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Behind the Design: A Deep Dive into the Making of Little Sleepies' Palm Springs PJs

Behind the Design: A Deep Dive into the Making of Little Sleepies' Palm Springs PJs Behind the Design: A Deep Dive into the Making of Little Sleepies' Palm Springs PJs

Here at LS, every print tells a story. Today, we invite you to take a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of one that’s extra close to our hearts…Palm Springs!

Our Palm Springs print was initially designed for Team LS’ first company retreat, which took place last October in the sunny California desert. Our customers first spotted it on our Instagram, and we began receiving tons of requests for the print! Understandably, it’s not often we post something that’s not available for purchase. (We also used this Palm Springs print to test out a brand new style, which is finally available — our Women’s Button-Down PJ Sets!)

Join us as we dive into how this design evolved from the initial spark of inspiration to the final product on your PJs. And meet Maddie, one of our talented designers who brought this vibrant print to life and infused it with that bright yet calming energy that makes it so special.

Let’s get into the Q&A!

What was the inspiration behind the Palm Springs print? How did the team retreat influence its design?

We considered a few different angles on the Palm Springs theme…things like mid-century architecture, pool parties, and desert life. Ultimately Alex, our VP of Merchandising, suggested a more sophisticated botanical approach with banana leaves to fit the vibe of our retreat. 

The mood was tropical resort botanical meets Little Sleepies — plus playful and cheeky flamingos to fit the feel of Palm Springs.


What was your starting point for the Palm Springs design? How do you typically move from initial concept to sketch?

I first had to understand how a tropical banana leaf print is built: how the leaves overlap, how the tile would repeat in a seamless way that has good flow. 

Next, I sketched out studies of banana leaves and flamingos from reference in pencil to also understand the forms and proportions. I then painted each motif separately in gouache.

Left half of image features the Palm Springs print, right half of image features a child wearing a Palm Springs Two-Piece Short Sleeve and Shorts pajama set
Featured Product: Palm Springs Two-Piece Short Sleeve & Shorts Pajama Set

Watercolor to digital can be a transformative process. Could you share how this transition happened for the Palm Springs print?

So technically this is painted in Gouache – a chalky opaque paint designers use that is in between acrylic and watercolor!

You learn something new every day…

From the beginning, I knew I would paint each element separately and compose the pattern in Photoshop. After painting the motifs, I scanned the designs, digitally cut out the background, and pieced together the pattern in layers. 

In simplest terms, it’s kind of like building a design using layered paper collage. Except because it’s digital, I can control color, duplicate and manipulate layers as often as I want, and digitally add and subtract detail.

As a designer, a big piece of the job is the balance between expressing one’s personal creativity with the vision of the client / team / Art Director. The end product is ideally that sweet spot where it communicates the joyful creativity of the artist, but also hits the needs of the assignment. 

Our VP of Merchandising, Alex, was the vision behind the company retreat, so the team worked closely with her to bring the design to life in a way that matched the feeling of that. 

Left half of image features a woman wearing a Palm Springs Women's Two-Piece Short Sleeve & Shorts Pajama Set, right half of image features Palm Springs print
Featured Product: Palm Springs Women's Pajama Set

Selecting colors plays a big role in the feel of a print. What guided your choice of colors for this design?

Tropical wallpaper design definitely influenced the palette, but we went a bit more bold and saturated because we’re a playful childrenswear brand! A range of green hues and a pink that felt optimistic and fun was top priority. 


Looking at the final Palm Springs print, is there an element or detail you’re particularly proud of?

I would say I’m really proud of the fact that it was hand painted. Digitally creating artwork has huge advantages around color control and editability, but when something can be hand painted it has such a distinct one-of-a-kind quality unique to the artist’s hand who painted it.

We hope you loved this behind-the-scenes peek at the making of our Palm Springs print! It’s all about capturing that sunny getaway feel, and we’re so excited to share it with you guys. Stay tuned for more stories behind our fave designs!

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