I already had a few sleep sack patterns in my collection, the first sample is made from Kwik Sew pattern 3089 ( sizes NB to 12/18 months) . It has two styles, one with sleeves (a future project) and one without. Sleep sacks for SIDS prevention are sleeveless to allow for air circulation when a child is wearing clothes underneath. Kwik Sew patterns are user friendly, they’re printed on heavier paper, reusable, have few pattern pieces and simple directions to follow. This pattern has 4 pieces front, back, neckband and zipper tab. I used a regular non-separating zipper, most of these I purchase from a recycle store for 25 cents, I’ve found a lot of cotton knit fabric there as well. Most ready to wear sleep sacks are made with separating zippers with the tab placed at the bottom to keep baby from unzipping the sack.
The first step in construction was inserting the zipper which went without a hitch as the zipper is stitched from top to bottom on each front piece. Any excess will be cut off. Next shoulder seams were stitched then on to the neck ribbing. After making a few sacks using the Kwik Sew directions I devised a simpler way to save time on the neck. A 1/2 inch seam allowance was added to their pattern piece and then cut on the fold without the taper. If you need help applying ribbing look here. It’s important that the ribbing not be too loose as it could slip over baby’s head thus defeating the purpose of the sleep sack. Stitch the side and bottom seams next per directions and take the extra step to reinforce the end of your zipper, especially if you’ve cut if off to shorten it. Fold over the armhole seams and stitch no need to edge finish if using a knit or fleece, finally make the tab if using one and add a snap.
I made sizes XS (NB) and S (0/3 months) but as you can see by the photo they fit our 6 month models, however if I were to make a 6 month size, I would just use the next size up as it really needs more length. The neckline on the S is too big for a newborn so would use the XS size for them. Many babies are swaddled for the first month or two so they really wouldn’t need to wear a sleep sack.
After making this pattern a few times I’ve gotten construction time down to a little over an hour. Each sack takes about 1 yard of fabric and any scraps can be used for sleeves etc. on another project. This sample is the typical version you’ll find in ready to wear but at a fraction of the cost when you make it yourself. I’ll be posting another version soon so check back with us. Comments, photos, tips always welcome here at SFK.