Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dolly Sleeping Bag and a little Tutorial too!

A little friend turned 8 this month and I got to dust of my little girl sewing skills and sew up something cute that a little girl who loves dolls would love. I made an sleeping bag and pillow to fit her American Girl Doll.

Now she has something to bring along with her doll to sleepovers. This was so much fun to make!

 After browsing the internet to see how others have pulled this off I got some great ideas I made up my own. 
I was a little nervous about how it would all come together, or IF it would all come together, I should say. I took a few quick pictures along the way just in case it turned out well and it did! I love it when an idea works out! I threw together a quick Tutorial in case you want to try one too.  I was most nervous about how the zipper would, work but it did, and yours will too, trust me.

You'll need to make these cuts from coordinating fabrics:
2 rectangles 13'' x 22'' for the back - round off one end using a plate as a guide
2 rectangles 13'' x 16'' for the front
1 rectangle 4.5'' x 16'' for the front accent panel
2 rectangles 3'' x 24'' for the ruffles
1 rectangle 4.5'' x 9'' for the pillow center
2 rectangles 2'' x 15'' for the ruffled pillow sides

You'll also need a little batting:
1 piece 13'' x 22''  (round off one end using the other cut as your guide)
1 piece 13'' x 16''

2 pieces of 8'' elastic (optional)
16'' or longer zipper
stuffing for the pillow

Make the Accent panel... Fold the ruffle strips in half lengthwise and gather them to the length of the center panel. Sew them to the sides of the center panel and then press the ruffles flat. (seriously dark pictures...sorry)

Layer a piece of batting under one of the front rectangle pieces and topstitch the accent panel to the middle.

Align the zipper to one side with the teeth facing down. Lay the 2nd  rectangle on top with right sides together.  Pin it if necessary and stitch that little zipper sandwich.

Open it up and topstitch along the edge.

Now sandwich the other side of the zipper using the larger pieces.  Make sure one piece has the a piece of batting with it too.

You'll want to fold the zipper end to the side before you stitch it ( I forgot and had to unpick).  Stitch the zipper sandwich, stopping about an inche past the end of the zipper. Open it up and topstitch along the edge of the zipper just as before, stopping the topstitching at the end of the zipper.

Now open it up like this and fold that curved side down. Pin it in place so it stays out of the way.

Fold the short rectangles together matching up the top edge and stitch.

 Now you should have something that looks like this!

Now sandwich the front inside of the back pieces with right sides together.  Line up ALL raw edges and sew around the 2 straight sides that haven't been sewn and the curved side.  You will meet the previous stitching line at the end of the curve. Leave an opening in the long side for turning.

Clip that one corner and also clip along the curve then turn it all right side out.   Here is a shot of the corner where the zipper is.  The fabric will not lay together smoothly but don't worry...

When you turn it right side out it will all look just fine!

Now just press the opening that you turned it through and topstitch around the sides.  You will find that you will meet up with the topstitching on the zipper.

Now you can make the pillow. Sew a row of gathering stitches on each side of the ruffle strip and gather them to the length of the center panel. Attach one side of each ruffle to the pillow center panel the same way as before and press.  You should have something that looks like this.

Fold the panel in half and sew around the 3 side leaving an opening for turning. Turn the pillow right side out and stuff it.  Hand stitch the pillow closed.  

I also hand stitched a couple of elastic circles to the back of the pillow "tie up" the sleeping bag when it's not being used.

If you make one too, I'd love to see it!! Now go sew!


  1. Thanks for the tutorial! I came out great and it was fun to make, my daughter loves it!! (I tried to post pics but it would let me post)