Snug as a Bug Sleep Sack

As the weather is definitely cooling off in Berlin it’s time to start preparing for our Kleiner Hosenpuper’s first fall & winter chill. As she’s not yet a fan of quilts & blankets and for some reason the only sleep sacks available here are sleeveless I was determined to make a warm & cosy version with full arm coverage – or go insane trying! Luckily, inspiration soon struck & I was sifting through my stash for the ingredients!

It turned out a bit larger than I planned but she’ll grow into it soon enough! Here’s how to make your own with stuff I’m sure you already have around the house! As always, click the photos to enlarge.

Start with a fleece blanket – obviously, the bigger your blanket is, the larger your finished sleep sack will be (you’ll also need a fleece scarf, zipper, t-shirt & of course the tools to cut and sew it all together). Fold the blanket in half & lay it on a flat surface.

Take a sleep sack you already have & lay it on top of your folded blanket – if you don’t have a sleep sack a hand towel will do, this step is just to mark the length & width for the basic sleep sack shape. Next, put a winter jacket (in your baby’s size or a bit bigger) on top of the sleep sack, lining up the shoulders of both is a quick ‘no-measuring’ way to create an even form. (We bought the jacket for our girlie at an end-of-season-sale last year when she was still in utero – an epic score for only €1.00!)

Trace around your sack/towel-jacket combination then cut through both layers of the folded blanket and voila, you have the front & back of your basic sleep sack. Set aside the back for now.

Onto the most confusing part…the zipper. After much deliberation & mental gymnastics I figured out the best way to attach the possibly-ouchie-to-baby zipper: Place the zipper on the outside of the front piece of your sleep sack , pin the bottom of the zipper at the top of the sleep sack and stitch it on, this way the zipper pull is away from baby’s face . I sewed my zipper about 8cm from the top, leaving space for the neckline.

Once your zipper is sewn on cut a couple of strips from a fleece scarf (or the remains of your blanket) and stitch them down to cover the rather unattractive sides of your zipper.

I went a bit further (as usual) & instead of just straight stitching the outside of my fleece strips, I set my machine to one of it’s fancy 1980’s embroidery settings, changed the thread colour & got a bit froufrou,  I also added a patchwork-y flower to the body of the sack…

Lay your front-of-sleep-sack face down on a flat surface & snip from the top all the way down to the end of the zipper. Cut directly in the center behind the zipper & don’t trim up the cut sides of the fleece as when the zipper is closed the remaining fleece is nicer against baby than the zipper teeth.

For a little extra zipper protection cut a square of fleece & sew it around the ‘bottom’ end of the zipper creating a zipper pull pocket. (remember, the zipper should be bottom to top/upside down on the sleep sack – the zipper pull away from baby’s face)

To cut a tidy neckline simply use one of baby’s t-shirts as a guide.

Put your front & back pieces right sides together, sew ’em up & turn right side out! As fleece doesn’t unravel you could be done now…but as always I like to really finish the job!

Cut the neck from a t-shirt, slip it over the sleep sack neckline & sew together, be careful not to sew over the zipper end. *It doesn’t matter if the t-shirt neck is too large, it’ll get trimmed in the next step.

Snip your new neck at the zipper & zigzag stitch around the outside for extra strength & added detail.

You covered the bottom of the zipper, now what about the top?

To make a zip at the neckline cover simply cut a small oval of t-shirt, fold it in half, sew it together (leaving one end open) & turn it right side out.

Fold your cover over the zipper & stitch down one side. You should easily be able to flip the round side of the cover up to expose the zipper for easy fastening (& unfastening).

Last but not least…the cuffs! Create them by sewing a couple of pieces of t-shirt into tubes. *The size depends on the sleeve width of your individual sleep sack* Stitch them onto the ends of your sleeves & you’re done!

Sit back & admire your work!

Snug as a bug in a rug! (well, she will be when it fits!)

all the tutes!

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