During the handmade [baby] clothes week challenge that I posted about last week, I showed my progress on a sleep sack. Well, it’s finished, and now I have a sleep sack tutorial for you!
What you will need to make a newborn-size sleep sack:
- an adult-size button down shirt
- a sleep sack to trace (or you can download this .pdf template here from me — make sure to print at 100%, then tape the pages together)
- a marker to transfer pattern
- sewing machine with coordinating thread
- 45″ of bias tape
- seam ripper
Here is the sleep sack I used to make the template for my own sleep sack:
This is the shirt that I upcycled to make the sleep sack. It is a women’s medium. It is a quilted corduroy shirt that is very warm and thick.
I began by using my seam ripper and removed the pockets on the front of the shirt.
Then I took my marker and traced my sleep sack, drawing my line about 1″ away from the edges of the finished sleep sack. Note: If you’re using my pattern, line it up at the center of the shirt’s button placket, trace it, then flip the pattern over and trace it again for the other half.
Then I cut out my pieces on the line.
Then I put the right sides together and sewed up the side seams and along the bottom. After flipping it right side out, I added a mark at the front neckline (shown in the picture below) to increase the neck area in the front.
I folded over the neck and arm holes, pinning them and then sewing them in place. Note: In the pattern template, there is no seam allowance at the neck and arm holes, because bias tape is added over these unfinished edges.
I cut out a half-circle to add at the neckline. I thought that this detail would be a nice addition. I folded a scrap piece of the shirt fabric in half and just winged a half-circle. You could trace around a coffee cup or small bowl if you’re not comfortable winging it. I sewed the top part of the circle to the back neckline (Not shown). I also sewed the shoulders (also not shown).
I wasn’t so happy with the cleanliness of those neck and arm hems as my finished look, so I decided to add bias tape to those edges. I used pre-packaged bias tape that was a real time saver.
I included bias tape around the additional neck piece to tie the whole look together.
This is a great way to upcycle an old shirt (a flannel one would be another great choice) and gain a useful item for a precious new baby! You could also add a cute applique or monogram to the outside to disguise those pocket marks and add some personality! I’m still not sure what to add, so mine is still plain for now. Happy Creating!
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