Wednesday, July 10, 2013

American Girl Sleeping bag Tutorial

A few weeks ago we got my oldest daughter an American Girl doll. She was so excited!  (And I have to admit that I was a little excited too!) The only problem is that the only accessory we got was a hairbrush, and my daughter has been asking (her "asking" borderlines on demanding/begging) for us to get her a bed. At first she wanted a wheelchair. Or some crutches. I talked her into a bed. 

And of course I then realized what I'd gotten myself into! American Girl dolls and accessories are expensive. Mostly because there are so many, many, many options. Do you want your doll to be a ballerina? Going swimming with her? How about ride horses? Get her a cool outfit? How about six outfits? And one for your daughter too! And what about a pet? Your pet needs a home! And on and on and on..... it's exhausting to think of all the stuff I could buy her for her doll. My wallet (let's be honest here, my husband's wallet) is exhausted just thinking about it!

So what's a crafty mama to do? Make a sleeping bag. Yup, a sleeping bag with a pillow. You could not believe how excited my daughter was this morning. I may have to get her (or craft her) a bed yet. Apparently sleeping bags are just for camping!

Do you want to make your very own American Girl doll sleeping bag?

Let's begin!

Note: American Girl dolls are 18", so this would work for any 18" doll. The general concept will work for any type of doll/toy your child loves. 

18" American Girl doll Sleeping Bag
Materials Needed:

4 pieces of fabric - cut to 12" x 16.5"  I used some cotton fabric that I had lying around, other good choices might be a silky polyester or a cozy flannel, or a combination of fabrics. It's helpful to wash/dry your fabric so that if you end up needing to wash it later, it won't shrink.

2 pieces of batting - cut to 12" x 16.5"
This is the brand of batting I used, but any will do.
1/4" elastic - cut to 9"

Ric Rac or other embellishments (12")

Sewing machine, coordinating thread

Wash and dry your fabrics. Iron if needed. Cut to size: 12" x 16.5"

Place all the fabric / batting together like this to create 2 sets: 
1. Right side
2. Batting
3. Wrong side
Here is half of the sleeping bag. You should have 2 sets of these.
Pin the sides of each set together. 

Sew, using a 1/2" seam allowance, around the edges of each set of fabric.

Take one of the sets of fabric.  You can embellish it! You'll be turning down the top 5" of the set, so dazzle it up.  I just did ric rac over the top seam, but you could do a bunch of different things, maybe even applique the doll's name. Get creative!

Then you'll want to sew it all together.  Take the two sets of fabric and put the embellished side inside the fabric "sandwich".  

Pin the bottoms together.
Fold down the embellished set 5" and pin down. 

Take your 9" of 1/4" elastic and fold in half.
Place 1" of the elastic inside the fabric "sandwich" about 2.5" in from the bottom of one of the long edges. 

Sew all the way around to secure the 2 sets together. You could use a decorative stitch or a regular straight or zig zag stitch.  

Note: I left my edges raw, because I liked the look of it, but you could definitely finish these sides with some coordinating bias tape.

I even made a cute pillow to match!
And you're finished!  I'm pretty sure it took me longer to write this post than it did to make the sleeping bag. :)  It even rolls up! 

Perfect for on the go!

Doesn't she look cozy? :)

I'd love to see what YOU come up with!  

Please share and link back to this post on your own blog. Let me know in the comments how your sleeping bag turned out!  

P.S. I'll have more on the cute little pillow soon!  Happy Crafting!



  1. You're so crafty Patricia. Oh and you're right, the American Girl Doll accessories are very expensive and their's way too many options. Did you take Grace to the actual AG store or did you order it? I wish I knew how to sew and/or had a sewing machine. Awesome job!
    ~G. Howell~

  2. Thanks!! We went to the American Girl store at the Mall of America. It's huge! And completely overwhelming, but so cool. I feel like it's going to be our new "must-do" on return trips to MN.