Child Sleeping Bag Tutorial

Sleeping Bag Tutorial by Sew a Little Seam

Need a fun present to go along with the Movie Night or Holiday Night PJs? This sleeping bag and pillowcase are the perfect accessory! They’re fun for sleepovers, camping, or movie night at home.

Sleeping Bag Sewing Tutorial from Sew a Little Seam

I’ve divided the tutorial up to make it easier to follow. You will find the sleeping bag tutorial below. The pillowcase tutorial can be found here. The sleeping bag tutorial gives instructions on adding ties to your bag. Ties are not recommended for young children or children who will be unsupervised during use.

Sleeping Bag Sewing Tutorial from Sew a Little Seam

I made my daughter a sleeping bag using a sweet pink and purple owl woven fabric and a coordinating purple polka dot from JoAnn Fabric.

Sleeping Bag Sewing Tutorial from Sew a Little Seam

Sleeping Bag Sewing Tutorial from Sew a Little Seam

The lining is a super soft fleece and I included a layer of medium loft batting for extra warmth.

Sleeping Bag Sewing Tutorial from Sew a Little Seam

My son’s also has a woven exterior and fleece lining with a layer of batting.

Let’s get started!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2.5 yards main fabric (44″-45″ wide)
  • 1 yard coordinating fabric (44″-45″ wide)
  • 3.5 yards lining fabric (44″-45″ wide) (If you have are using a 60″ wide fabric you can cheat and use less fabric (2.25 yds) if you cut the sides and sew it along the bottom. This will create a seam on the inside bottom of the bag, but if you don’t care what the inside looks like it saves on fabric. This is what I did.)
  • Batting (optional)
  • Sleeping bag zipper (100″ separating)

Fold your main fabric in half with the cut edges together. It should measure 45″ in length and 44-45″ in width.

Cut two 4″ wide strips off the sides. Trim the strips down to 75″ in length. The width of your bag should now be around 36″-37″.

Press the long edges of the strips 1cm (3/8″) to the wrong side. Press the short ends in 1cm as well.

Press the strips in half wrong sides together and edgestitch along the long and short ends. Set aside.

Cut your coordinating fabric in half so you have two 18″ x 44-45″ pieces. With right sides together, sew one of your coordinating fabric pieces to the top of one of your main fabric pieces with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Press your seam down. Repeat for the other two pieces.

Before you sew your pieces together, use them as a pattern to cut two lining pieces the same length and width. Then, with right sides together, sew down one long edge of your sleeping bag with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Press your seam open. Repeat for the lining pieces.

Open up your lining and main fabric and place the lining on top of the main fabric with right sides together. Sew along the top of the sleeping bag with a 1/2″ seam allowance joining the lining and main. Press your seam down.

Press all raw edges 1/2″ toward the wrong side for both the lining and main. If you are using a fleece, your fabric won’t stay in place, so don’t worry about pressing it. You can just fold them under and pin when you are adding the zipper later.

If you are adding batting, cut it 1/2″ narrower than the sleeping bag along the long sides and bottom. Open up your sleeping bag so you are looking at the wrong side of the lining and main fabric.

Place your batting on top of the lining and fold your main fabric back down, sandwiching the batting between the layers. You can choose to add another layer of batting if you would like to make it thicker.

We are now going to quilt the layers together. I chose to use straight lines 12″ apart, but you can quilt however you would like.

For straight lines, first make sure the top, where you’ve sewed the lining and main together is aligned nicely, then pin across the seam where the coordinating fabric and main fabric meet, smoothing the fabric layers as you go. Then measure 12″ down from there and pin across the quilt, repeating every 12″ until you get to the bottom of the quilt.

I use the pins as guidelines when sewing, but you could also use a fabric marker to mark your lines if you would like. Sew through all the layers along the width of your fabric following your guides. Stop 1/2″ before you reach each end, so you don’t sew through the folded edge you pressed earlier. You will need to leave that open to insert the zipper later.

As you get toward the center of your quilt, you’ll have to roll your sleeping bag to make room to sew.

Once you have finished quilting, it’s time to add the zipper. Separate your zipper and place the bottom stopper of one piece of your zipper between the main and lining starting at the bottom center of the bag.  Make sure that the layers of the bag are folded under 1/2″ toward the inside of the bag. If you didn’t press your fleece, just fold it to the inside as you go and pin well.

This is what it will look like from the lining side. Take your time pinning, making sure the lining and main fabric are lining up, so when you sew later you will catch both layers.

Work your zipper in a curve around the corner.

When you reach the top of the bag, you have a couple options to shorten your zipper. You can remove the stopper with pliers, cut your zipper to length and then add the stopper back on. Or you can create a new stopper by hand sewing around the teeth a few times. A last option, is to just tuck the end of the zipper inside of the bag, so when you sew to the top, the teeth are enclosed in the seam and the slide can’t come off.


I added the stopper back on and also pushed the top of the zipper to the inside. When you’ve pinned your zipper all around one side, use your zipper foot and sew about 1/8″ away from the teeth, making sure you are catching all the layers as you go.

Repeat the steps for the other zipper piece on the other side of the bag. On this side add your ties about 8″ in from the corner and 8″ in from the center bottom.

Fold each tie in half and insert the folded edge about 1″between the main layer and zipper. Pin in place. Sew this side of the zipper on and your sleeping bag is done.

If you are also making the pillow case, you can find it here.

If you have questions, you can email me at sewalittleseam@gmail.com. Share your creations on the Sew a Little Seam Facebook group.