Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sleeping Bag Invitation

Over the weekend we celebrated Christian's 9th birthday with a spend-the-night party. (Christian corrected me anytime I misspoke, reminding me that boys do not have "slumber parties.") Fun sleeping bag invitations let guests know:

We're Rolling Out the Sleeping Bags
And Hope You'll Be Our Guest
To Celebrate Christian's Birthday
With Friends Who Are the Best

You might remember the sweet little bed invitations that were a hit with all the little girls at Mary Ashley's slumber party earlier this year. A sleeping bag invitation is a fun alternative for the boys. Boys can keep the sleeping bags to use as sunglasses cases, while girls can use them for dollhouse slumber parties.

The "prototype" sleeping bag took me more than 2 hours to make, but progress was quicker once I figured out a good system. I made most of the sleeping bags in one evening, but had to refresh my memory the next morning to make the remaining few. I photographed the process to share with you, but also so I won't forget how to make them. Directions follow, in case you want to roll out the sleeping bags for some little ones in your life.

1. For this project you will need quilted fabric, lining fabric, an invisible zipper, a ruler, a rotary cutter and cutting mat (or scissors), straight pins and a sewing machine. Your zipper will determine the measurements for your sleeping bag. I believe I bought 9" zippers, planning to have the zipper span the bottom and side of the sleeping bag. It was simpler to just run the zipper along the side of the bag, so I had to cut off a portion of my zippers. This worked out fine, but if I ever make this style again, I will buy shorter zippers. Determine how big you want the finished sleeping bag to be; double the width, and add 1/2" to the length and width. Cut a square each of the quilted and lining fabrics according to the measurements you have figured.

2. Pin the left side of the zipper (with zipper pull down) to the quilted fabric with long straight pins. The quilted fabric I used did not have a right or wrong side, but you would pin the zipper to the right side of the fabric.

3. Use a zipper foot to stitch the zipper to the left side, and remove the pins.

4. Fold the quilted fabric, pulling the zipper across to pin it to the right side of the fabric.

5. Stitch the zipper.

6. Unzip the zipper, and open the quilted tube.

7. Pin the lining fabric, right-side down, to the zipper.

8. Stitch each side of the lining fabric with the zipper foot.

9. Flip the fabric and zipper right side out to make sure the zipper functions properly. If you hit a snag at this point, redo any stitching as needed before you move on.

10. Turn the fabric right-side in, and pin the quilted and lining fabrics across the top of the sleeping bag. With a standard presser foot, stitch across the top of the sleeping bag with a 1/4" seam allowance. Flip the sleeping bag right sides out at this point, and zip it up halfway. You're almost done!

11.Turn the bag, lining side out, and stitch across the bottom of the zipper a few times. Then flatten the bag, and pin it across the bottom. Stitch across the bottom twice (for strength) with a 1/4" seam allowance. Trim the raw edge with pinking shears, and flip the quilted fabric to the outside.

12. Press the corner of the bag down, and slip in an invitation to the best sleepover ever!

Tomorrow, fun details from Christian's birthday party!

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