How to Sew a Baby Sleeping Bag – Tutorial

Baby Sleeping Bag

Roman was in need of some light-weight sleeping bags for the warmer weather. Having a look at the ones in the shops, I decided that it would be easy enough, and a lot cheaper to make them up myself. I’ve used cotton jersey for the lining and a cotton print for the outer. From my research, this is equivalent to 1.0 tog, which is good for most summer use. You could also make this out of 2 layers of muslin for those super hot nights or day naps. I copied my favourite of the sleeping bags he already has, which has a zip down the centre front and a v-neck. I find the front zip style is the easiest to take on and off him and the v-neck means that the zip doesn’t rub under his chin. This is another project where I’ve managed to avoid using bias binding!

For some tips on making a Winter-weight sleeping bag click here.

Baby Sleeping Bag – Tutorial

The finished dimensions of my sleeping bag are:
Length – shoulder to bottom – 92cm
Width – at under arm – 38cm
Width – at bottom of bag – 64cm

You’ll need:
Paper to make your pattern (newspaper or wrapping paper)
Fabric – I bought 1.1m of the print (112cm wide) but would need more to match up patterns or if the fabric needs to be in the same direction for the back and the front (I cut the back out upside down which was fine for my fabric). I already had the cotton jersey.
Continuous zip – I used 1m. This stuff is cheap and does the job just fine. You could also use an open-end zip put in upside down to help with changing, but I couldn’t get one long enough.
Sewing supplies

To make a pattern, I traced around the neck and shoulders of my favourite sleeping bag, adding a seam allowance and a little extra to make the whole thing slightly bigger. I then added about 15cm to the length. If you don’t have a sleeping bag to copy from, just use any t-shirt to get the neck and arms and then make it as long as you need. Roman has about 30cm free space at the bottom and I’m hoping to get 2 summers out of this.

Fold the fabric in half, selvage to selvage. Use the pattern piece on the fold to create the back, and along the selvage to create the two front pieces. There was a bit of extra fabric between the pattern pieces, so I made the bottom of the bag wider to use up the excess. I figured the more leg room, the better. Cut out the pieces and repeat for your lining fabric.

Baby Sleeping Bag

Next, you need to prepare the continuous zip. Un-zip it about half way down, so the zip pull is out of the way. Cut off  the top 2 cm of teeth on each half of the zip (pic 1 below). Sew several times between the 2nd and 3rd teeth to create a stopper on the top of the zip (pic 2 below). I put my machine on zigzag with the stitch length on zero. Fold the top part forward (the bit you cut the teeth off) and then sew it down (pic 3 below). Repeat for other half of zip. Slide the zipper up to make sure that you have sewn through it enough to make a good stopper (pic 4 below). If the zipper gets stuck, wiggle it to get it free and then zigzag through the teeth some more to make the stopper thicker. Once you’re happy with the zip, take the zip pull right off, so you have 2 strips of zip.

Baby Sleeping Bag Baby Sleeping Bag
Baby Sleeping Bag Baby Sleeping Bag

Lay one of your front pieces of lining down with the matching outer piece on top, right sides facing. The zip goes between these, right side up, but with the teeth towards the middle. Pin and sew, nice and close to the zip. Turn right side out, and you have a lovely strip of zip! Repeat with other front pieces.

Baby Sleeping Bag Baby Sleeping Bag

Now, you need to do all the seams for the shoulders, neck, arms and sides. I did these invisibly, so the sleeping bag is almost reversible. The tutorial I used is so great and has lots of pics, so I don’t see a need to repeat it. Find the tutorial here.

Your sleeping bag should now look something like this (the sides have not been sewn up in the picture)

Baby Sleeping Bag

Time for some top-stitching! This step is optional, but I think it looks nice and polished. Top-stitch up one side of the zip, around the neck, and down the other side of the zip. Then, top-stitch around the arm holes.

Now, put the zip pull back on. You need to feed each side in and then give it a wiggle to get it going. Here’s a youtube video showing you what to do. It’s a little blurry, but you get the idea. If you want, you can sew a cover over the bottom of the zip as it will probably be flapping around inside the bottom of the bag. Or you can trim the bottom of the zip in line with the fabric.

Baby Sleeping Bag

Turn the bag inside out, and sew the bottom closed.

I also added a chin guard to mine because it stops Roman playing with the zip. You can also add snaps at the under arms so that you can get a bit more use out of the bag. The snaps can be done up for smaller babies and then left undone for bigger kids.

Baby Sleeping Bag

For some tips on making a Winter-weight sleeping bag click here.

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  1. says

    This is so cute! I have made a couple of fleece sleeps sacks for my son and now it is starting to get a little bit warm for them. I think this will have to be the next project I tackle.

  2. Noelani says

    Hi, thanks so much for this tutorial! Could you please give a little more detail to how you sew up the sides and bottom? I guess you’d have to leave a small bit unsewn, then turn it back right-side-out and hand stitch the hole up? If so where would you leave that opening?

    • says

      Hi Noelani – yes you’re correct. You need to leave a little opening in the lining (on the side or the bottom, it doesn’t matter – but I think the side seams get less stress on them) and then hand stitch it closed, or machine stitch it very close to the edge. Hope that helps!

  3. says

    This is great. We just bought some 0-9 fleece sleeping sack for my daughter and at 4 months she is about outgrow them. I am totally going to make her there to replace it. I love to be able to customize.

  4. says

    Oh my, this is so cute! And your baby too! Perhaps I can use my old american kids bedding sheets to make one for my little girl. And bigger sleeping bags for my sweet pea campers. Next in line with my projects!

  5. says

    God, your kid is so cute, I wanna bring him home! I’ve been checking out your posts lately and I’ve seen a lot of customized bags in your project list. If only I have time (and know how to sew). *sigh*

  6. says

    So happy to have stumbled upon your blog! My first grandchild was born 2 weeks ago and I am going to try the sleeping bag, bib, fitted sheet, and cot rail protector. Many thanks for sharing your tutorials!

  7. Anonymous says

    Leila 08 août 2013 10:28

    Bonjour! Je suis très contente de ma recherche sur le net!! ça m’a fait découvrir ” Petit citron – la couture pour tous”!
    En lisant vos tutoriels ça a rallumé l’envie de me remettre à la couture et je vais vous suivre pas à pas pour faire de petits travaux pour ma petite nièce qui a juste 2 mois!

    Roman est craquant dans sa gigoteuse :) Mille bisous!!

    A vous un GRAND MERCI de partager avec nous votre savoir faire 😉 bonne continuation et à bientôt!

  8. Lilith says

    Hi, this is a great tutorial, thanks!
    Could you please give me more information on making different togs so I can make different ones for the different seasons? That would be amazing!

    • abby says

      This will vary a lot given where you live. We live in Melbourne and I used an old woollen blanket as ‘batting’ for a winter weight blanket with flannelette on the outer and lining. For a mid weight (summer nights) I used a cotton knit for the lining and quilting cotton for the outer. For a hot summer nap one, I used a single layer of quilting cotton. Hope that helps!

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