Sleeping bags for babies are a great invention. To buy them new however is a huge expense and honestly I don’t know why as they are a very simple item of clothing/bedding. Having looked at a few commercial ones I think the best designs are those that are really big but adjustable so they last several years rather than being just one size the baby grows out of.
Now I am not the most experienced of sewers, in fact until my baby was born I had only ever sewn about 2 skirts and some boxer shorts in Home Economics at school. I can barely follow the instructions on a commercial pattern. But sewing for a baby is easy! The items are small, and if they don’t look great then they are too young to complain! haha.
So far i’ve sewn various babywearing carriers (see my previous posts), some simple dribble bibs and now i’ve made a new winter wight sleeping bag which is what i’m sharing with you now.
I don’t have a craft store nearby and I think purchasing fabric for craft projects often makes them more expensive than just buying items from a store. So this sleeping bag is made from 3 old blankets I had lying around the house. The only craft items I used were a zipper and some snaps. I think velcro would also work, possibly better as it is a bit worrying doing snaps and making sure they are secure and not a potential choking hazard. However I didn’t have any velcro on hand so i’ll be monitoring the security of my snaps until i can replace them with some velcro.
I had videoed the whole process of me making this, but unfortunately I accidentally deleted it from my camera. So written descriptions will have to suffice instead.
See pattern below
1. Inner Fabric: polar fleece (I used an old lap blanket but you could buy fabric. Probably about 2m worth)
2. Outer Fabric: Something decorative but warm also if possible. I used some flannelette baby blankets that i had (2 of them). You’ll need the same amount of material as the inner fabric.
3. Sewing Machine Thread
4. Snaps or velcro
5. A fairly long zip. Mine was 65cm. Less could be ok but you want it to go at least half the length of the pattern.
If you wanted to you could even add another layer, perhaps to line the inside which would make it warmer and also look a bit nicer. I didn’t do this though. But if you go this route just cut out the same amount again in another fabric.
1. Cut out your fabric. There is about 1cm of seam allowance already built into it.
2. Put together the inner and outer fabric for the front and back (note front and back are identical at this point in the pattern). Now quilt the inner and outer fabric together. You can do this however you want. For example you can run a series of straight parallel stitches through the fabric. Or you could do checks or some other shape. You might like to be inspired by whatever print is on the fabric.
5. Make a rolled edge around the arm holes and the neck. On the front piece fold the neck hole down a little deeper. You may find it best for the neck to make a series of perpendicular cuts into the fabric to help it fold over as it is a steep curve. A fancier alternative to this is to make piping with some extra fabric to encase these edges. You will want to cut away about 1cm or so of the fabric though to do this otherwise your neck and armholes will be too small.
4. Sew the zip on one side (thus also joining together the front and back). Then sew around the bottom and other side and at the shoulder on the oposite side to the zip. You don’t want to sew together and the shoulder near the zip as this gets joined with snaps instead.
5. Sew the shoulder flap pieces together then sew onto the main sleeping bag body.
6. Add snaps or velcro. You want some at the arm holes to make them smaller and also some on the shoulder flap to attach to the sleeping bag body. And your done!