Doll Sleeping Bag–Kid Sew



Grandchildren Robert, 5, and Laurel, 7, spent Friday night and all day Saturday with us.  As usual, it was a busy time with both children requesting a sewing project with me and shop time with their grandfather.

Bob finished a shop project with Robert, but Laurel is training for a children’s triathalon and asked him to “train” with her.  In Florida’s scorching July heat, they jogged and biked and twice went swimming with Robert.  Bob is a real trooper, but time (and energy)  ran out before he and Laurel made it into the shop.

I managed to do some machine embroidery with the little guy which I will post later.  The major sewing project was Laurel’s, this doll sleeping bag.

Once again, at our house, Laurel’s American Girls doll Kit was forced to spend the night in the nursery crib because the little doll cradle at the foot of Laurel’s bed is too short for the 18″ dolls.   Laurel lamented  the doll bedding shortage everywhere.  At her home, she has the sweet AG doll bed decked out with bedding I made for her first doll, Molly .  But now that Kit has joined the family, “She has to sleep on the floor, Nana!”  Outrageous!

Last month, at our cabin, Kit again had to sleep on the floor, just as she had at a recent sleepover.  So Laurel thought this would be a very useful accessory for her new doll.




We decided to make Kit a sleeping bag.  Laurel selected yellow polar fleece, the monogram embroidery design,  Lulu Frame Alphabet  from Planet Applique, the fabrics and all the threads. She loves threading my Brother Duetta (or watching its motorized self threading mechanism),  sewing on it up and probably could have handled my Babylock Evolve.   But she likes a slower speed so I did the 3-thread narrow serging.  The upper looper was threaded with variegated jeans thread and both the lower looper and needle were threaded with red.


This is the cover to one of my treasured antique sewing books, “Easy Steps in Sewing for Big and Little Girls or Mary Frances Among the Thimble People, ” 1913.


The pattern we made up is a simple and ideal  project for any little girl.  The edges of the fleece do not require finishing and the embroidery, of course, is optional.

Sewing with little ones is such fun and so rewarding.  If they only remember that you spent time with them, sharing your love of sewing and your love for them, the time is well spent.

Nonetheless, we always hope they will carry their new skills into adulthood.  Today, I had a joyful reminder that sometimes they do.  One delightful little girl who was enrolled in my sewing, smocking, doll making and quilting classes almost 25 years ago, now a new bride,  discussed her renewed interest in sewing on her  blog, A Cozy Litttle  Blog.   That just made my day and nurtured my hope that Laurel, too, will sew as an adult.

So here’s how we made Kit’s sleeping bag.  I hope you will sew one up with a little girl.


  • polar fleece 42″ x 16″
  • small amount (approx. 2 handsful) of polyfil
  • optional:  serger thread and embroidery design


  • Cut fleece into two pieces, one 26″ x 12″ and the other 16″ x 12″.
  • optional:  Embroider 16″ x 12″ piece keeping in mind  that short sides are the top and bottom of the bag
  • optional: Serge all four sides of each piece
  • Fold top of 26″ piece down 4″, rendering a piece 22″ x 12″ for pillow.
  • Straight stitch pillow in place, through both layers of fleece, down one 4″ side and across the 12″ side.    TIP:  Pin Stitch ‘N Ditch stabilizer under stitching line to prevent stretching.
  • Stuff opening with polyfil.
  • Stitch opening closed.
  • Place 16″ x 12″ fleece on top of larger piece. matching three sides and end without the pillow.
  • Straight stitch down 16″ side, across 12″  bottom, and up 10″ on third side.  This leaves a 6″ flap to ease sliding in the doll.
  • Remove stabilizer.



6 responses to “Doll Sleeping Bag–Kid Sew

  1. I love the variegated thread! That really ups the kid-appeal! (As if making doll accessories wasn’t appealing already!)

  2. Laurel did love that variegated thread. I suggested that she choose either a soft pastel palette to coordinate with the soft yellow fleece or bright fabrics and threads—you see what she chose.
    There sits that sweet yellow rosebud print, the 30’s bubblegum pink/yellow Aunt Gracie’s print, and all those other soothing fabrics I would have chosen. Of course, if I NEEDED a doll sleeping bag, I could have chosen those. But the little consumer made her own choices– those with the kid appeal of which you speak. Oh well…..

  3. How do you find the time to do all that you do? When our are grands come over it seems like pandemonium breaks out despite my best intentions.I guess though what I have accomplished is that when any of the 6 grands come over they all do cook the meal. Marissa does have a pillowcase business. Take care and thanks for the inspiration. Our girls love the American GIrl sore too. Gladys was over the moon when they opened one in Colorado.

  4. Who says there isn’t pandemonium when they are here????? It helps (a little) that they are so close in age because their interests are similar. But they surely aren’t cooking for us yet!!!! I’ll have to put that on my list of things to teach them. Marissa has a business? Good grief, that means she probably is not 4 anymore. And it means that she sews—hurrah! Of course, June Mellinger’s granddaughters almost have to sew, don’t they!

  5. peggy kenney

    I love the sleeping bag. If you do not have a serger(I am a newbie to sewing) how can I do this? my granddaughter has a Barby and American Girl doll. Would love to make a sleeping bag. Thanks for any help

  6. You don’t need a serger, Peggy. Polar fleece does not ravel so you can leave raw edges exposed. Just cut two pieces of fleece to the sizes listed in the post and straight stitch it together. If you like, you could zig zag over the edges with contrasting thread for color, even variegated “jeans” thread as I used. You could add ribbons or buttons on top of your stitching for color, or applique’ a design in place of the machine embroidery. The polar fleece is stretchy, so you might want to slip some stabilizer or even a piece of tissue paper between the fleece and the feed dogs. Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy sewing! Your granddaughter will love it!

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