that has been on for a LOOOOOOONG time.  It's still on.  In fact, I'll probably go take that off after I finish this post.  Or maybe not.  :) 

Ready to fix some Footies?  Here's what you'll need:

-Thimble (not necessary, but helpful when the layers of fabric get really thick)
-Fleece fabric (flannel might also work.  You want something thick)
-Chalk or some sort of washable marker if you feel so inclined.  I didn't take this step as this project is VERY forgiving.

Turn the pajamas inside out.  Lay the foot of the pajamas flat on a piece of fleece that you'd like to use.  I matched the fabric in my daughter's because I had time, but my son got crazy orange as it was the color I had out.

Once you've got the foot of the pajama flat, cut around the foot, taking care to not cut the pajama fabric.  If you prefer, you can use your chalk in this step to trace the foot of the pajama, and then cut it out.

Line the footie patch up with the foot of the pajama, and pin in place.  It'll be neater if you do.  It'll probably forgive you if you don't so long as you're a decent hand-sewer and you take care to continue lining it up.

Using a slip stitch, sew around the patch and foot of the pajamas.  To make a slip stitch, stick the needle through, pull until snug and make sure you don't get knots in your thread.  Make sure your stitches go through where the original stitches in the pajamas are.

Next, stick the needle through about 3/8" away from the first stitch, with the needle going through the fabric in the same way it did the first time. You do NOT sew needle down, then up when making a slip stitch.  It will be needle down, needle down, etc.  The thread will make little loops over the fabric edge, closing the seam off.

Once you've gone all the way around, tie the knot off.  If you really want to go for it, you could, at this point, stitch (by hand, or by machine, perhaps, if you can get the footie into the machine) over the places that have holes to connect the patch and the pajama fabric together.  I did not find this necessary, but you may need to do something like this if the hole is severe.  I think prevention is the key here, friends.  Do this as soon as you see a hole, or perhaps BEFORE you see a hole.

Here is a finished footie patch, slip-stitched all the way around.  It's in there well, and very comfortable for the Little Wearers.  I'm happy they're comfy and I'm happy I didn't have to get rid of perfectly good pajamas!

By the way, my daughter found a hole in her pajamas as I was writing this post, that's why there are two sets of jammies here!  I was able to take some more pictures of a couple of details I'd missed the first time.  Off to fix the other footie!

Do you mend footie pajamas?  How do you do it?


  1. This is great! Thanks. Another alternative to mending the feet would be to cut them off and add a ribbed cuff. I've done that when they've worn and gotten a little short in the legs but the body still fits. Gets a bit more time out of the pj's.

    1. Hi Cathi,

      Good idea! I'll have to try that once he outgrows these ones. I believe I even have some red ribbed knit. Thanks!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this! It is one of those things that I should have thought of myself, but didn't! Like you, I have thrown away too many pjs in the past and had another group I did not want to give up on. Last night I already reparied one entirely and have about 4 more to go. So glad you took the time to share this idea. Thanks!

  3. I have a large stack of cozy footed pajamas with hole-y feet that I have been saving for a long time. Thank you so much for posting this - I can't wait to try it out.