Feb 12, 2009
It is true that you use a lot of blankets when you have a baby. And some maybe need more than others. A little blanket can act as a changing surface, a nursing cover, a spit-up cloth, and ....oh yeah, a blanket. Some are fuzzy and perfect for putting under a still-naked baby fresh from the tub. Some are really pretty. And one was even handknit — that one we will save forever.
But we got so many before my daughter was born, we didn't even have room for them all.
Most of them weren't big enough for swaddling, and, hello, you're totally not supposed to put a blanket on a little baby while she's sleeping anyway, for fears of suffocation/SIDS. And now my seven-month-old is far too mobile to stay correctly placed atop a blanket.
For months I tried to figure out what to do with them all. I finally figured they were the perfect size to be made into sleep sacks, the little zip-up wearable blankets that are touted as a SIDS-safe sleeping option. (Maybe it was a late-night Snuggy commercial that gave me the idea?)
I used two small flannel receiving blankets to make the sleep sack my daughter is wearing in the above picture. It was so easy, I made it in one nap time:
• First iron your blanket and lay it out. Measure the blanket and your baby to make sure she will fit!
Cut two 12-inch by 1-inch pieces of fusible interfacing (Picture 1). Use your iron to fuse one piece of interfacing along the outside edge of the WRONG side of the fabric about two inches from the top of the blanket. Do the same to the other side of the blanket, again on the WRONG side of the fabric.
Let cool, then fold over the blanket about an inch along the edge where the interfacing is and iron and pin (Pict. 2).
Straight stitch both sides down, about 3/4 of an inch away from the edge of the blanket. (You will be putting snaps, buttons or a zipper along this edge, so you don't want the seam running through the middle).
• Now lay your blanket down and fold in your interfaced edges so that they overlap about an inch at the center line.
Pin the edges together about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom, where your baby's feet will go. Topstitch together along the outside edge of the top piece. Pin together the edges the rest of the way up. Later you will attach snaps, buttons or a zipper, but for now the pins will help you keep everything in the right place for the next few steps.
Lay your blanket back down and draw a neck hole along the top edge of the blanket. Use a pair of pyjamas that your baby wears as a guide to make sure it's big enough. It's not important that the hole fit exactly right because your baby will be wearing pyjamas underneath anyway.
Now draw arm holes (Pict.3). I used one end of my French curve for this, but again you can just freehand draw it because the baby will be wearing PJs underneath and a loose armhole won't matter.
Turn inside out, and iron under 3/8 of an inch all the way around the neck and arm holes. Iron and pin, then top stitch so your neck and arm holes are nicely finished. It's starting to look like a sleepsack now, right? Pin together the shoulders and sew with 1/2-inch seam allowance (Pict. 4).
OK, so my daughter likes to kick and roll and needs lots of room for her long legs (I do not know from whom she inherited those). So I added some extra space for her with panels cut from yet another flannel blanket (Pict. 5). To do so, I laid the sleep sack out flat, and cut an 11-inch slit in each outside edge. I folded the 2nd blanket and cut 11-inch high triangles for the panel pieces.
Then turn the blanket back inside out, and pin the panels along the edge of the slits you cut. Sew and clip.
You are almost done! With the sleep sack inside out, just sew along the bottom edge of the bag.
Now attach your favourite fasteners -- I prefer snaps -- and you're done.