Operation Sleep Cute: Sleep Shorts

I actually took a picture of the giant pile of sweatpants that I usually sleep in, but it’s too embarrassing to share.  Point is, I’m trying to cute up the whole sleep situation with some quick sewing projects.  It also makes lounging around the house feel sort of special and less, I don’t know….gross.  I started with some sleep shorts in our beloved Nicey Jane (ooo, it’s on sale right now at Fabricworm).  I also made a matching top which I will share with you once I get up the nerve to have my picture taken in it.

If you have any tips on sleeping a little bit cuter, tutes to point us to so we don’t look like such slobs, or general whining about why it is that we have to look cute while we freaking sleep, leave them for us in the comments and you could possibly win the Heather Ross Double Gauze up there on the left.

Get the full Sleep Shorts Tutorial after the jump…

Operation Sleep Cute: Sleep Shorts

1.  Grab a pair of shorts that fits you (or you can use pants).  Fold them in half.  You can make a pattern on freezer paper or trace right onto the back of your fabric, laying fold to fold like so.  You want to make sure you stretch out the waistband (or approximate it) when you are going around the top.  Add about 1.5″ at the top (waist) for your casing, and about 1″ at the legs for your hem. I also made the sides of the shorts a little swoopy but you don’t have too.:

2. Cut out your pieces.  You actually want the crotch of one side a little longer than the other.  These shorts fit me fine without because I made them bigger, but I thought I’d tell you that anyway.

3.  Unfold them and lay them right sides facing and pin the curved sides:

Sew them together and finish the edge by serging, sewing with a zig zag stitch, or cutting with pinking shears:

4.  Now pick up your piece and pull the seams to the middle.  Pin the leg seams together like so:

Sew them up and finish the edges:

5.  Hem the legs to your liking by ironing:

and stitching in place:

6.  Now at the top I attached two grommets.  You don’t have to, but I like them:

Then I folded the top down 1/2″ and ironed, another 3/4″ and ironed, then sewed in place all the way around, leaving a hole for my elastic, back stitching at the beginning and end:

Then I fed my 3/4 elastic through with a safety pin.

Then just sew the ends of the elastic together so they lay flat, push it all the way into the casing, then sew hole closed and add a cute decorative tie.  I used some homemade bias tape!





Not only CUTE but COMFY! I love these. I wish I had some with me on VACA right now.
PS. This fabric coordinates beautifully with the Prudent Baby homepage.


I LOVE these! I've book marked lots of your projects and ideas before, but usually for baby. I can see myself making these for everyone in the house!

And thinking about why we have to look cute when we freaking sleep: I have found that I sleep better (and work better, and feel better, and love better) when I feel comfortable in my skin and my clothes (a kind of skin…). It is easier to fall asleep and stay asleep well when you feel comfortable, physically and emotionally!

Can't wait to make the shorts!


these are super cute, but I sleep in my skivvies. OH! You should do a DIY for those little bloomer looking undies- you know, with the gathered leg holes and waist and shaped like boyshorts. I bet those are really easy to make undies.


cute! can you tell me more about putting the grommets on… do you put them on before you make the casing for the elastic or after the elastic casing? i am making some cute skull knit pants for my son and wanted to put grommets and tie and the waist but wasn't sure how….
thanks, LOVE this site. I've told everyone I know 🙂

Jaimie, Dustin, Logan and Holly

Pretty! I love how you don't need to buy or print a pattern to make these, just grab a pair of shorts and go from there.

Since i just last week put all my ugly flannel pj's in our clothing giveaway bag i need to whip myself up some of these 🙂

Thanks for sharing!


I remember the stretched-out, ratty gray t-shirt my mom slept in forever when I was growing up. It was not cute. And I find that there are at least 2 mornings a week that my kiddos get up before me and I end up wearing my pj's for half the morning! In that case, I want to at least sport cute jammies with my bedhead and creased face look!


Love your ideas on this and love your descriptions and writing, too! These are so cute, great inspiration. Will give it a whirl with some of my fabric stash


I made some 3 yrs ago like this. Love them! Getting ready to go on vacation and nned more. Thanks for the reminder. Want to try making shorts too.


Those are very cute shorts indeed, however I will stick with my old T-shirts and worn flannel jammie pants. As a SAHM of 3 under 3, it is my uniform of choice. Besides anything cute that I wear usually gets spit up on it anyways.


The make several pair for yourself! It is so easy and you will find yourself feeling so much better about yourself as a woman. Please don’t make the mistake of feeling that motherhood must turn you into a frumpy, tasteless slob! Your kids and hubby will thank you for taking care of yourself because it makes you a whole bunch more loveable! From a Mom of seven that didn’t always follow this advice but lived to regret it and turn things around! ♥️ While hubbies love you as the Mother of their children, they should not feel like another woman took the place of the person they committed to love and cherish. Just remember that taking care of yourself to catch him shouldn’t turn into a bait and switch marketing scheme. You may not appreciate my advice right now but you will thank me later!

Jahje Bath Ives

I am making myself a pair of these while my little guy naps. I need to up the sleep cute factor with the shorts. One thing I often do is use my old cute t-shirts that for some reason I don't find myself wearing during the day anymore for sleeping instead of my husbands old hand me downs. So that tank top I loved wearing last summer now finds a new life as sleepwear. So the top looks cute – the bottoms, not so much…


Ok…so I tried these today. Cutting out the fabric…cake. Sewing up the shorts…easy peasy. Inserting grommets? Well I now refer them them as…(earmuffs!)…dammits. My left thumb is currently throbbing,after multiple misses, BUT I am now a proud owner of some awesome sleep shorts. 🙂


for more detailed info on how to do the grommets check out our post How to Make Pants!!

also, yeah it takes a little practice. if it's your first time with grommets its totally worth using up a few just to get the hang of it!


I have to admit, I'm most comfortable (and, according to the husband, cutest) when I sleep in nothing at all, but if I were to go for pj's, these would be the ones! There's something about an unexpected print that can make jammie pants so much fun. I had a pair once that was screen printed with Edwardian chairs and sofas – they were the strangest pants, but they made me so happy!

ps. Please stop making me so jealous of your bias tape maker. It would be imprudent of me to shell out for one just now, and we wouldn't want that!


Oh my!!! Those are so cute! I'm seriously depressed about my sad sleep attire. I NEED to make those shorts! I MUST!

When I make these, I won't feel so bad about wearing my jammies until the baby's first nap at 11 o'clock!!!


I love sleeping in cute comfy shorts. I have a hard time finding a cute top to sleep in though, and for those arguments that nothing is the cutest my hubby would agree, but i am a nursing momma and I need a top. So I want a tut for a sleeping shirt.


I am also seeing these with Bias tape around the bottom. I need to buy that bias tape maker darn it! Thanks for the tute


If your sewing machine uses low shank presser feet, you can buy a bias tape binder for just a few bucks, that will both fold and attach the bias tape. Also, vintage sewing machines usually came with one, ie Featherweights and other old Singers, etc. It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of, but it’s actually faster than making the tape separately and then attaching it.

Mrs. Rogers

Super cute! I love that fabric and saw it with a lamanent over it the other day made into a toddler rain coat…can you come up with that tutorial, lol!

Aussie-merican Adventures

Some one once told me that one of the great iniquities in life was that men always wake up looking rested and refreshed, while women deteriorate at night… after looking at myself in the mirror this morning I am inclined to agree… however a good stock of these shorts may take the focus away from my blood-shot eyes and BamBam-esque morning hair! They are super cute! Can't wait to see the top half! Thanks for posting these!


I think sleepwear is great for practicing sewing projects or "experimental sewing." At least for me it is! Because it's not like I'm going to wear it to work, or the Oscars, or anything. And hey – I could end up with something super cute like the shorts shown here!
(I think I am posting this comment w/ my hubby's ID I'm Sara, not Gianni)


Sleeping cute sounds like a great idea and something I'm definitely not achieving lately. Although sleeping in my skivvies could be sexy to my hubby it could just as easily be scary to the kiddos who sometimes wander in. I think it's time for me to ditch the sweats and old tees for some cute jammies!


I LOVE these shorts. I made pants for my children from your 'how to make pants tutorial' (and made shirts to match and call them 'loungewear')and LOVED it! I can't wait to make these shorts for myself…I am off to find the perfect material. I would love to see the shirt and the tutorial for it….LOVE YOUR SITE!!!


I was just thinking last night that my 10+ year old pants with holes should probably be replaced with something cute. These shorts would be perfect. Thanks!


Man do I know what you mean about feeling gross in lounge wear. I can tell you that my mine do not look worthy of an Anthropologie or Toast catalouge, though I long for them to be. Those shorts are darling and totally non-gross!


Those shorts are perfect for those days when someone might make you breakfast in bed . . . and then take your photo to post on facebook . . .


I love this. I tried this with T-shirts, but did not realize that I needed to watch the direction of the stretch. I could get them on, but walking was a chore (ha ha). I also like the fact that you mimic something you already know that fits your well, so your chances of making it wrong are very slim. Thanks for the tut and I love the little detail of the tie (that could or not be functional, very cute detail). Thanks.


Now's where I confess that I never would have thought to buy that fabric for myself because it's a little too floral (read: old lady) for my tastes, but then I see what you've done with it and you make it look cute! Thanks for the tutorial too. I'll definitely save this one and give it a go. The grommets are a nice touch even though it scares me a little that you need a hammer to install them. Much nicer than just cutting into the fabric and hoping it doesn't fray/tear.


umm, yes. what an idea; sleeping in something cute!!! 🙂 My husband would greatly appreciate something better than my crazy old sweatpants with holes, and paint splatters……Maybe if I win the fabric I could sleep in something super cute and breezy! OKlahoma is getting hot these days.

Melissa (Punkin Threads)

Thanks for the inspiration! I had to make these last night! I used ribbon and button holes instead. My husband asked why I wasn't wearing them to bed last night, I told him I was saving them for the weekend! Yay, new jammies!


Oh! I'm just seeing this today. I will be glad to send a pic. How would I do that? Can I send a pic of my purple thumb nail too? Lol just kidding.


Suggestion for sleeping 'cutely': just sleep naked! your hubby will love it!

no, but really… these shorts are super cute.

~ Kim ~

So simple and easy. I love the fabric. I must make these for my kids too! What the heck I'll make a pair for hubby too.


LOL, I so need to make these. I look like a homeless person when I go to bed! Two kids in two years can do that! My poor husband 🙂

Things I need… pinking shears… ribbon… elastic… fabric… shorts that already fit… and a baby sitter (im very new to sewing! haha…)


Here's my question:

How bad is the wedgie factor?

I'm a restless sleeper and I am PLAGUED by wedgie giving sleepwear.

I want to make these, but I've been burned before 🙁

Queen of Mayhem

Great idea but if you make the pattern for the front the same as the backside the fit might be a little wonky because the pattern won't be accounting for your butt. To fix that you can just make the back side pattern a wee bit wider all around, or just at the bum. 🙂


Even those these are for women, it was detailed enough for me to understand your directions so that I can make my boys some summer jammies…!



I have been looking for a great, easy sewing project to get me doing it! I have a brand new sewing machine just waiting to be broken in and I think this is the perfect thing! I have a house full of girls that will love these!

Wendy T.

I made a pair of these today and it was super easy! I opted for an elastic waist only and didn’t do the grommets/ribbon tie option. I like to roll down the top of my pj bottoms, so using a simple wide elastic waist allows me to do this. I also didn’t make my backside longer in the crotch than the front. This made the shorts a little roomier in the front and low in the back, but it doesn’t bother me and they fit well enough for sleeping. Thanks for the tutorial!

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Thankyou so much for these shorts! Mine were a bit too long but rather than shortening them, I rolled them up and now they’re super-cute! Plus they took me waaay under an hour! Amazing!

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[…] the floral patterns and lighter clothing items. Thus, when we saw these amazing DIY Sleep shorts by Pretty Prudent we couldn’t just walk on by without saying anything! Perfect for holidays, warm weather and […]


Regarding: “You actually want the crotch of one side a little longer than the other.”
Can you tell me why you should do this?


I’d line them with something nice, a silk or something. Since they are for sleep.


I made myself some like these out of an old t-shirt. I have a woman’s pair of boxers shorts that are made out of the sleeveless type of men’s mussel shirts. My son gave them to me one year. They are all stretched out. I just love then. And I love my t-shirt shorts equally. Thanks for the pattern and instructions.


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