Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sleep Over Sac

BT and I are in the process of gathering up camping supplies, in particular sleeping bags. So I searched and then one day on Woot they had a deal 2 summer sleeping bags for $20 bucks! This was right up my alley because I’m not going to camp in the winter (no way no how!) and were not exactly the hiking sleeping on the floor type. So I snagged them! They arrive yesterday and were in these perfectly little bags or sac’s.

Well I couldn’t wait to see the sleeping bag so I took it out and inspected. Then it cam back to stuffing them into the tiny little sacs, I officially failed! BT took a shot at it and failed as well (plus the bags aren’t made all that well).

We arrived at the conclusion there was no way we could get them back in and that it was a perfect opportunity for me to be crafty. So here I present the Sleep Over Sac. Big enough for the sleeping bag, PJ’s, Tooth Brush, and some other essentials. I would have loved to have this as a kid perfect for the My Little Pony Sleeping bag I had as a kid. The other advantage of this is that kids can actually get the sleeping bag in the bag cause its oversized!

The directions are pretty simple I finished 2 in about and hour. I’ve made the directions so you can measure your own sleeping bags and make the bag. One thing you may want to be familiar with if you don’t have a Serger is French Seams. If not no worries I will walk you through it!


Fabric (this will depend on the size of your sleeping bags ours were pretty small so half to three quarts of a yard were used.

String/Ribbon and Clip (I reused the string and the clip from the bags we originally got)


Sewing Machine

Scissors, Pinking Shears, and Rotary cutter if you have one


Iron and Ironing Board (this is a MUST!!!)

Safety pin (a small one)

(You could also plan to add ribbon or ric-rac in the process as well. Another option would be to do some hand/Machine embroidery on the bag especially if you have kids)


First things first get out that Ruler and the sleeping bag you plan to make a new bag for. Roll up the sleeping bag as best as you can so you can get the measurements of the cylinder shape.

Here are the measurements you will need

  1. Height + Radius of top of bag (Remember radius is ½ the diameter see geometry does come back to haunt you!)
  2. Diameter of the bottom
  3. Width of the Ribbon/String you will be using (if string just follow my directions)

My Measurements were as follows:

Height + Radius = 13+3 = 16inches Diameter of bottom = 6inches

From this we create the new measurements now this is where you have to get a little inventive on your own:

First increase the Diameter of the bottom by at least 1.5 inches (I increased by 3.5 and found a 9.5 round plate) . Use this to make the circular pattern piece for the bottom (I traced the plate on the fabric I had)

Second you have to calculate the Circumference of the circle which is Pi*Diameter or 3.14*Diameter = 3.14*9.5 = 30 inches (aprox) and then add a seam allowance of half an inch so 30.5inches

Third Add at least 4 inches to the height 13 + 4 = 17inches (you can add more to the height if you want the bag to be deeper to fit more items.

With the Second and Third measurements you will cut one large rectangle measuring 30.5x17 inches (or whatever the measurements you came up with)

Fourth if you are using string or cording that is pretty thin you need to cut a strip of fabric that is 1.5inches x 30 inches. If you are using ribbon take the width and multiply by 2 and add 1 inch (if you have ribbon that is half an inch wide then your strip should be 2 inches wide)

Here is it mapped out on fabric:

Now for the Easy part assembly.

First if you want to add embroidery or some ric-rac this is the time to do it! I would add it only to the large rectangle and the circle

Take the small rectangle and fold the short edges over so they are ½ an inch, iron flat, and sew down.

Next fold the long edge over in ½ and iron flat.

Take the large square and on the long edge fold over ¼ inch and iron.

Pin the raw edge of the small rectangle under the flap on the large rectangle. Make sure you center it (there should be some of the large rectangle on either side)

Sew the flap down. There really is no seam allowance here just try to make it in the middle of the flap. This makes a casing for the cord/ribbon.

From here you are going to enclose the raw edge of the flap on the large rectangle. This is going to sound difficult but its really easy. Iron the casing so its going up.

Next Flip over the fabric so you are looking at the right side of all the fabrics and iron the seam you just made up over the raw edge. This will enclose the raw edge of the flap.

You can either pin this down or hold it down as you sew. When you sew it down you want to sew close to the first seam you made (you can do it on top of the first seam if you like. This will completely enclose all the raw edges on the top of the bag.

(Image 2562, 2564)

Now for the French Seams

Fold your bag in half so the short edges meet up with the wrong sides of the fabric together. Sew a quarter inch seam on the edge of the fabric (you will be sewing on the right side of the fabric). Next take pinking shears to the seam you just made cutting it down a bit. Turn fabric so the wrong side of the fabric is on the outside and the right sides of the fabric are together. Iron the seam and sew down with a quarter inch seam. Turn so the right side is out and notice the seam is enclosed. Easy Peasy right? Well if not take a look at these tutorials: Here and Here

Now you’re ready to attach the circle to the bottom. Turn the tube you just made so the wrong side of the fabric is on the outside. Pin the circle to the edges of the bottom of the tube (where the raw edge is). Use lots and lots of pins!!! It should look like this

(You may need to make some adjustments to the tube if its too big. I just add a new seam that make the tube smaller at the bottom and then angle off to the old seam)

Next sew the circle to the tube using a 3/8 seam. Add a zig zag stitch to finish the edge and using pinking shears to finish edges as well.

You’re almost there now take the safety pin and ribbon and thread through the casing you made add your clip or tie a bow and you’re done.

This project can be modified to make a dirty clothes bag, gift bags, makeup bags, ect the options are limitless!


  1. This is a great tutorial! And these sleep sacks look so much more beautiful than those stupid bags they come in (I'm with you on how irritating it is to try and stuff them back in after you take them out!).

    Thank you for the comment on my blog! I'm sorry your Pfaff store closed. The one where I got my sewing machine (Madison, WI) recently closed as well. I now live a couple hours away (and still 45 minutes from the nearest Pfaff dealer). My mom, who lives in Madison, just drove all the way up here to get her machine serviced. It's too bad there aren't more Pfaff dealers. I've absolutely loved my 2040 sewing machine.

  2. Great tutorial! We need to make a couple of these for our house!! I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

  3. I'm so excited to make this! My husband goes on tour with his band a couples times a month and does have a bag for his sleeping bag anymore. I'm going to applique his name and the band name on it as a surprise in the next few weeks!

  4. You had me until you mentioned "pi" omg!

    Circumference of the circle which is Pi*Diameter or 3.14*Diameter = 3.14*9.5 = 30 inches (aprox) and then add a seam allowance of half an inch so 30.5inches

  5. That is great! I need to make a tent bag because getting those things back into their original packs..IMPOSSIBLE!!!