It’s official, I’m in my thirties, and my Facebook wall is now full of baby photos and mommy quotes. On the bright side, friends having babies means handmade baby gifts!
Now, I’m a big fan of pretty gifts, but with babies, the parents have usually enough of those, so I always try to give something pretty AND useful. So what can be better than a baby sleeping bag? They’re both useful for keeping the baby warm at night without the hassle of the blankets, and fully customizable with every design you can think of.
- Outside fabric: 110 cm x 80 cm for 0-6months/160 cm for 12-18 months/210 cm for 24-36 months. If the fabric has a pattern which only works in one sense, you might need more than this, so don’t forget to measure the pattern before buying the fabric.
- Inside fabric: Same size as the outside fabric. I usually buy 100% cotton fabric so it’s ultra soft for the baby’s skin.
- Filling: Same size as the outside fabric, though you might need less if the fabric is longer than 110 cm. Just as with the inside fabric, I usually buy 100% cotton quilt filling, very light for summer sleeping bags and heavier for winter ones.
- Zipper: 70 cm for 0-6 months, 90 cm for 12-18 months, 110 cm for 24-36 months.
- 2 buttons / snap buttons.
- A pattern. I used the pattern from the French website Perlipo.com: front and back. You can print it directly on your home printer and it’s extremely easy to assemble. For 0-6 months, you only need to print the 12 first pages, for 12-18 months, the 15 first pages, and for 2-3 years, you’ll need all of them.
1. Print and assemble the pattern and start cutting the fabric. You’ll need:
- 1 front and 1 back on the outside fabric.
- 1 front and 1 back on the inside fabric and the filling, cut with the pattern backwards.
Tip: If you want to add any appliqués, paint the fabric or do anything else, now it’s the time! The results will be nicer on a flat piece of fabric and this way the filling will cushion the bumpy borders of the appliqués so the baby doesn’t feel them.
2. Once you have all the pieces cut and ready, it’s time to start sewing! First, you’ll need to sew the filling to the outside fabric, back sides together, using either a straight stich, a zigzag stich or an overlock if you can.
3. Next comes the zipper. You’ll note that one side of the pattern has a larger sewing allowance, around 2 cm from the hem – that’s where the zipper goes. Place the zipper right side down and teeth on the opposite side of the hem (it doesn’t matter if you do the front or the back of the sleeping bag first) and pin securely in place or hand baste it if it’s too thick.
Now sew it as close to the teeth as you can with the help of the zipper foot of your sewing machine. Repeat on the other side of the sleeping bag.
4. Close the zipper carefully so you don’t take out the tail out, place the sleeping bag right sides together (you should see the filling) and pin the rest of the bottom hem, this time 1 cm from the border. Stop when you get to the armholes. The “bag” part of the sleeping bag is done!
5. Now it’s time to sew the inside fabric. This time, start by sewing the smaller side of the hem together and stop when you get to the zipper side.
6. Now open the zipper on the outside fabric and place the inside fabric on top of it, right sides together. When pinning the zipper, leave a section of around 30 cm open on one of the sides so you can turn the sleeping bag on the right side later.
Sew everything else, shoulders included, 1 cm from the hem (using again the zipper foot for sewing the zipper will make things much neater and easier!).
7. Once everything has been sewn together, cut the corners and borders so there are no bumps on the shoulders and armholes later, and turn the whole thing inside out through the opening you left before so the right side is out.
Tip: ironing the fabric along the zipper will help ensure that it doesn’t get stuck on the zipper when opening and closing the sleeping bag, and will make sewing the opening you left before so much easier.
8. Sew the opening on the zipper either with an invisible stitch or by sewing a line 0,5 cm from the hem along the whole zipper.
9. Finally, add the buttons on the shoulders, and you’re done! Be ready to awe the future parents with your incredible skills and limitless love for their little one!