How to sew a toddler’s jacket from an old sleeping bag


if you’ve been following me lately you’ll notice I was quiet from the Pinterest/Facebook/blogging scene in the past week.  Well, I’ve been a busy bee!  After our camping trip I had to take a few days to recover from the exhaustion of organizing it all and then I started working on another project.  

In one of the lasts posts I talked about how we did go camping with our one year old and how I had to quickly sew a jacket for my son.  I had been looking for a light jacket for my toddler for ages but still couldn’t find any in the multiple stores I shopped at. With the camping trip coming up I found myself short of toddler sized cool weather clothes and I wanted to find a quick solution. 

So on the Saturday morning when we were supposed to go camping I quickly decided to sew him a jacket from one of my old sleeping bag.  This jacket would be used as an additional protection against the cool nightly breeze and would keep him warm.

I was lucky enough that my husband watched our son while I did this, so it only took me about 3.5 hours, which I think is pretty fast considering.

How to sew a toddler's jacket from an old sleeping bag 

I didn’t have a pattern so I decided to copy along a vest that is just a little big right now.  Since I wanted to add a hood I figured this 49ers hoodie would make a perfect pattern example.


 49ers jacket


Here’s the sleeping bag I used to do this.  I did not iron it first but I did iron the pieces before sewing them.  If I had to do it all over again I’d iron the sleeping bag first as it makes for a more even cut.  I really really dread ironing but it indeed does makes a nicer job…


My old sleeping bag


While preparing my sleeping bag for cutting I noticed that a portion of the hoodie would be the exact size I needed for my son’s hood.  I decided to cut the hood in that piece so it fits the front edge of that hood and I’d keep the blue fringe. It sound complicated right now but wait until you see the final result below and you’ll understand what I mean. 



Sleeping bag hoodie


So here I began cutting the pieces. I used a lot of needles to pin the pieces together as the fabric kept sliding away.  I had 4 different pieces which consisted of:

– 1 hood cut partially cut on fold (as to keep the blue fringe)

– 2 front pieces which allowed a little more seam allowance because this is where the zipper will be

– 1 back cut on fold

– 2 sleeves cut on fold


I added more seam allowance (between 5/8″ to 1″ per side) to each pieces from the original 49ers vest as I wanted to be sure it would fit my son. Remember that the 49ers hoodie is stretchable while the sleeping bag fabric isn’t.

Cutting pieces



Here’s a view of the sleeves and other pieces that were cut while I enjoyed my morning coffee.  You can notice the cuts are pretty raw by now (even more so with the lack of ironing).

After ironing all the pieces I began attaching these together and securing sides with needles.  With the serger I straightened up the seams.

Cutting Sleeves


I began by sewing the zipper, than securing the front and back.  After that I did a fitting with my son to make sure it was the right size.  I adjusted the jacket and then went on with sewing the sleeves.  Lastly I sew the hood, then made him try it again.  I serged all the seams then went on finishing the garment by adding elastic bands around the wrists and sewing bias tape at the bottom of the jacket.

Finally I sewed the cute ducky patch and then I was done!  

It looks a lot easier than it really was, and overall it wasn’t a difficult project, although it was time consuming.  Here’s what it looks like now.  FYI the bottom is straight it just doesn’t look that way in the picture.


Jacket final


Here’s a closeup of the jacket’s top portion where you can more easily see how the hood was made and what the bottom sleeves look like with the elastic band. 


Jacket close-up



So here it is!  My son wore it during our camping trip and even ended sleeping in it as it turned out I had forgotten his fleece sleeping pouch 🙁  Overall it is not a professional looking jacket and when I look at it I see all the mistakes I made, but it looks nice and considering it only took my morning to do it all I’m pretty satisfied with the results! 

Now I have a lot of sleeping bag fabric leftover.  And as you know me I decided I wouldn’t let it go to waste. Since we will be camping with my family this summer I opted to sew a small sleeping bag / pouch for my son to use.  It will have sleeves and probably a hood too, so I really don’t know how I should name that garment.

This time my husband will not be looking out for our son so my guess is that it will take a lot more time for me to finish this. But at least now he can wear his jacket.

I’ll let you know when I’m done.


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