June 15, 2013

No Sew Fleece Sleeping Bags

I first saw this tutorial on Pinterest for an American Girl doll sleeping bag. Within seconds my mind went to: "why not make this into a big kid size?!"

I knew there would be some adjustments, besides size obviously. I thought about it for about 5 minutes, then went and dropped some money at Hobby Lobby. Ladies and gents, fleece is not cheap. Even on sale. But when you think about how long these blankets last and how excited kids will be to have totally customizable sleeping bags... it's totally worth it!!

Like I said, these are totally customizable, and totally easy to make. There are so many options when it comes to fleece! For my projects, I chose rainbow peace signs and pink fleece for my 8 year old niece, and a baseball motif and gray fleece for my 4 year old nephew.

What I Used (per blanket):
3.75 yards of patterned fleece
2 yards of solid color fleece
Fabric scissors
A ruler/yardstick (I didn't use one, but some people like to measure things. I am not one of those people.)

This isn't going to be a full tutorial, because there are a MILLION no-sew fleece blanket tutorials out there, and it really is the easiest thing in the world to do. If you don't know how to make one, google it (okay, Pinterest it) and come back here if you want to turn it into a sleeping bag. ;)

So, as I was saying. If you've ever made a no sew fleece blanket, you can totally make this sleeping bag. The only difference is adding another layer of fleece to the top side, though not the same length. You don't want to knot all 3 layers together, that would just be a heavier blanket. And what fun is that?

I made my sleeping bags 2 yards long and then got another piece of the patterned fleece that was 1 3/4 yards to layer on top. Remember, you are going to be cutting strips around all 4 sides, so the bag won't be quite 2 yards long when you're done.

For me, I also wanted them a little narrower. I laid out all 3 layers on top of each other (pattern, solid, pattern), and then folded over approximately 1 foot on one side. I cut that strip off, and was left with a narrower blanket. I wanted it to be more of a sleeping bag and less of a blanket, and thought that would help. I think it turned out perfect! (And now I have a 12 inch wide piece of scrap to do.....something with!)

Knot all around the sides, and fold down a flap on one side so that you can make it easier for your kids to get inside. That was the only change I made from the doll tutorial I found.  Don't knot all 4 sides up tight, you want to make it so that a child can get out in case of an emergency bathroom trip in the middle of the night! Just the thought of tying down the top blanket entirely makes me claustrophobic!! You can see in the picture below, to make it look more finished I also cut the strips down the flap and tied them together. But feel free to leave it uncut and as it is!


When I finished, I cut a strip of excess patterned fleece and double knotted it around the bag for a handle. These bags are going to stay at our house for when my niece and nephew come sleep over, but that way storage is easier and the kids can pick them up without them unrolling everywhere.

I am beyond excited for the kids to see these next weekend and see how they will react. I spent nearly 4 hours total working on these blankets, and I know I won't get 4 hours of praise (though their parents could really suggest that, it'd be cool). Even if I just get, "WOAH, LOOK AT THAT!! OH MAN, THAT'S SO COOL. Can I have a snack? Are we going to watch a movie? But I don't want to watch that!" it will be enough for my little heart. 

In my head, I know that I could have just thrown down a pillow and blanket and they would have been thrilled just to be in my house, but instead I poured my love for these 2 crazy kids into 10 yards of fleece. I hope one day, they will realize how important they are to me. 

I don't know what I would do if these kids weren't in my life, but mostly, I'm just happy I can spoil them and send them home later. With a total sugar buzz. Isn't that what aunts are for?