Saturday, July 13, 2013

Who is going camping? a little sleeping bag tutorial

This is the time of year when lots of people go camping.  How much fun is it for your little ones to have a sleeping bag for their favourite stuffed companion or doll?  I can remember my mum making a little sleeping bag for one of my dolls.  The funny thing was that we were going on a back packing canoe trip so I was allowed only one toy and it had to be tiny.  I had a tiny little doll about 4" long and mum made her a wee sleeping bag.  I must confess I still have the doll and the sleeping bag!  Anyway... let's get busy!

-2 rectangles of fabric-19.5" x 28"  (one for lining and one for the outer bag)
-1 small piece of cute fabric for a patch on the sleeping bag (I used the same fabric for this as for part of the pillow case to tie the 2 together)
-2- 24"  lengths of grograin ribbon for sleeping bag ties

(I used a flannelette for the lining... so cozy!)

I made a boy version last year!   Feel free to adjust the length of the sleeping bag to accommodate the toy.  This size should work for an American Girl doll.  My baby doll model is approximately 17" long and she still had toe room.

1.  With the rectangles right sides together and then folded in half to form the sleeping bag.  Your rectangle, when folded will measure 19.5" by 14".  Use a plate to mark a curve on one corner of the fabric on the non-folded edge.  Way to go!

2.  Unfold the fabric and taking only the outer sleeping bag fabric, place the decorative patch of fabric wherever you like.  I like to place it near the bottom and close to where the bag will be folded.  I used my pinking blade rotary cutter.  Nice!  Place wrong side of patch to right side of bag fabric.  Stitch 1/4" from the edge around the patch.  

 3.  Sandwich the bag, right sides together.  Pin and stitch 1/4" seam around the outside of the bag, leaving an opening near the bottom edge to turn the bag.  Turn and press.  Slip stitch the opening closed.

4.  Fold the bag in half, matching edges carefully.  Place the two sections of  ribbon (folded in half) inside the sleeping bag and pin.  Make sure the folded edge of the ribbon is placed inside the sleeping bag enough to catch it in the top stitching you are about to do.  I placed the ribbon 1.5" from the folded edge and then 5" from the folded edge of the bag.  Pin!

5.  Notice how the pins, do not go all the way to the top edge of the sleeping bag?  I stopped pinning 7" from the top edge.  That will form the opening of the sleeping bag, allowing easy access in and out of the sleeping bag.

Topstitch 1/4" from the edge of the sleeping bag, all the way around until you have reached the pin marking the 7" opening,  Secure your stitching and then stitch close to the edge for a second row of topstitching!   You are done.  How cute is that?

You can also make a pillow.  My tutorial can be found here!

To fold up and roll the bag, fold in half lengthwise and roll from the non-ribboned edge.  Secure the roll with the ribbon ties.  If your little one is not up to tying, then use wider ribbon with a velcro closure attached to the ribbon.  This would be a bit more fiddly to make but less frustrating for littles.

All snug!  Don't feed the bears!


  1. So Cute!!!You're good at cute! :)

  2. So cute. I'm in the middle of making one with my almost 5 year old as we're off camping in a couple of weeks. He decided his teddy is getting a quilted sleeping bag.

  3. Cathy, that is completely sweet!