Dress Shirt Sleep Sack Tutorial

I’m not sure if you all were able to make it over to luvinthemommyhood to check out my Dress Shirt Sleep Sack tutorial, so I thought I would bring it right here to you!

I don’t know about you, but for the first year or so of my girls life they spend most of their time sleeping in a sleep sack.  I never have enough sleep sacks – they always seem to be in short supply, but they are pretty expensive at $20 a pop.  So that’s where today’s tutorial comes in……..Dress Shirt Sleep Sack Tutorial.

I have seen so many tutorials for men’s dress shirt refashioned into little girls dresses, which are SO adorable and I’ve been meaning to make one (or two) for my girls.  But here’s a new twist – make your little lady or little man a sleep sack out of their Daddy’s shirt.  Use a 100% cotton dress shirt for a light-weight, summer sleep sack and use a flannel, button-down for a cozier winter sleep sack.

The idea of my little baby Matilda all cozy in her crib, wrapped up in her Daddy’s shirt, just warms my heart………can you feel the love?

1 Large Men’s Dress Shirt
Bias Tape
Sewing Machine
Baby Sleep Sack (to use as a pattern)
Rick-Rack, ribbon or other trim (optional)
Fabric for applique (optional)
Fusible Interfacing – I like Wonder Under (if doing applique)


Grab a men’s button-down dress shirt – preferably from your little one’s Daddy or Grand-Daddy.  But if your hubby doesn’t have an extra one, just pick one up at your local thrift store.

Lay your regular sleep sack on top of the dress shirt.  Line the zipper of the sleep sack up with the buttons of the dress shirt.  A large men’s shirt is the perfect size for a 6-12 month sleep sack.

I am a big fan of using hardware-store washers as pattern weights.  Place your weights onto the sleep sack to ensure no slipping during cutting.

Cut around the sleep sack leaving 1/2″-3/4″ border.  I always use a rotary cutter because I am usually very short on time – makes for much quicker work!

You will leave this border to allow for your seam allowance, which is 1/2″ in this case.

Cut all the way around the entire sleep sack – through both layers of the dress shirt.

Here’s what the sleep sack will look like after you have cut it out.  I left the pocket, but feel free to remove it with a seam ripper.

Sew the top of each shoulder – right-sides together.

Stitch away.

Press your seams with an iron.

Now cut out the neck (only cut the top layer).  Use your sleep sack as a guide.  I just free-hand drew mine with a water-soluble fabric pen – approximately 3″ wide by 3″ deep.

Here is the sleep sack with the neck removed.

This part is TOTALLY optional.  I wanted my Matilda’s sleep sack to be a little more girly so I added some trim.  Get creative with this and use whatever trim you have on hand.

Stitch your trim to the sleep sack.

Pin your bias tape around each arm hole.  Open it and pin it to the RIGHT side of the garment.

Stitch the bias tape.

Now fold over your bias tape and stitch again on the RIGHT side of the garment.

Do the same thing around the neck opening, but make sure you fold over the edges as this will show and you do not want any raw edges against baby’s skin.

This part is entirely optional as well.  I cut out a flower from some fabric (Heather Bailey’s Nicey Jane) and used fusible interfacing to adhere it to the sleep sack.  Follow the manufacturers instructions for interfacing to do this step.

Then stitch around your flower.  I used a straight stitch, but if you do not like the frayed look, I would suggest using a tight zig-zag.

Now to finish.  Pin the sides and the bottom – right sides together.  Stitch the three sides closed.  Turn right-side out and press.

And there you have it – A Dress Shirt Sleep Sack

And here’s my sweet baby girl wearing her new cozy sleep sack.

Checking it out, making sure Mama did it right.
Yes! I LOVE my new sleep sack!!
Time for a nap!

Cottage Mama’s Note:  Please, please check all of the buttons on your shirt and make sure they are sewn on very securely.  I suggest reinforcing them, just to be extra cautious.

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  1. This is such a great idea. I love when people repurpose things that already have buttons and buttonholes because I hate making buttonholes. Sure beats those fleece sleep sacks. I will have to try this and make it manly for my little guy. Good job!

  2. This is amazing! What a great idea and what a great post! If you like: I have a blog post right now in which you can add a link with a picture to your blog. I would be thrilled if you would add something you’ve made. My blog is in Dutch but the Google Translate Gadget can help you out if necessary.

  3. great idea! I’m saving this so I can make a couple for my new niece sometime soon, she won’t need it for a little bit yet

  4. I am amazed by your creativity and ability!

  5. This is something really cute and amazing! I hope I know also how to sew so I can make such beautiful project for my little darling. 😉

  6. That is so adorable. I love it. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Oh my gracious! You have the best ideas! That is just precious!

  8. oh my. This is SEW cute and beyond creative. Thanks so much for posting! -diane

  9. Awesome idea! I was just beginning to search for a sleep sack to buy for our little dude, but I think that I might just make him some instead 🙂

  10. What a great idea!! But I probably shouldn’t snag some of hubby’s favorite shirts if they’re still in rotation, right? 😉 LOL!

    I posted a link to this tutorial on my blog (http://stitchtostitchstore.com/2010/08/21/saturdays-pattern-sharing/) — hope that you don’t mind. It was just too cute not to share!


  11. What a good idea! It turned out so cute!! 😉

  12. Oh my goodness – this is the cutest thing I have seen in a long time. It seems like I am always being invited to baby showers and I am getting tired of buying the same things over and over. I am gonna give this a try – 2 of these rolled up and tied with a cute binky clip will make the best baby shower gift. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  13. I’m so glad you linked this up! I remember when you shared it on Luvinthemommyhood. I love it then, too. So darling! Makes me want to have a little girl. Fabulous work, Lindsay!


  14. I love this tutorial and made two today for my son. I used some ladies flannel nightshirts that I got on clearance since we had no dress shirts around. I write a blog about them.

  15. That is fantastic! By far the cutest dress shirt to dress I’ve seen.dress shirts


  1. […] You’ll find the tutorial over at The Cottage Mama! […]