I promised it, well, here it is!
In a previous post I talked about how I did sew a toddler’s jacket from an old sleeping bag I had. Well, I used the remaining fabric to sew a small sleeping bag for my toddler. I wanted the sleeping bag to have sleeves, as my son is not used to being bundled up anymore. Since as far as I know no such pattern exists (maybe I should make one), I freehanded the pattern using a vest as a reference point.
Here’s how I did it.
I began by cutting the different pieces. I wanted to reuse a part of the original bottom of the sleeping bag so I knew I had to start there.
Here’s the bottom, so you can understand what I am talking about when I say “bottom circle”.
I measured the length I desired for the sleeping bag and prepared for the cut. In my case, I wanted the sleeping bag to come up to 36 inches from bottom to neck opening. It is still too long by almost a foot for my son but he grows quickly so I figured this sleeping bag would fit him now, next year and maybe the following year.
Then, it’ll be much easier to buy a kid’s sleeping bag if we need. Or maybe I’ll buy a new one for myself and sew another one from my other sleeping bag for him (you gotta treat yourself sometimes!). Okay, back to the cutting.
As I said, I made a mark on the fabric at the 36 inches length from the bottom up (excluding the bottom circle) so I knew how long the sleeping bag would be. Beginning at the bottom circle for the feet, I cut up the front and back. I didn’t mind losing some fabric so to make things easy I quickly cut 36 inches long rectangles that were joined by the bottom circle.
The front was cut in 2 pieces to attach the zipper, each were about 9 inches wide, while the back was in a single piece 16 inches wide. The front is larger than the back to account for the sewing of the zip, which takes more fabric.
From the rectangles I cut the arm openings – I used his 49ers vest (see this post) as reference – and the neck opening.
Then I went on to cut the sleeves and hood, for both of which I used his vest as reference as well, keeping in mind that his vest’s fabric is extensible while the sleeping bag fabric isn’t, and that for this purpose the pieces needed to be much bigger.
I was careful when cutting the hood to ensure the cut was a lot more deep, since for the previous project I did not check this and it turned out the hood was too shallow (it still fits, but I would’ve liked it to be more roomy).
If you want to sew a toddler’s sleeping bag and are inspired by what I just did, here’s the pieces you will need to cut:
– 2 Front pieces (36″ X 9″)
– 1 Back piece (36″ X 16″)
– 2 Sleeves cut on fold (15″ X 6″ on fold)
– 1 Hood partially cut on fold (9″ tall X 9″ on fold)
– 1 Bottom Circle (optional) about 14″ in diameter
– 1 X 33″ zip (I reused the old sleeping bag zip and cut it where I had to)
– Double-folded bias tape (elastic would be a great idea)
– 1 cute patch
Sewing the pieces
First, begin with sewing the zipper on the front 2 pieces. Then, attach the front and back shoulders together, followed by the front and back sides.
Tip: It’s a good idea to do a fitting now with the toddler to make sure everything fits well before proceeding any further. There, you can adjust the sleeve and neck openings in case your cut wasn’t deep enough to provide moving room.
Then, sew the sleeves and attach them to the main piece. I used the serger to clean the edges.
Sew the hood to the neck line. If the hood is too wide for the neck line, you can fold the extra fabric at the center of the neck line to adjust this. Doing so will also make the hood more comfortable by giving it more depth.
Finally, sew on the bias tape or elastic. I used bias tape but thinking about it I should’ve used elastic bias (you can now find this quite easily at Joann or other craft stores) so it would keep the heat from escaping. You can find tutorials on how to sew double bias tape on Pinterest (I have pinned some on my board, Sewing ideas). Believe me, knowing the right way to sew bias tape really makes a nicer finish line and is MUCH easier. I only recently learned how to do that, so I speak of experience!
Optional but nice, sew a patch on the front left side. You could also sew that patch at the very beginning on the outer layer of fabric only, so the sewing line doesn’t show on the inside layer.
Then you’re done!
Here’s my final project. I am happy with how it looks and really hope my son will be comfortable sleeping in it.
If you don’t have an old sleeping bag you can use but still want to sew a toddler’s sleeping bag, I suggest you buy about 2 yards of each layer of fabric, which would be:
– A wind breaking fabric, such as nylon, for the outer layer. I could also be an old rain jacket you could reuse.
– An isolating layer to create and keep the warmth, such as batting or thick fleece. It can consist of multiple fabrics if you want your sleeping bag to be super warm.
– An inner layer, which can be nylon, just like regular sleeping bags, or fleece or even flannel. You could also use an old sheet if you want.
Cut all fabric to the size you want, then proceed the same way I did.