Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sleeping Bags for Tiny Critters -- TUTORIAL

This past weekend my husband took the boys on a final summer campout before school starts. They were so excited! In preparation, they wanted to play that some of our little critters were going camping. But what campout would be complete without itty bitty sleeping bags for their tiny stuffed friends to sleep in?

These little sleeping bags are finished at about 3" wide x 4 1/2" tall. They are fully lined -- but don't let that scare you! It's not as hard as you might think!

They are SO cute, and the perfect size for little stuffed pets (ours are Whimzy Pets -- they have lots of space inside the sleeping bags at their feet), GI Joes, Kelly dolls, or even Lil Bratz dolls (if anyone still has those kicking around!).

What you need:

Four 3.25"x5" rectangles (two for lining -- mine are green, two for shell -- mine are pink)
One 7" zipper

STEP ONE: Open your zipper, and lay one side right sides together with the long edge of one of your shell (outer!) rectangles. The teeth of the zipper should be toward the inside of your rectangle.

STEP TWO: Sew, using a scant 1/4" seam allowance. Gently curve your zipper around the bottom right corner of your rectangle, as shown. (I made three of these, and used the zipper foot on only one of them. You can do it without.)

STEP THREE: Carefully trim away the excess fabric from the corner. You will use this as a pattern for cutting your other rectangles, so be careful to keep it in one piece.

STEP FOUR: Layer your little leftover corner on top of your other rectangles and trim them to match.
NOTE: I used fabric that was the same on both sides. If you are using a fabric that is printed on one side, be sure to trim the correct corners so you end up with mirrored pieces!

STEP FIVE: Lay your other shell rectangle alongside the first, and line up the placement of the zipper to match the first side.

STEP SIX: Sew it on!

STEP SEVEN: Time to attach the lining. Don't be scared!
Lay your little sleeping bag zipper side up. Take one lining rectangle and layer it on top, so the zipper is sandwiched in between. (Pin if you are concerned about them staying lined up correctly -- although I admit I didn't bother.)

STEP EIGHT: FLIP IT OVER so that the shell side is on TOP. (This way you can follow your previous stitching line exactly.) Sew! Repeat for other side.

Here it is flipped right side out. Doesn't that zipper look perfect in there??

STEP NINE: Fold your sleeping bag together, and zip it an inch or so at the bottom, stopping a little before the curve. Pull the shell pieces out of the way. We are going to start by sewing the lining, right sides together.

Sew, using a 1/4" seam allowance. Stop about 1/4" before you hit the zipper tape.

STEP TEN: Flip your little sleeping bag around and layer the shell pieces right sides together. Sew, starting at the top edge. When you get down near the zipper, fold the zipper RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER and sew right over it, sewing backwards and forwards over it a few times for extra security. Then meet up with your previous stitching on the lining and backstitch.

STEP ELEVEN: All that's left is the top edge! Unzip your sleeping bag completely. Fold the top edge of the shell down about 3/8". Tuck the zipper ends inside as shown.

Fold the lining up inside to match the the shell. I folded my lining over the top of my little zipper ends as well, to hide them completely. Pin in place and topstitch a scant 1/4" from the folded edge.

So little and cute with its contrasting lining and zipper!

The little pets had a fantastic time on their campout. They went boating in their tiny boat, fished for tiny fish...

...had a tiny campfire, drank tiny hot cocoa (borrowed from my Barbies), and slept in their tiny tent!

Oh, and the boys had a grand time with Daddy on their campout, too!

EDIT: Check out an upsized version for an 18" doll HERE!


Darling Petunia said...

What's the temperature rating for those sleeping bags? --wink-- I want to see them all rolled up cutely!

ArTeSaNiC´a said...


Rhyah-- said...

How adorable! What lucky boys!

Samina said...

You are a trip! That's so very cute. Thanks for making me laugh.

Melissa said...

My kids would love those! Did you make the tent too?

Care said...

Hi Melissa!

I love it too! I didn't make it -- I found it at a thrift store.

You could make mini versions of anything from tent week, though! Here are a few minis: http://obsessivelystitching.blogspot.com/2010/02/tent-week-day-five-pvc-frame-and-mini.html


Ms Muffin said...

Oh, I LOVE these!!!
I have never sewn a zipper. Maybe it's time to start ... :-)

Su said...

Hey Care! That's seriously cute!!!

Jen said...

You and your obsession for itty bitty things- these are too cute!

Anonymous said...

You are the best Mom! So fun to have itty bitty buddies to camp with;0)

boyohboyohboycrafts said...

What a wonderful idea for getting the kids psyched up about their camping trip and a great way to boost their imaginative play time.

Debbie Buckland said...

great idea for the tiny toys

but hey where did you get the tent?

Anne said...

These are SO CUTE!! I posted about them over at Craft Gossip Sewing:

Of course, I don't dare show this to my daughter, else she'd insist that I make one for every single stuffed kitty she owns. I'd be stitching zippers for a looong time!


Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Aww! Tiny things are always so cute! Thanks so much for this, I'll be linking.

Rae said...

oh my gosh is that ever cute!

elliesue said...

This really cool! My grandchildren would love it.
Thank you for this.

Unknown said...