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!)
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.
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)
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.
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!