Tutorial: Baby Sleep Sack

5:00 AM

(more photos and details about the features)

Thanks to everyone who showed interest in this tutorial and pattern, I really appreciate your comments and wish more people didn't have "no reply" on their blogger settings so I could respond to your comments.
I hope to see some of these in the flickr group!  Make it worth my while people!
Kind of kidding, I know it's a pain to take a photo and upload it to share, but I'd really love to see your ideas and twists on this pattern and to share the ideas and variety with everyone else.  It's probably more exciting to see other people using the idea than just making it for myself.

Also, this tutorial is for personal use only. I ask that you respect my design and the time to put this pattern/ tutorial together and only use the sleep sacks you will make for yourself, family and friends, not for commercial use/ profit. Thanks!

Anyway, today you'll be seeing this green/ pink/ owl sleep sack coming together.
Make sure your printer is set to NO SCALING before you print.  It's only 4 pages.


Cut Out Pieces
The printed patterns have the dimensions for your flannel sack, cuffs, and ribbing.  The rest have pattern pieces.  I did draw a little diagram of getting 4 sleep sacks with 1.5 yards of flannel on the pattern too.
 So for the knit pieces, I use knit t-shirts as shown.  I cut off the bottom hem and use the shirt side seam on the back piece rather than using a fold.

You could obviously buy ribbing yardage, but I use more t-shirts, again cutting off the bottom hem, then cutting strips for ribbing.

As far as how thick you want your ribbing, it's up to you.  For this sack I chose to use narrow ribbing for the wrists of the sleeves, cutting them 3/4" wide.
I wanted the neck ribbing a little wider so I kept it 1".  It wasn't quite long enough, so I had to sew 2 strips together.

You'll want to iron all your ribbing in half.  As you press, it helps to lift the iron along the strip rather than sliding it. 

You'll need to make sure you have all the sleeve pieces, 4 total but 2 each way as shown.

 Make Top
1. Take your 2 front pieces and lay them right side up and crossed as it will be sewn.

2. Shoulder Seams
Take your back piece and lay it face down on your cross front pieces.  At this point right sides are together.  Sew both shoulder seams with 1/2" seam allowance.

3. Sew Ribbing around Neckline 
Take your 1" ribbing and wrap the fold around the edge of the fabric, pinning it in place.  Make sure the front piece goes right in the crease of the fold you ironed.

Pin around the entire neck.  I open the shoulder seam allowances flat when I pin the ribbing across the shoulders.

Next you top-stitch all the ribbing to the shirt top.  I use a walking foot to minimize the stretch of the ribbing.  So if you have a walking foot, good time to bust it out.  If you don't, it doesn't matter, I made the first two with my regular presser foot.  If you find it is stretching the knit as you sew, try increasing your thread tension.  I sew right along the edge of the ribbing.

4. Side Seams
Decide which side you want in front.  I don't think it really matters whether right or left crosses in front. I made the decision on which side had better sewing on the ribbing, or which side that didn't have a stain, etc.  I just chose the better looking front piece and put that in front.
Next just sew the 2 front pieces together on the sides.

Next fold the back piece on top of the front, right sides together, and sew the side seams.

Sew Sleeves
From your 4 sleeve pieces, take 2 for the cuffs that are opposite from eachother as shown.  You take your knit cuff pieces and fold them in half vertically so the fold is at the top and the raw edges line up with the bottom of the sleeve.

1. Baste Cuffs
Sew the sides of each cuff to sleeve on each side. 

2. Sew long shoulder sleeve seam
Grab the opposite sleeve pieces and put them right sides together.  Sew the seam with the long (shoulder) side

3. Wrist Ribbing
Open your sleeves and pin the narrow ribbing along the bottom on both sleeves.  Top-stitch the ribbing on just like the neck.

4. Sew Short Armpit Sleeve Seam
Fold the sleeve back to right sides together and sew the short side (armpit) seam. I usually start at the ribbing to make sure that is lined up, then end at the armpit that will be sewn into the shirt, so if it's uneven, you can't tell.

5. Pin Sleeves into Bodice
This is important to make sure your cuffs are on the back of the sleeves. The first one I made I messed up so one cuff is on the back, and the other is on the front.  It will still work, but if you're giving it as a gift it should probably match.

So make sure your bodice is inside out, with the sleeves right side out.  You'll put the sleeves into the arm holes of the bodice, making sure the cuffs are touching the back of the shirt and that your long seam of the sleeve is up to the shoulder, the short seam down to armpit/ side seam. 

Pin the seams at shoulder and armpit to match sleeve up to bodice.  Sew around sleeves.


Finish Bottom of Sack
1. Make Sack
Take your sack piece and fold it in half right sides together. Sew the seam along the 15" long edges to make a tube.  This seam will the back seam of the sack.

2. Sew Bodice to Sack
Using pins, mark the quarters of the sack top.  The fold opposite the seam is your front, then match up the front and back seam and the side folds are the marks for your side seams.

Make sure your sack bottom is inside out, with the bodice right side out.  Put the head of the bodice in the sack top.

Match up the side seams of the sack and bodice, and pin the bodice to the sack all the way around.  You may have to stretch your flannel sack a little as you sew to make it all even.
Sew 1/2" seam allowance around the top.

3. Press or Top Stitch Waist Seam
You can iron the seam flat to look nice, but I also like to top-stitch it to help it lay flat.  Putting the open neck on the arm of my sewing machine, I fold the seam allowance down toward the feet and top-stitch 1/4" on the sack all the way around.

4. Make Elastic Casing
On the bottom of the sack, you can zig-zag or serge the edge for a single fold casing.
If you don't have a serger, you could also iron 1/4 up around the whole bottom to end up with double fold casing.
Then either way you finished the edge, fold/ press fabric up 1/2".  Sew around the circle of the sack bottom, but leave about 2" unsewn to have a hole to lace elastic through.

5. Insert Elastic
I use a smaller safety pin in one end of the elastic and thread it through the hole I left in the casing and all the way around, coming out the other end of the casing.

Once both elastic ends are laced through casing, sew them together.  Then just stretch the elastic back in the casing hole and finish sewing that last 2" hole shut.

Add your sleep sacks to our flickr group!
Now you can get creative with different colors and make a whole set!

Or use the pattern to make a little dress!

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  1. I love these so much! Makes me wish I knew how to sew! I don't know if you've ever heard of a children's clothing company (catalog) called Tea? This looks exactly like something they'd sell! They use that spliced front on a lot of their girl clothes! - Karen

  2. Thank you Jessica. I am totally going to do this. I will upload any pics for you.

    Now, hey girlie take a rest before that sweet baby comes!

  3. Thank you Jessica!
    That is awesome and quick!! Would it be ok if I created these for charity. I would like to sew some for the Women's Shelter and the Teen Pregnancy/New Mom class (school)?
    Of course I will post pics after I make some!
    Take care

  4. You.Are.Awesome!!! Nuff said! lol (thank you, thank you!)

  5. Thank you, thank you! I just finished one and posted a pic to the flickr group! Your tutorial was so easy to follow and I am excited to make a few more for some expecting mommas I know.

  6. I can't wait to make a couple for an new grandbaby on the way! Thank you for your generous sharing.

  7. I can't wait to make a couple for an new grandbaby on the way! Thank you for your generous sharing.

  8. How adorable! I have been looking for ways to use up all the flannel I bought on Black Friday (whoops!)... This is PERFECT for my little one, ALSO due in April! (I think you said you have four weeks till your LO gets here). Thanks so much for such a cool, clear tutorial (and the pattern pieces!)

  9. These are great! I love gowns & sleep sacks, especially for newborns. They allow for much easier diaper changes. I scheduled a feature for these this morning at Extreme Personal Measures.

    Extreme Personal Measures

  10. Thank you for sharing this-- a perfect baby gift. It would be fun making it out of rocker t-shirts for a boy.

  11. These look great!! :) Thanks for such a clear tutorial. Can't wait to see pictures of your little one. Take care of yourself.


  12. These are very cute! Thanks for putting up a tute. I guess great minds think alike in that I've been making really similar onesies and baby rompers in the same fabric, for a while now.



  13. These are adorable! Thanks for making a tutorial. I would love to make one for the little girl who's supposed to be born to our family any day now, but I can't figure out how to get it to print. When I open up the link in Google Docs and try to print it just gives me some google logos and part of the first pattern page all cut off. Help? Thanks!

  14. Ok...no babies here but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fabric...could you point me in the direction of that? These are gorgeous!!!

    Thank you!

  15. Oh, I would love to make this for a brand new babe in our family, but I can't get the pattern pieces to print. Do you have any suggestions to help me?

  16. Absolutely gorgeous! And it looks like it would be so much fun to make. Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

  17. Thanks so much-super excited to make them! Just a couple questions-the "knit" fabric you're using from shirts-is that a stretchy knit (like the stretch Gap shirts), or a jersey knit, like the free t-shirts you wear to bed? :) also, do you have another fabric suggestion for the "sack" part? my baby will be born in the summertime, so I'm worried flannel will be a little too warm.
    thanks again!

  18. I will be making these for my new grandson, Eli, who will arrive in May!
    Thank you for your generous sharing of the pattern...

  19. Love the tutorial!! So easy to follow! I'm having a problem with sewing the knit, I don't have a walking foot so I tried increasing the tension...but doesn't INCREASING the tension cause it to stretch more? Shouldn't I decrease instead? I'm so confused...sorry, I've never really worked with knit before. Thanks!
    amy.chinagal (at) gmail (dot) com

  20. I am so glad you made the tutorial! It took me a while, I know, but it's now been featured in my Homemade Baby Gift Picks on Baby Gift Hot List!

    If you'd like, grab a button, and share the news!

  21. I love these! I wanted to make one in a 3-6 month size. Do you have any suggestion on how to increase the pattern to be that size?

  22. to david and loralee, I too am having a summer baby and just made one of these substituting the same knit print i used for the top for the sack as well. It came out great!!

    thank you for the great tute!!!

  23. This is so incredibly cute! I am putting in my *things I really should make before this baby arrives* pile...

  24. I LOVE love LOVE this!! Thanks for sharing it!

  25. love your blog, this clothes are really amazing very comfortable and the color combination is awesome... thanks for sharing.
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  26. LOVE the tutorial. I just linked up one that I did on my blog.... www.sassafrassstyle.blogspot.com

  27. Really cute, Jessica! And great tutorial! We have a baby boy due in August. I'm pinning this and making it part of my To Sew list!


  28. This is super cute! Wishing I had babies to sew it for.

  29. Cute ideas and tutorial to sewing for newborn, i will made it. thanks

  30. I've made 2 so far!
    I made one you can see here

    it was my first, I didn't catch the whole hand flap in the ribbing at first so I went back over and redid that.
    But I just made a second one for my friend's Baby shower next month and I think I have enough fabric to make a good 4 more!!

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. I'm due in December so the flannel is PERFECT!!

  31. Thank you! I found you on pinterest. These would make a great baby gift.

  32. I am becomming a great-grandma for the first time and would love to make this sleep-sack. I have no problem with the pattern but am having trouble printing the tutorial. I kinda hate to have to run back and forth between my computer and my sewing room. Is the tutorial printable? If so how do I do it?




  33. I'm so happy to have found this blog! I was looking for a gown tute and found this one and you're blog is wonderful! New follower here. :)

  34. I've been in a sewing slump lately but after seeing these I just may head back to my sewing machine. Thanks! These will make super cute baby shower gifts! :)

  35. This is the best tutorial I have come across thank you for the photos and the reminders. this is definitely a new gift I will give with the baby blankets I make.

  36. Baby Sleep Sack ...........Is this dress .It looks like a cloth wrapped .But unique dress .I liked it .No tension in washing these baby dresses .I think easily maked and best for babies.

  37. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site so i came to “return the favor”.I'm attempting to find things to enhance my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!
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  38. Just revisiting this from last year ~ what a very nice tutorial. These grandbabies keep coming so I think it's time to give this one a go! Thanks for sharing!

  39. terminally cute, but i have one question.
    how you get the baby in there, specially the newborn. can't figure a way which does not imply some baby limbs contorsions.
    otherwise, i love your blog, i already made some of your baby stuff and it came out great.

  40. This is so AWESOME and easy. I'm having a summer baby as well and make mine with the same knit as the top pieces.

  41. Thank you for the tutorial. I'm going to stitch some up for my SIL who is expecting in June. And I think I'm going to stitch up some for NIN (Newborns In Need) if that's alright.

  42. Wow!It is fantastic! This is really nice blog. Kid's apparel.I liked it.Thanks for sharing it with us.

  43. Hi there, I am in love with this bag and I have started it tonight! I do have one question, what is the final length from neck to the bottom seam? I think I may have cut mine too short! Thanks so much!

  44. Not sure why but I cannot get the patter link to open.....was hoping to make several of theses this weekend for the new grand baby is is coming. Hope someone out there can help me understand why.

    1. Sunny: From my end there doesn't seem to be problems with the google doc. If it's not working email me and I can send you the file directly.

  45. Completely adorable. And what a fantastic tutorial. Everything is so well explained along with fantastic pictures. Makes me think that I could actually whip one up :) I will have to give it a shot. Thank you so much for taking the time to post.

  46. I love these sleep sacs and your tutorial was great! Thanks for sharing!


  47. These made super awesome Christmas gifts for my nieces and nephew this year. I made them out of flannel, and found that a zipper was needed to be able to get the babies in!
    Thanks for sharing!

  48. Very Innovative baby suit!! Thanks for sharing..

  49. Baby #1 is coming anyday and I want to use sleep sacks but the only ones I've seen in stores are sleeveless which just will not do for our Wisconsin winters. This pattern is the perfect solution. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. Thanks for sharing this nice blog post..This is really informative post. Baby sleep sacks are healthy and safe also. For more information best baby sleep sacks

  52. So make sure your bodice is inside out, with the sleeves right side out. You'll put the sleeves into the arm holes of the bodice, making sure the cuffs are touching the back of the shirt and that your long seam of the sleeve is up to the shoulder, the shortBuy LOL Elo Boost
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  53. Just tried to make this and the knit is giving me a tough time. No problems with the actual sewing, but the fabric just looks floppy and out of shape once it's been sewn, perhaps the t-shirts I'm using are made from super cheap material? They also would not work for the ribbing because no matter how I cut them the edges would not come out clean looking. The rest of the pattern went together pretty easily, I just feel bad giving it as a gift since the knit part looks so cheap. Guess I'll go digging for some higher quality tees to give it another shot!
    But thanks for the great tutorial! I'm sure once I find the right knit fabric it will be adorable!

  54. In addition to joe is always to time the specific raise regarding inside nh in which he has document so that you can.
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  55. I love your sleep sack - so cute for using up all my small pieces of cotton knit fabric. A question on the neckline edging - is the exposed edge left unfinished? Is it just a single fold of fabric, applied to the edge of the neckline and top-stitched close to the raw edge of the binding? Thank - Bonnie - juniper2625 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  56. Thank you for sharing your tutorial post how to make this cute baby sleep sack. This is fit for my daughter.


  57. I have found very useful information over there, thanks for sharing this. please try to add more informative posts in order to keep us in touch.
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  58. I am a beginner (self taught) , I have managed to make receiving blankets,burpcloths, doll clothes and some dresser for my toddler grand child.... wondering if anyone can answer this: do you have to use a knit for the top, or can I use cotton or flannel for the top as well as the bottom?

  59. Neicy, It might be hard to get on and off if there isn't stretch in the top half. It might work with a larger size and just have a loose fit though.

  60. Very well written I appreciate & must say good job.... please continue your blog

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  61. Thanks for this cute pattern, but however i unsewed the bottom and put the opening on front with snaps to open it. I think it will be easier to change the layer. Sorry for my english, i'm a french canadian


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