Thursday, February 28, 2013

DIY Sleeping Bag

My son has become friend and caretaker to many different toys over the past few months. Each is given the name Asher. We have Asher the first who is a peanut. Asher the second who is a ball. Asher the third is small yellow chicken. Asher the fourth is a blue skeleton. And the list continues on. One day during Gabriel's Bible reading he came upon the name Asher. He adopted it as his favorite after he found that it meant, "blessing." All of these toys are a blessing to my son.

He cares very deeply for objects and tries to treat them with the same respect a person would deserve. This can be a little bit much at times. Like for instance when mom tosses him across the room into a bucket of toys, and he practically has a heart attack because that probably hurt the toy's feelings. On the other hand, it is really nice that he is learning respect.

When he finds a new "friend" he will make a bed or nest for the object. Last week when he was away at school, I surprised him with a sleeping bag for Asher the 4th. He loved it!

I've put together a very simple tutorial for a sleeping bag. Since this is for a boy, it's made to fit small action figures, not giant baby dolls. You could easily alter it to fit what size you want.

I cut a small rectangle of fabric, folded it in half, and sewed it right sides together. I left a small hole to turn the fabric, and to stuff the pillow. Once it was stuffed, I sewed the hole shut.

A quick tip on stuffing: I like to buy a cheap $2 pillow from Wal-Mart instead of a bag of expensive polyester fiberfill stuffing. It seems to work just as well for me, and you get a little bit of extra white fabric!

I cut two squares of fabric, and 1 square the same size of batting. You need to layer it with the two fabric squares right sides together, and then on either top or bottom add the batting. Sew around the edges and leave a small hole for turning. This way when you turn them right sides out, the batting will be layered in the middle. Once the fabric is turned, you can sew the hole closed.

You want to either pin your fabric, or mark the lines in some way. If you're good at using your machine as a guide, go ahead and do that. I used pins to try to help eyeball the lines. I wasn't going for perfect here, just to add a little quilting to the sleeping bag. It's probably not necessary for holding the batting in place since the sleeping bag is so small.

Once the lines were sewn, I attached the pillow to the bag. You don't have to do this, but knowing my son, I knew the pillow would end up missing if I didn't.

I wanted to have a way of keeping the sleeping bag closed when he rolls it up for the day. I found some yellow rickrack and sewed a small circle to hold the bag shut. I tested it multiple times before I got it small enough to hold the bag closed tightly.

I sewed it on to the middle of the sleeping bag back side, where the pillow connected to the bag.

I wanted to sew the bag closed a little, but not all the way. I figured if I sewed it all the way, it would be hard to get the action figure inside. And if I didn't sew it closed at all, the guy might fall out of his sleeping bag.

My final step was sewing a snap on. You could use Velcro to close it, or a button, or if you were really ambitious, you could sew a real zipper on. I hate sewing zippers, so I wanted to choose something nice and simple. That's it! Your sleeping bag is now ready to be used.

Doesn't he look content in his new bed?

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