doll fabric sleeping bag Tutorials

Exposed lace zipper sleeping bag tutorial

tutorial to sew a sleeping bag for 18" dolls

*I was given fabric to participate in the Safari Party blog hop. All opinions and projects are my own.

Whenever I make a project, I always hope that it will do two things- show off the fabrics I love, and be something useful, practical or fun. When I saw this Safari Party fabric from Melissa Mortenson for Riley Blake I knew immediately what I wanted to create with it- this fun cozy sleeping bag for my daughters and their 18″ dolls.  The hardest part was figuring out how to get it come together. I wanted it to have the feel of a real sleeping bag, with a zipper, but I also didn’t want to have to use a separating zipper. I came up with a fun compromise- using these darling lace zippers I have loved forever, but never had a project to use them on, until now!

I love that the lace zippers add a bit of fun to an already darling project thanks to such cute fabrics! Read on for the tutorial:

Exposed lace zipper sleeping bag:

2- 21″X10″ rectangles for back (sleeping bag back, and lining)
2- 16″X10″ rectangles for front. (I wanted a patchwork look for the fronts on mine, so I pieced different fabrics together, feel free to use a solid piece of fabric)
1- 21″X 10″ and 1- 16″X9 1/2″ rectangles of fusible fleece
1- 12″ lace zipper


Sew the front 16″ rectangle to the 21″ rectangle you want for the back of the sleeping bag. Line them up at the bottom of the 21″ rectangle with right sides together and with the front (shorter) piece on top, sew on the RIGHT SIDE. Press the front of the sleeping bag to the side.

Sew the lining 16″ rectangle to the 21″ rectangle that will be the lining back (you will see this fabric when the sleeping bag is zipped closed). Line them up right sides together and with the shorter piece on top sew the LEFT SIDE. Press the front to the side.
*Sorry for the lack of pictures on the next steps!
Fuse the fleece to the two pieces of the lining that are already sewn together. Place the outside and lining pieces on top of each other right sides together and sew around using a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 2-3″ opening on the bottom for turning. Clip all corners and clip a “V” out of the corner where the short side meets the long side. Turn right side out and press. Add a few lines of quilting if desired.

Attach the zipper:

Line the zipper up with the top of the sleeping bag front. Make sure you leave a scant 1/4″ from the zipper teeth to the fabric to make it easier to slide the pull. Fold under the zipper ends to create a 45 degree angle and hide the raw edges of the zipper. Stitch the zipper in place. I ran two lines of stitching, one 1/4″ away from the zipper teeth and one on the scalloped edge of the zipper to hold it down.

To attach the second side of the zipper you will need to fold the sleeping bag so the sides line up. Make sure the bottom corners are level and zip up the zipper so it lines up. Carefully pin the zipper to the back of the sleeping bag, again making sure to leave a scant 1/4″ from the teeth to the fabric so it will pull open easily.  It takes a bit of patience for this part, so just go slowly and make sure everything is lined up. When you are done, fold under the zipper ends again and sew down the same as you did the front. You will need to unzip the zipper to get it all sewn down and it will involve some serious manipulation of the sleeping bag to make sure everything stays in place, but it can be done and you will make it!! 🙂

You can finish the bottom in one of two ways. On the blue sleeping bag, I turned it inside out and used my machine to edge stitch from the bottom of the zipper, around the corner to the center fold. It makes it a bit narrower at the bottom, but it was fast and easy. On the pink sleeping bag I used a needle and thread and ladder stitched it closed, a much more precise, but time consuming option. Either way you choose, make sure to close the hole in the bottom you left for turning.
The final step is to give it to your doll owner of choice and see them squeal in delight!

Have fun sewing and let me know if you have any questions!

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  • Private Loan
    October 27, 2017 at 10:46 pm

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  • Jill Chapman
    August 4, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    What a very clever idea. This would be perfect for my Grand-daughters who love playing with their Barbie dolls. Do you have a pattern for the tent as well?