Bonnie Ferguson from Fishsticks Designs designed a Sweet Baby Sleep Bag pattern and tutorial for you! Bonnie’s Fishsticks Designs patterns are practical, modern and fun. We like the updated-classic look of her Hide ‘n Go Seek Reversible Hoodie which combines knits and wovens for lots of fun options with prints. Bonnie also has two new pattern series she’s released this year: The Jersey Love series is all patterns that are designed specifically for stretch jerseys. The Go Fish series is full of simple, practical, instant gratification patterns.

Today’s Sweet Baby Sleep Bag pattern and tutorial might just become your go to baby shower gift! You can see the full tutorial below and download the pattern here. You can also download the pattern + full tutorial in one PDF.

Find more from Bonnie on the Fishstick Designs blog. She’s a busy mom of six and a grandma of two in Florida, developing new and fabulous sewing patterns all the time!

Baby Sleep Bag

Hi, there! This is Bonnie from Fishsticks Designs, and I am so excited to get to share this great baby basic pattern with you. This is one that new moms will love, and it makes a perfect baby shower gift! The Sweet Baby Sleep Bag fits sizes newborn to about three months.

Before you get started, you’ll need to download the pattern. Before printing the pattern pieces, check your printing options to be sure that you’re printing “actual size” and the “auto portrait/landscape” option is chosen under orientation. There is a 2 ½” box on the pattern. Be sure to measure this box to check that you’ve printed correctly. Each page is marked with a row number and a column number to help with lining up the pages. All pages will overlap 1″ on each side. For picture instructions on assembling Fishsticks Designs PDF patterns, visit here. ½” seam allowance is included.

Fabric + Notions:

  • ¾ yard of main knit fabric (A sturdy cotton interlock works best, but other cotton and cotton blend knits are acceptable, as well.)
  • ¼ yard of trim knit fabric
  • 1 separating zipper at least 18” long

(NOTE: Bonnie used fabulous organic cotton interlock knits supplied by Organic Cotton Plus. You can see their great selection of interlock knits here.)

Knit Tips
A few tips for sewing with knits before you get started:
I do the majority of my knit sewing on my serger, but there’s no reason that you can’t sew knits with your sewing machine. In fact, as you’ll see with this pattern, sometimes you have to use your sewing machine rather than your serger. When you’re sewing knits with your sewing machine, it’s a good idea to choose a stitch with some stretch built into it. Most people use the “stretch stitch” which looks a bit like a lightning bolt. This stitch has a tiny bit of a zig zag to it, but that zig zag is not noticeable from the right side when you use it for seams.

There are also a few handy tools that I like to have on hand when sewing knits. I always use a ball point or stretch or jersey needle when sewing knits. Sharp needles cut through the knit loops on your fabrics and leave the fabric with small holes which grow bigger with time and wear. Ballpoint needles are designed to glide through the loops instead, without causing harm to the fibers.

Using a walking foot will give you much nicer results when sewing knits on your sewing machine. Your machine has “teeth” that guide the bottom of the fabric under the foot while the needle sews. A walking foot has similar teeth that grip the top of the fabric so that top and bottom pass through the machine evenly.

Finally, my little secret weapon when sewing knits is stretchy nylon serger thread (like Woolly Nylon or Maxilock Stretch) in the bobbin. That stretchy thread gives your stitches a little extra stretch. I generally do all my topstitching with a slightly longer than normal standard stitch and nylon serger thread in the bobbin.

Sewing the Sleep Bag
Okay, let’s get started! Cut out your pattern pieces.

Place the front piece that will be to your left when the sleep bag is assembled in front of you with its right side facing up. Place the zipped zipper on the inner edge with the bottom zipper-stop 1” below the neckline. (The zipper will look as if it’s upside down.) If your zipper is long enough, slide the zipper pull all the way down past where the zipper and fabric line up. Pin the zipper on with pin heads facing away from the neckline.

Install the zipper foot on your sewing machine. Position the needle so that it falls about 1/8″ from the edge of the zipper teeth. Sew this side of the zipper, removing pins as you come to them.

Flip the zipper away from the left front piece so that you can see the right side of it. Now, flip the left front piece with the attached zipper over and place it right sides together with the right front piece. Align the remaining raw edge of the zipper with the inner edge of the right front piece. Place the bottom zipper-stop 1” below the neckline and be sure that the bottom edges of the right front and left front are lined up. Pin with pin heads facing the bottom edges of the front pieces.

Sew this side of zipper following the instructions above.

Use your fingers to press the fabric away from both sides of the zipper. Topstitch ¼” from the edge of the fabric on both sides, going all the way up to the neckline.

Slide the zipper pull up towards the neckline so that it is above the bottom edge of the fabric. Trim the excess zipper away, leaving about 1” below the front bottom edge. Trim the teeth from that bottom 1”.

With the right sides facing, pin the bottom front piece to the bottom edge of the two front pieces, as shown. Your zipper will be open at the bottom, so be sure to pin the two sides right up against each other. Sew all the way across. (It’s best not to serge here because you’ll be going across a zipper.) Move your needle up and down manually when you reach the zipper to keep your needle from breaking.

Flip the bottom piece away from the two front pieces and topstitch it ¼” below the seam.

Pin the fronts to the back at the shoulders with right sides facing and sew or serge.

Unzip and separate the zipper. Fold the neckline into the inside ½” and press well. Pin and sew. (Notes: Knits don’t fray, so there’s no need to fold under twice or overcast the edges. Also, it is much easier to get a nice finish here if you sew on the inside. Just note that your bobbin thread will show on the front that way.)

Press well.

Repeat this process to finish the arm openings.

Flip the completed front and back pieces over so the right sides are facing. Pin down both sides and across the bottom. Sew or serge. Tie off your serging or backstitch to lock in your stitches under both arms.

Turn your baby sleep bag right side out, and you’re all done!

This post is sponsored by Organic Cotton Plus, the first fabric retailer in the U.S. to be fully GOTS-certified­ and your source for organic cottons, knits, eco­-dyed fabrics, notions and much more. Look to Organic Cotton Plus for organic fabrics when you sew for Baby!