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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sew-Along: Polaroid Sleeping Bag

If you follow me on Instagram (@fromblankpages) then you've probably seen a few pictures of the Polaroid Sleeping Bags I am making for my kiddos! I've been planning these since at least last fall when I bought our 6 8 person tent (I can't even remember - it's really big!) for Christmas. :) I absolutely LOVE camping! And I hope I can pass that love onto our children. But our children do not have sleeping bags. So of course, I'm going to make them some myself!

I actually have been wanting to do this for years, but I'm glad I waited so I can make them for all my children at once. A big undertaking, but I'm not going to think about that.

When I shared some pictures on Instagram, I received a good response from people that would also be interested in a pattern. I decided this morning as I was chain piecing some blocks, that I might as well do a little Sew-Along/Tutorial as I went. This might be a bad idea, seeing as how I could have a baby really anytime now. So it might get interrupted and I might not finish in the near future. BUT this would also be good motivation to follow through and finish them. Probably something I'll need so I don't have 250 polaroid blocks sitting around my house for years. ;)

What do you think?! Anyone want to join me? I figure I'll do it tutorial style, breaking the blog posts up into different sections so I can share as I get to each part. But if anyone wants to sew along with me, that would be fun too! I'm going into this with no expectations.... so please don't send me hate email when I stop in the middle of it (because I had a baby) and don't get the rest of the tutorial up for a while. ;) (I am so not a *professional* blogger!) lol.

Here are some pictures of what the tops of the sleeping bags will look like when they are finished. The I-spy blocks will go in the centers, of course (like in the image above). Surrounded by white. And then the rest of each block will be made from 5 different colors of solids. Each bag will be a different color, so they can tell which one is theirs. I'm hoping it will look really good with the different shades of solids.

I am making two girl ones, pink and purple:

And three boy ones, green, blue and aqua/teal:


SIZE: The sleeping bags will finish at 36 inches by 84 inches when zipped closed.

This is rather long, but I will include a pillow pocket on the inside, and so the child will fit IN the sleeping bag, being able to pull the top over their head - something I often do in my sleeping bag on cool/cold nights. This will also make the sleeping bag big enough to grow into for years and years - if it holds up that long! ;)


Top: will be made from 50 oversized Polaroid style blocks. 5 blocks wide by 10 blocks down. There are 3 different blocks to add variety.

(You can find a fab tutorial on how to make smaller Polaroid blocks at CapitolaQuilter, along with links to other tutorials. These were a big hit a few years ago! And of course they still are awesome!) My blocks will be quite a bit bigger so I don't have to make as many. ;)

Inside: I am lining mine with minky, because I think minky is the bees knees when it comes to soft, warm, and comfortable. :)

Bottom: Will be made with home dec weight fabric. I am hoping this will hold up better than anything else, helping the bags to last longer.

Insulation: I will add two layers of batting to the bottom, and at least one layer to the top. I might change this later.


Here is a break down of how I plan to break up the tutorial:
  • Supplies (see the end of this post, and HERE for shops)
  • Making the Polaroid (the inner square with white sashing)
  • Making Blocks A, B, & C (adding the solids)
  • Finish Sleeping Bag Top
  • Prep All the Layers
  • Finish Sleeping Bag
  • Making Pillow Insert
  • Storage Bag

 If you decide to join me, and share pictures on Instagram, please be sure to tag them with #fbpPolaroidSleepingBag - I know, it's long, but it'll be so much fun to see what everyone makes!! Otherwise, be sure to link up pictures at the end of any post! :)

I'll start by adding the supply list here so  you can go ahead and get started and not have to wait. :)

The supply list is for 1 sleeping bag. 
  •  50 I-spy charms. Cut to 4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches.
  • 1 yard White fabric, for Polaroid part. I'll show how to cut in the Making the Polaroid post.
  • 1/2+ yard of 5 different background prints. 2.5 yards total. (I calculated that I will need 21 inches by WOF (width of fabric) for 2 colors, and about 19 1/2 inches for the other 3 colors. But that is with extra fabric left over, so I am pretty sure if it's cut the right way we should easily be able to get all the cuts out of half yard cuts.) I haven't cut out my solids yet, so if you want to wait on this part until I do (which I will in the next day or so) I'll let you know if it's any different.)
  • 4 yards Minky, or lining fabric. This is usually 58 inches wide. You might need more if you are using something that isn't as wide.
  • 2 1/2 yards home dec weight for bottom
  • Fabric for pillow insert (I haven't calculated this part yet. Sorry. I'll update this as soon as I know.) ;)

Other Supplies:
  • Batting
  • Long Zipper/Sleeping Bag Zipper. There are a few stores on Etsy that sell them. Otherwise I'm not sure where to find them. There are a few options here for lengths:
    •  If you want to be able to open the sleeping bag all the way up, you need a zipper that is 120 inches long. 
    • OR you could have it only most of the way down one side, so it stays closed around the bottom. You will need one that is ~80 inches long.
  •  Stuffing for pillow insert
  • Thread, sewing machine, cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter, any other favorite sewing supplies, etc.

If you have any questions please let me know!! :)

Link up your progress below! Or tag them on Instagram with #fbpPolaroidSleepingBag! :)




  1. Adding another one to my list! Thanks for throwing this together!

  2. Do you have a plan for storage? I don't think I'll do Polaroids for the top, but I might get some fun prints to do plain sleeping bags...

  3. Wow! These are going to be super fun sleeping bags! Long is really good. I remember my girls putting so many stuffed animals in their sleeping bags which ended up down at their feet and shoved them up out of being fully covered. lol

  4. OH gosh, this looks like one to follow even if I can't sew along right at the moment.
    I did check WAWAK as they tend to have things most online quilting stores don't carry such as the extra long zipper. I did find a listing on their site for multiple colors of zippers for sleeping bags here http://www.wawak.com/products/category.cfm/cid/731/-10-Molded-Plastic-Sleeping-Bag-/ Hopefully that will help some. They have really good prices on many things if you have never ordered from them before. They ship really quickly as well.

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