It's hot here right now. Which poses a problem when putting Ali to bed. The easiest thing would be for him to sleep in a nappy and t-shirt, and that's what he did for most of last summer. But now he's used to sleeping in a sleepsack, and it's a key part of the Bedtime Routine, and I don't dare mess with the Bedtime Routine. If I put him in the cot without a sleepsack he thinks it's play time and charges around hurling his rabbit out and demanding stories. Plus, he's learned how to undo the velcro tabs on his nappy, so the whole thing just has potential for diaster.
So a summer weight sleepsack was in order. His current sleep sack, which is made from Burda 9640 like all the others, is lined and has a zipper. It's just two layers of cotton but it's quite warm. So I was thinking about how I could make it cooler... maybe out of muslin? Or jersey like this one? And then I hate sewing zippers, so that was a further disincentive to actually make the thing. But last night, as I was stuffing my poor clammy baby into his too-hot sleep sack at bedtime I had a brainwave.
And an hour later I had this:
Probably the easiest thing I ever made. It won't win any beauty contests, but it does the job - it's enough to make Ali feel like he's in a sleep sack, without adding too much extra warmth. And it feels so good to use up one of pile of Mark's old shirts that I've been saving for I don't know what.
- Take one old cotton shirt. I have a tall husband who wears work shirts with extra long tails, so this was long enough for a tall 16 month old.
- Cut off the collar at the base of the stand.
- Button up the shirt and lie it flat. Lie an existing sleep sack on top, with the shoulder seams matching. Use the old sleep sack as a pattern piece to cut out the arm holes, and taper from under the arms to the existing side seams of your shirt.
- Sew from under the lowest button to the hem of your shirt closed.
- Turn the shirt inside out and sew the hem closed. If your shirt has a "tail", with the back hem lower than the front hem, then sew along the front hem and trim off the excess. You can neaten with overlocker / zig zag stitch / pinking shears.
- Sew from under the arm hole to your existing side seam, to make a new side seam and neaten seam.
- Turn shirt / sleep sack back the right way out. Sew bias tape around the neck and arm holes like this.
Finished! Hooray! Put sweaty baby into new, cool sleep sack, so he can sleep better and without protest.
I also checked that the buttons were sewn on securely so Ali couldn't pull any off and eat them. And I appliqued a little felt bird on to make it look a little bit less, well, corporate.