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Wearable Blanket for Baby

 

The weather outside is really chilly here in Colorado. 

 

And the heater has been inching upward. 

And we’re in a basement……so it’s extra cold.

 

The two bigger kiddos keep their blankets on…..but our littlest one (who turned 8 months old yesterday) wiggles and turns and flops all night long.  So, nope, she never keeps her blanket on.

 

I’m sure you have seen those little zippered blankets in the stores.  You know, the ones that the baby can sort of slip into, like a sleeping bag……….but with arm holes. 

 

Well, you know me, I am always trying to save a few bucks and make something myself. 

(okay, let’s be honest……even if I don’t save a few bucks, I still like to figure things out and make things I see in the store.  Yeah, it’s kinda thrilling.  Who’s with me?)  

 

 

 

And since I want to make several of these (so that one can take a turn in the wash), it actually saves me some money by just making them myself.

 

wearable blanket for baby

 

 

It adds a nice layer of warmth over some jammies (yeah, that’s just a long sleeved onesie……but generally I put this on over fleece jammies).

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Since it’s fleece……it’s nice and warm yet soft.   Seriously perfect for babies. 

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You can always find this little girl of mine zipped up in her little blanket for every nap……..and for bed at night. 

And because she’s so warm and comfortable, she wakes up less.  And that is worth all the effort.

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The long zipper down the front and the snap closure at the top, make this blanket easy and secure.

wearable blanket

 

 

And this thing doesn’t keep this girl from finding her favorite little friends.  Her toes.

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Would you like to make your own Wearable Blanket?

 

 

Supplies Needed:

 

  • 1 yard of fleece (the amount will vary, depending on the size you make)
  • 22 inch zipper (the length will vary, depending on the size you make)
  • 1 snap
  • thread, scissors, etc.

 

 

I bought my fleece at Joann Fabric.  With my 40% off coupon (which anyone can get) I think it was about $7 – $8 for the full yard.

 

To get started, decide what size you want to make. 

 

I grabbed a little shirt that was a little wide on my little girl (to give plenty of room for the blanket) to use as a pattern.  You just need the top of the shirt to use for the shape of the blanket.  Make sure that the shirt you pick is a high neck (adjust it if necessary).  Draw the shape of the back of the shirt first…….which will be used for the back of the sleeper.  **Make sure to add on some extra for the seam allowance.

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Then, continue the sides down, angling the sides out slightly as you draw them downward.  And then curve the bottom corners and close the shape at the bottom. I made this piece about 30 inches long for my long 8 month old……but that also gives her a little room to grow.

IMG 4281 

 

 

Now, the best way to be sure that your pattern is symmetrical is to fold the pattern in half lengthwise and make sure both sides match up.  If you need to re-cut a new piece to accomodate, that’s just fine.  Or if you want to only cut half the pattern (lengthwise) and then place it on the fold to cut the whole piece of fabric, that’s just fine too.


 Now, fold that back piece in half (or use it how it is if you only created a half pattern piece for the back) and place it along the straight edge of your paper……but place it about 1/2 of an inch from the edge.  You need some extra fabric here for the zipper.  Now trace around the entire thing, adding on that 1/2 of an inch along the long edge.

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Now, trim down the neck line for this new piece just a bit, allowing more room for the neck in the front.

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Now you have your two pattern pieces.  (Generally I wouldn’t make the back piece on the left a whole piece.  I would just create a half piece and then cut on the fold.  But I wanted to show you what these 2 pieces would look like without confusing the front from the back.  But you choose how you want to do it.)

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And then cut the pieces out with fabric. 

(Make sure and cut them with the stretch of the fleece going left to right, not up and down.  You want the blanket to stretch across the belly, not from head to toe.)  

The back piece is on the left and the two front pieces are on the right.  (Make sure to fold your fabric together with right sides together and then place the “front” pattern piece on top.  Then cut both layers at the same time.  This will assure the right side of the fabric is facing the right way for each piece.)

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Now, grab your two front pieces and place them together with right sides together.  Sew along the long straight edge using a 1/2 inch seam allowance (or whatever length you gave yourself when creating your pattern piece).

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Now, open up the pieces and lay it down with the wrong side facing up.  Place your zipper face down, lining up the top of the zipper with the neck line at the top.

add zipper

 

Sew your zipper in place.  Here’s a view from the front.  (Need help inserting a zipper?  Click here.)

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Now place the back piece of the blanket together with the front blanket piece, with right sides together.  Sew along the shoulder sections and then along the sides and around the bottom.  Now zig-zag or serge the edges to secure them.

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Now turn the blanket right side out.  It’s time to finish off the arm holes and neck opening.

 

Cut some strips of bias-cut fabric that are about 1 1/4 inch wide.  (Need help with bias cut?  Click here

Start with the arm holes and cut your bias cut strips to the length that will measure all the way around the arm hole openings.  Add a little extra for the seam allowance then sew each strip into a circle.

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Then fold the strip together with right side facing outward, and sandwich this strip around the arm hole opening.  Pin in place.

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Then sew it just how it is (and don’t worry about the raw edges because they won’t fray) or you can tuck under that top raw edge and sew right next to the fold.   Either way works but folding the top edge under is a bit more tricky.  Do what’s most comfortable for you.

arm hole

 

Then do the same thing for the neck line.  Un-zip the zipper and start at one end of the neck line and sew all the way around to the other end.  However, you will need to have a little extra room at each end by the top of the zipper to fold under and out of the way.  (And again, I folded under that top edge and sewed it in place but you can leave it how it is.  **And if you don’t fold it under, you don’t need bias cut strips that are quite as wide.  So adjust if necessary.)

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Now, cut two long rectangle pieces that are rounded at one end, to make the snap tab.  Mine were about 2 x 3 inches.  Sew them together with right sides together, sewing all the way around……but leaving the bottom end open.

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Turn right side out and then sew the snap tab right to the blanket, right below the neck line and next to the zipper.

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Then fold the tab over and sew it down in place.

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Then add your snap pieces.  For the snap piece on the actual blanket (opposite the tab) I placed an extra square of fleece on the back side, just for added strength.

(Need help with snaps?  Click here.)

attach snap

 

 

Then turn your sleeper right side out, iron seams flat……..

 

And that’s it.

 

Your Wearable Blanket is all ready to be worn.

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. . . . . . . . . . .
This post is sponsored by:

 

 

Ashley Johnston

Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

Comments

  1. Devonay says:

    Adorable! I love it! I don’t have any babies… sigh… my baby is 17! I would love to make some for gifts though. Your tutorial is awesome! Thanks!

  2. Elisabeth says:

    Just a few days ago I thought about sewing one of these. My DS is too large for store bought sleeping sacks and he is constantly loosing his blanket at night, waking up because he’s freezing. Your tutorial comes just in time! Thank you!
    Elisabeth

  3. Betsy says:

    I love that your little girl is about, oh, 8.5 months older than mine ;) ;) ;)… just enough time for me to actually get my stuff together and make things AHEAD for her! :-P I wanted to share though, that I have one, newborn outfit-y thing that uses the long zipper down the front, except, in order to keep mommy from pinching her chin, or it unzipping (like your snap tab does), the zipper STARTS at the neck, and zips to the feet… so you actually… zip it down. I thought it was pretty nifty and haven’t seen too many like it, but if you’re gonna make more of these, figured I’d pass that along. Seeing as my little one has a few weeks before I can try anything like that out and all :) I’m all about having less steps to a finished project ;)

  4. Penelope says:

    You know… I have been thinking lately that I need to figure out how to make a few of these. My 5 month old is the squirmiest wormiest baby I’ve ever had. She has been popping open the snaps on all her jammas and gets her legs out just from her squirming at night. I’ve always used gowns on my newborns, but they don’t make them the right size for these older/bigger babies. Now I don’t have to spend time on brain work to figure it out, I can follow your directions. Thanks! Now if I can find the time to do it…. LOL

  5. noelle says:

    I made two of these for my little guy when he was 18 mo. now that he’s 2 1/2 he doesn’t get to wear them anymore:( Was just looking for some cute girly ones for my 2 month old and came up empty. Thanks for the great tutorial. I will head to Joann’s asap:)

  6. Chrissy says:

    SOOOO CUTE!!!

  7. Natalie says:

    It’s like you’re reading my mind : ) I was just thinking I need to make some of these for my little Leah. Back here in Georgia it’s just now getting chilly and I can whip up a few of these before it gets really cold.
    Thank you-

  8. Paula says:

    The blanket and tutorial are so cute but that baby is adorable. I’d love to have one of these in my size LOL

  9. Lisa Mongiovi says:

    THis is sooo cute! Thanks for sharing!
    I love your blog!

  10. Cyndel Jones says:

    I’ve been planning on making this for my boy! Thank you for figuring it out for me…I would have struggled getting up the confidence to figure it out on my own…though I know I could have once I started!

  11. Barbara says:

    This is seriously cute. You forgot to add under the supplies: one grandchild. Where can I get one of those? My kids don’t seem to know. LOL

  12. Dorothee-Maria says:

    I find it quite interesting, that this kind of “wearable blanket” is so unusual over there, in the USA. Here in Germany it is very common, and nearly every baby sleeps in such a sleeping sac…! :] Our daughter doesn’t, because she doesn’t like it… Unfortunately she doesn’t even like any kind of blanket on her, while she is sleeping (or falling asleep)… She does not move such a lot, but she would always immediately recognize the touch of a blanket, as soon as you will try to cover her with it… So, while I will not try to make this sleeping sac for her, the description “wearable blanket” inspired me! Why not try to make a wearable blanket, which could be hang over her shoulders, but not closed, like your version, but with the bottom left open…? Like a kind of dress, but much more wider and comfortable, made of flannel (or so)…. However: Thank you very much for sharing this tutorial! :)

  13. Priscilla from California says:

    Adorable…and the blanket is pretty cute, too!

  14. Emily says:

    Love the little tab. I should probably make one for my little girl who won’t keep her blankets on and cries at night b/c she’s cold.

  15. Kristyn says:

    I swear you are a total mind reader! I was just thinking up how to make one of these for my little guy. Thanks for saving me the trouble!

  16. Studio Julie Snow says:

    Love it so much – so easy and so darn cute!

  17. Kari says:

    Love this! All three of my kids have/are using these…my two oldest until they were well over two :). It definitely helps keep them in their cribs…I’ve yet to have a baby try a crib escape! One thing I would recommend, though, is to put the zipper in upside down. It makes it harder for them to undo :). And when they figure that out, put it on backwards! :).

  18. Sarah says:

    Love this! Our house gets cold and I would love to make one with sleeves… any chance you want to post a pattern with sleeves as well?
    Thanks for all the great tutorials!

  19. jan says:

    awesome tutorial! I have been making these for my kids too, but they are not nearly so pretty. our toddler has one with foot holes so she can stick her feet out to walk if she needs.

    I found a secondary advantage of sleep sacks: they also help prevent climbing out out the crib! My daughter couldn’t get her leg up high with the sleep sack on… perfect deterrent. i even resorted to scooping the back out and and putting it on backwards so she couldn’t undo the zipper. hehehe.. mean mommy, aren’t I?

  20. Vicky says:

    I really enjoy your blog, but seriously, right now I love you! These last couple of nights my boy has been kicking his covers off (as usual) and because it’s cold, he’s been up about 5 or 6 times – seriously draining! You must be psychic, this is just the tutorial I need :) Guess what I’m doing this weekend? Thank you!

  21. Robin says:

    I love this idea it will make a fabulous baby gift!

  22. Nicole says:

    Gosh. The blanket is nearly as cute as the baby. NEARLY! :) & yep, it’s quite cold in CO. 58 tomorrow, though!

  23. Anonymous says:

    YOU ARE AMAZING.

  24. Wendy says:

    You come up with the most wonderful ideas. A fleece sleep sack~ how great :) I wonder if my toddlers would sleep in it so I wouldn’t have to cover them up 3 times a nite… Ugh! This would be a super present too. Thank you! :)

  25. Jen says:

    WOW thanks for this! I was soooooooo close to buying a sleep sack at the store today for my little guy. Glad I saw this, I have some fleece here at home that is just right.

  26. Tif says:

    I wonder if my 5 year old would sleep in one of these! I swear she wakes up at least 3 times a night in the winter because she can’t keep herself under her blankets!

  27. Lisa L says:

    I have always wanted to make one of these but you made this tut so simple it takes all my hesitancy away!
    These are SO expensive to buy! And up here in Saskatchewan it gets mighty cold in the wintertime so fleece is a MUST! Thank you so much!

  28. Danette says:

    This was meant to be! i went out to buy a sleep sac yesterday and was shocked at the price they were selling them at! I thought there has to be a tutorial out there somewhere to make one! thanks!

  29. Jamie Harrison says:

    Thank you for this tutorial! My 10 month old will not sleep without her sleep sack on and she’s almost too long for it! I need to make her one that she’ll fit in for a little longer.

  30. Lisa says:

    oh love. :-) the picture of her sitting up in it is to die for!!! I’m booking this one…

  31. melany says:

    awesome tutorial! we’re having baby #2 in a few months and i remember baby#1 would constantly roll out of her blankets. this is perfect and so easy! what a great baby shower gift, too. great job ashley!

  32. Laurel says:

    I love following your blog because we have little girls about the same age! My baby is about 2 weeks older than yours and you keep coming out with all of the things that I need right when I need them! It is just getting cold here (AZ) and I was just thinking this week that I should look into those zipper blankets!!

  33. Deanna says:

    I have been making these for my girlie since she was 3mos old. We still use one and she is not 18mos. I would suggest making it from cotton though, as it is a more breathable fabric and you don’t want your baby to overheat. For winter, I always made them one layer of cotton and one layer of flannel – still very breathable, but also warm. I used to sell these too! So, if anyone is looking to buy one, I do make them to sell :)

    1. Diane says:

      Totally agree! I’m not a fan of hot, sweaty polyester fleece either. In fact, a large men’s cotton terry sweatshirt or hoodie with a zipper already in place might work as a re-purpose. Ashley, are those wheels spinning?? :) :)

    2. marcia says:

      I would love for you to email me some pictures and pricing on your sleep blankets! Thank you Deanna!

    3. Deanna says:

      Hi Marcia, I need your email please Marica, or check my blog and email me from there : )

  34. Liz says:

    What a cutie! Great tute! Thanks!

  35. Sarah H says:

    I am hoping to make some of these as gifts now!!! YAY!!

    1. Sharon says:

      Great idea!!!

  36. Kara says:

    This great! My little man needs these… now is the problem of actually sewing them …. How long did it take you?

    1. Ashley says:

      Hmmmm, after I made the pattern, maybe 45 minutes??

  37. Laura says:

    this is amazing!!! You are super talented! We’re here in Colorado too and my almost 4 month old could def use one of these.. i need to get a sewing machine first though. haha :)

  38. Jenessa says:

    Another variation is to put the zipper upside down so if you need to change a diaper in the middle of the night you don’t have to totally undress and then you also don’t need the zipper cover at the top. Thanks for the great tutorial!!!

    1. jami o says:

      totally agree. I made one that way just b/c of that reason :)

    2. Ashley says:

      Yeah, I considered that but I didn’t have a zipper with a starter at the bottom. It needs to fully open at the neck so you can get baby in there. But next time I would buy a zipper with a starter at the bottom (no clue what that’s really called) or one that has two zipper pulls and can open from the top and bottom. Definitely a great idea! Thanks!!!

      Ashley

      P.S. In case someone else doesn’t have a better zipper on hand, if you leave the snap closed and just unzip, you can pull their legs out without taking their whole body out. Then diaper changes are still possible.

    3. Autumn says:

      They’re called “separating” zippers. I made a few of these earlier this year out of jersey knit (for warmer months) and love ’em. I use fleece or minky in the winter and jersey knit in the summer (with A.C.) and my 18-month-old is still as happy as a clam. :-)

      A benefit to using them for older babies is that the kiddos can’t crawl out of a crib when they’re wearing them! Since they can’t swing a leg over the railing, I don’t have to worry quite so much about escapees.

      I also angle the bottom of the blanket more triangularly, but that’s just preference based on how my little guy sleeps.

    4. Chole says:

      Yeah! My 2 year old wears one for that reason! Those climbers, they keep you on your toes

    5. Michelle says:

      Yep that is the reason my 26 month old still sleeps in hers at night and for nap time :) Also cuz it is chilly and she doesn’t keep her blanket on!

  39. katie says:

    This is a great idea! I’ve had these in newborn size but never really thought to use them for when they’re a bit older. My daughter is nine months and I think it would still be nice for her. We live in Northern CO. I didn’t realize you were a Coloradan yourself, fun :).

  40. Nancy L. says:

    The blanket is adorable, but the little one wearing it is even more so. :-) Thanks for the tutorial!

  41. MARIA says:

    I would’ve done the same if I knew how to sew when my baby was younger. You have such great talent!

  42. Natalija says:

    This is on my to-do list for a my 5 month old girl. I have some pink fleece laid out for it and I even picked the zipper. Only I had planned to fully line mine with a knit (like I saw in some online stores), but I don’t have a suitable knit. So, I might just do it like you did without the lining. Should really get it done in the next few days.

  43. Lynette says:

    I never knew these existed! But that is the best idea ever. I’m pinning it for next year because our first kiddo will be here and just might need one of these. Oh and that fabric is absolutely adorable! I love it.

  44. Brook D. says:

    You could also add a slit to the front and back where the car seat buckle goes to make it car seat ready!

  45. Katie says:

    How wonderful! We had a couple of these when my daughter was born (now she’s 2), but we got rid of almost all of our baby stuff when we moved. Next time we have a baby I’ll just whip some up! :)

  46. Tammy @ Godly Homemakers says:

    Thank you! My little one just turned 8 months on the 1st and he does ok with his blanket, but I’m always concerned he’s not warm enough. We’re in Colorado too! Now I just need to purchase a sewing machine… any suggestions on a good one? I’m not a beginner to sewing I just don’t have a machine of my own.

    1. Ashley says:

      check my FAQ section here: https://makeit-loveit.com/faqs

      I talk a little more about machines over there.

      And HI!!!! We’re neighbors!!

      Ashley

    2. Carol says:

      We have all different prices of machines at AllBrands.com. Some of the Brother machines have a nice rebate right now.
      https://www.allbrands.com/

  47. Dianna W says:

    Ok, I know I ought to comment on the tutorial (which looks awesome) but that sweet little toothless baby grin is my favorite part! She looks so happy to be in her snuggly little blanket! Just seeing that little pose on her belly made me smile :) So now I’ll have to go back and actually pay attention to the tutorial!

  48. Leigh Ann says:

    I love those blanket sleepers!

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