Picture of Simple Sleeping Shorts
These simple shorts are just made out of two rectangles of fabric.  I set out to make shorts that are very basic to make and comfy. 
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Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

Step 2: Cutting and Sewing

Picture of Cutting and Sewing
Cut your rectangles.  Measure twice, cut once!

For the size of the fabric, here is what I did.  

For the width, I took the circumfrence of my thigh plus about 2 - 3 inches (probably better to do more than this).  The extra inches will be for the side seams and for the crotch so that is why more is better.  Mine got a little tight since I only did 2 extra inches.
  • For the main measurement here, you will need to go with either the circumference of your thigh or half the circumference of your hips, whichever is biggest.

For the length, I measured a pair of shorts of mine and added a few inches.  The extra inches here is for the bottom seam and for the top where you will have the drawstring.  You will probably need at least 2 inches just for the top.

My pieces were about 24 inches wide by 13 inches tall and after the fact, I wish it was bigger.  Keep that in mind, these are meant to be comfy, so the looser and bigger, the better.

Serge the edges and then sew the two sides together.

*Since I learned more of what not to do while making these, I also drew pictures to try to show what to do.

** Dotted line means sew.
sunshiine1 year ago

These are so cute Penolopy! How I missed it I don't know. I will make for my daughters. Have a great day!


jujubee311 year ago
I luv this
U r soo smart!!
clupoli2 years ago
The best way to make the crotch comfy and not pull like that is to add what's called a "gusset". It is a triangle or diamond shaped piece that allows a bit of give. It is somewhat more complicated to add this piece, but it will up the comfort level significantly.

For pants, you almost have to add the gusset. Without it, you will feel the pull of the fabric all the way down your legs and the inseam will bunch up.
Bobey2 years ago
Can you make them bigger?
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  Bobey2 years ago
Definitely! You can add to the length and width as needed. I just gave the measurements I used as a starting point.
shazni2 years ago
Thank! Was just thinking to sew some shorts .... Never done it before ... Now I have an instructable!
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  shazni2 years ago
:) It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be!
flavrt2 years ago
Really really pretty. (Purp is my fave.)

I don't know how anyone could do better with a super simple pattern. Sewing crotches is the worst. Everything about tailoring a better fit between the legs increases the complication exponentially.

I made an arched crotch pattern for boy shorts. You are exactly right that stitching the front and back panels together around an arch will constrict the legs. To make it work, I have to sew a 3 inch wide panel through the arch. It's a 100X more work and the pinning alone is a nightmare.
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  flavrt2 years ago
Oooh, nice! I didn't even think of something like that! Thanks for sharing the idea and the pictures are great :)
They are so so girl thing and cute :). I just loved the pattern and color of the fabric. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you! I just love that fabric and it's so soft :)
Sam DeRose2 years ago
Great post!
I'd love to make myself some sleeping pants. If I just extend the fabric and then sew a super long "crotch" do you think that would work?
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  Sam DeRose2 years ago
I honestly don't see why not. The legs would be wide all the way down, but I think that's good for sleeping pants :)
Will definitely have to make a pair of these. I can't sleep in pants, they end up all bunched around my knees in the middle of the night!
:D Same here, thought I still wear pants anyway and before morning I've rolled them up above the knee. Gotta get them before they get me!
They're awesome. I'm so excited you figured it out. :D
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
I'm so glad they are wearable! I was scared for a bit there, but they turned out pretty nice (except for the fray check, that scratches!).
M.C. Langer2 years ago
Simple but awesome! Thanks for sharing Nicole!!
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  M.C. Langer2 years ago
Thanks for looking :)
You're welcome! :-)
HollyMann2 years ago
Very cute and they look comfy!
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  HollyMann2 years ago
Thanks, very roomy :)
lindarose922 years ago
They are so pretty! And they look very comfortable too!!
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  lindarose922 years ago
Thanks! I have a pretty nice fabric too, so they are pretty nice :)
these look really easy and nice! I will make them
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  marcellahella2 years ago
Thanks! I hope you like them :)