Baby Sleep Sack from Quilt

This was one of the first quilts I attempted to make. It contains a mixture of new cloth (some bought in thrift stores) and cloth from worn out clothing. I had been making it for a young cousin, but it contained so many flaws that in the end I could not bring myself to give it. I stopped working on it just shy of finished  and packed it away in a box where it has sat forgotten for the last  seven or eight years. I pulled it out over Thanksgiving and decided I should either bind it or get rid of it. The flaws that bothered me before bother me even more now, but I hate to waste something potentially useful so I decided to make a baby sleep sack.

Here are directions if you would like to make a sleep sack of your own. If you find any of the instructions unclear, feel free to contact me for clarification.

Get a sleep sack  and fold it in half. Trace onto freezer paper. You could use a shirt and freehand draw the sack part but I wasn’t sure how large to make the sack part. Add seam allowance to the shoulder the side edge and the bottom. I added 1/4″ out of habit. I would suggest at least 1/2″ due to the thickness of the quilt. This is the back piece. The edge going down the center will be placed on the fold when cutting the quilt fabric.

Now for the front pieces. Use a new piece of freezer paper. Trace the shoulder and arm hole. Make a mark where the front neckline falls. Remove the sleep sack from the paper and draw a slightly curved line from that mark up to the shoulder.  Put this paper on top of the back pattern piece and trace the sack line. Add a seam allowance to the center line this time.

Place your back pattern piece on the fold of  the quilt you are repurposing. Iron it down so it won’t slide while you cut. Pin it to keep the folded layers together. Cut it out. Repeat for the front piece, but this time place it a little bit off the edge of the fold and cut all the way around. You will now have 3 pieces.

This jacket was fairly new, but the sleeve had an unfortunate encounter with adhesive that couldn’t be remedied. Originally I was going to use the zipper, but I’ve never done a zipper before and feel a bit intimidated. I found this strip of snaps around the collar to use instead.

I cut it out,  put it alongside the middle edge of one of the front pieces and marked the point to which to sew the seam from the bottom up the front.

Sew the center seam to that point. Here is where I wished I had larger seam allowances. I wanted to sew the seam open on each side and continue sewing the fabric folded over all the way to the top. This wasn’t possible so I trapped the raw edge under a strand of ribbon on each side of the front of the sleep sack and stitched down both sides of the ribbon.


On the front side attach one side of the snap strip. One edge was already finished so I turned it over and sewed the cut edge down. I also folded down and sewed the raw edges of the top and bottom of the strip.


The black snap strip looks rather ugly on this pink and purple sleeper so I wanted to cover the top snap strip with matching fabric. I took some cloth from one of the side borders of the quilt.  Trim the top and the bottom of the snap strip so that they line up perfectly with the other side. Put the snap strip and fabric right sides together and stitch up one edge. Fold the fabric around the back side of the snap strip. Fold over the fabric on the top and bottom of the snap strip and pin. Sew all the way around all 4 edges of the snap strip using a zipper foot to ease by the snaps.


Fold over the remaining raw edge twice and press. Snap the snap strips together. Sew down the long edge of the snap strip flap to attach it to the front to the sleep sack.

Pin the front and back pieces of the sleep sack right sides together at the shoulders. The photo shows pins all the way around, but I ended up having to remove pins from the sides to be able to work on the shoulders.

After sewing the shoulders cover the seam on the inside with a strip of knit material. I sewed on a piece cut from an old sweatshirt then trimmed off the excess.


Now pin the sides and bottom and sew all the way around from the bottom of one arm hole to the bottom of the other. Use a walking foot as there are many layers of fabric and batting here. I found I needed to go slow, remove pins before the walking foot reached them, and tug the material gently to release any little tucks beginning to form.

Turn it right side out. Almost done!

Now cut a strip of knit material to bind the edges around the sleep sack’s arm and neck openings. A 1″ width strip cut from the bottom of a large t-shirt worked well for me. It was just long enough to bind all three openings with the one strip. I sewed it around the arm opening and then cut the excess instead of measuring lengths. Lay it alongside the edge of the sleep sack arm opening and stitch it down with 1/4″ seam allowance. Once you cut off the excess length fold in the end. Turn the sleep sack inside out. Fold the fabric in through the arm opening, fold the edge under and pin all the way around. Sew it down on the inside. Follow the same process for the neck opening.


Here is the finished binding.

While sewing up this sleep sack I found a couple small tears in the quilt. I cut out two heart shapes from the white t-shirt and sewed a patch with embroidery floss to cover each hole.


Finally, the finished sleep sack from a repurposed quilt!

Yay! I’ve been featured!

Confessions of a Stay At Home

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  1. Tiffany said,

    November 27, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    This is great. Maybe I will make one for my niece.

  2. Jamie said,

    November 28, 2011 at 5:10 am

    OMG!!! This looks so warm and cozy. Love, love, love the little heart you added. I love your blog.
    Would love to see you DIY Home Sweet home.

    P.S. I have a linky every Monday. Would love for you to stop by and link up.

  3. ReStitch Me said,

    November 28, 2011 at 5:25 am

    The heart patches are a perfect touch! The sleep sack turned out wonderfully!

  4. Dawn said,

    November 28, 2011 at 5:38 am

    SO adorable! I love the hand-sewn hearts on it too. I’m due in March so I’m going to have to make one of these for sure. Thanks for sharing!!

    • November 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      Congrats on your soon to come baby! My son was a March baby too, he’s now almost 2! It’s amazing how fast it goes!

  5. lisa said,

    November 28, 2011 at 7:50 am

    What a cute idea! Now it has a unique story behind it. Love those sleep sacks for babies!

  6. Jen said,

    November 28, 2011 at 10:12 am

    What a fabulous idea! I love that you used the snaps from an old jacket, and the quilt you made years ago. Thank you for linking up to the Head to Head Showdown! ~Jen @

  7. Jill said,

    November 28, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    This sleep sack is just adorable! What a lovely quilt too – you always notice flaws most in your own work. How wonderful that you found a way to use all your hard work – and that pretty fabric too! Great upcycle!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  8. November 29, 2011 at 8:33 am

    This is truely the prettiest sleep sack I have ever seen. It looks so warm! Wishing I had one for myself. We all notice the flaws, cause we know they are there. I love to sew, and your work shows you do too. Thanks for sharing over at Sunday’s Best, keep the creative ideas coming.

  9. Erika said,

    November 29, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Oh,my what a wonderful way to repurpose. The sleep sack is beautiful.

    Thanks for linking up. Did you see how the others reminisced about corn from the corn pudding feature?

    It’s a Wrap Link Party at Artful Rising

    • November 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      Hi Erika,

      Yes I did see the comments! Thank you very much! And thanks also for your kind comments about the sleep sack. See you next week!


  10. Roslyn said,

    November 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Such a great idea, it looks fantastic and the hearts finish it perfectly. Thanks for the lovely tutorial!

  11. November 30, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Very cute I need to make one for my two year old son. He just loves his, but it is getting a bit small. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Kelley said,

    December 2, 2011 at 5:05 am

    Karen – You are so talented! This is awesome! I love the little hearts. Ps.. I featured you this week 🙂 Check it out!

  13. Melanie said,

    December 2, 2011 at 11:21 am

    This really is a wonderful idea. Thanks so much for linking up to Things I’ve Done Thursday!!

    Sew Rugged @ bear rabbit bear

  14. Macy said,

    December 2, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Thanks for linking this up to my Tuesday Confessional Link Party. You’ve been featured! Don’t forget to stop by and grab a button.

  15. December 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    […] week I used an old quilt to make a Baby Sleep Sack. After completing that project I still had a lot of quilt left […]

  16. December 5, 2013 at 10:15 am

    […] DIY Project and Photo credit to  […]

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