I’m hand making all of my Christmas gifts this year and my nephew asked for nothing but logos… that posed a problem! When I told him I was making gifts for everyone he replied “You can sew something that reminds you of my personality!”
That didn’t help much.
I have to be honest, I gift idea stole from my mom. She had bought my nieces sleeping bags to use on my dad’s new boat this summer and was searching for one to give to Brendan as well. She couldn’t find one she liked so i stole her gift idea and decided to make him a lego one!
It came out well and I am really proud of it, but the big sewing lesson I learned from this project was to NEVER SEW A SLEEPING BAG.
Here is the finished product.
I made the pillow first which was, in retrospect, great practice in fabric lego design. It’s big, overstuffed, fleecy and fluffy but if I were to make it again (which I may) I’d make those lego pegs a bit smaller! It’s not uncomfortable to lay on but I think it’d both look better and sleep better with shorter pegs…a lesson I used on the sleeping bag. The pegs on the bag raise only about an inch from the bag.
The pillow is red fleece as is the lining of the sleeping bag. The outside of the bag is made with blue rip-stop and it is stuffed with 5 layers total of 1 inch thick batting. Two layers on top, three on bottom. There is a blue zipper that runs half way down one side of the bag. I couldnt find a zipper for the traditional full length and around the bottom edge but he’s just a kid and even I can get in and out without opening the zipper anyway.
The pegs were made by sewing cylinders and then hand sewing the cylinders to the top layer of rip-stop before assembling the bag. The pegs on the bag are stuffed with two layers of the batting used in the bag.
The toughest part had to be sewing the lines along the body of the bag to keep the batting from bunching or shifting. Our machine is clearly not equiped to deal with that many layers or anything of that size! I sat on the floor with the sewing machine wrestling this bag all day through the arm of the machine and broke 5 machine needles. I tried sewing it by hand but it looked terrible from the inside. There was a minor bit of bunching on the back of the bag but I was able to flatten it out by snipping the lump out of the batting and you wouldnt really notice.
If you’d like to undertake this project, I have no pattern and I’ve already recommended you don’t do it…but it’s easy to figure without a pattern if you think you can handle the back ache.
Just figure in a comfortable length and width for your child. Double the width to accomodate the top and bottom of the bag. As I mentioned. The pegs were made by sewing cylinders. I cut my circles by tracing a plate. Sew the cylinders to the top layer of rip stop and then sew the lining fleece to the rip stop with the outsides in. Leave enough space to fit in the cut layers of batting. I figured this space by installing the zipper on either end, and then leaving the space below the zippers open. Turn the bag right side out and stuff in the batting. It was easier to install the front layers of the batting from one end, and the bottom layers from the other end rather than pushing them all in from one side.
This is the tough part! You need to sew lines across the width of the bag to keep your batting from shifting or bunching. You can sew by hand if you’re neater than me, or if you have access to a more industrial machine then you should be fine. For me, I rolled the bag tightly from one end to fit under the arm of the machine. I put the machine on the floor and sat behind it to pull the fabric through the machine. It wasn’t easy and I broke my back but good luck. If you have any ideas on how to make that easier let me know and I’ll share it!
The last bit is to fold the bag with the rip stop together. Sew from the end of the zipper and around the bottom of the bag to seal it shut. Turn it in side out and if you’re lucky…a big lego bag!
If he doesn’t want it I know plenty of adults who would, but I do hope he likes it.