Sleeping Bag Pack How to

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I love this sleeping bag that turns inot a backpack! It's a free sewing pattern and there is a video to make it easy!.This Sleeping Bag Pack How to comes with a free pdf pattern.  You can make a back pack that turn into a sleeping bag!  Perfect for trips to grandma’s, sleep overs, day camp and more!  The sleeping bag pack comes with extra pockets to hold pj’s, books, and treats.

This pattern is very involved so please read through all the directions a couple of times before beginning.

The current pattern the finished size is 32 inches wide by 50 inches tall.  This will fit a toddler to a 5 year old comfortably.

The back pack section has room the hold a larger size.  I will be adding an “expansion kit” to make the sleeping bag section larger- be sure to sign up for the newsletter to know when that is added.

You will have left over scraps with this pattern that can be made to make pants, hats, and scarves – make your child a whole coordinated outfit.

Please note that you will be sewing through very thick layers.  This project requires a sturdy machine – it will not work with feather weights.


For this project you will need the following:

The Free .pdf pattern printed up and assembled (you can download the pattern by clicking the pattern envelope below)

1 1/2 yards Jersey Knit

1 2/3 fleece (color 1)

1 1/2 fleece (color 2)

3 inches sew on velcro

1 1/2 quilt batting or crib quilt size package



Marking pen

Button (optional)

You will also need a large cutting surface – like an empty counter top or tile floor.

Sewing Essentials (pins, scissors, etc.)

Sewing Machine

Download the free pattern here, tutorial below.

You can get a free copy of Adobe reader here. By downloading  you are agreeing to pattern terms of use. Click the picture of the pattern envelope to download the .pdf !

Video Tutorial Here, Written Below:

Sleeping Bag Pack How to

Step 1 – Assemble and Cut Out the Pattern

This pattern is very large.  Assembly will take some time.   It’s important that you take your time to assemble the pattern nicely for a good result.   You can find a video and written instructions on how to assemble a pattern here.  Be sure to use enough tape to make the pattern sturdy.

You will need to cut the following:

From Fleece Color 2 cut:

1 Child sleeping bag pack base

2 Child sleeping bag pack shoulder straps

1 of the outside pocket

1 pocket holder (note: I used a contrasting scrap in the example)

From the batting cut:

1 of the bag pack base

From the Jersey Knit cut:

1 of the bag pack base

Then you will cut down the base to the blanket line

From Fleece Color 1 cut:

1 of the blanket

1 of the top hatch

1 of the main compartment

Again you will have plenty of large scraps to make other projects out of.

Step 2 – Begin to make prep pieces to the bag pack

We’ll be leaving several raw edges on the bag pack.  To keep the pieces fron stretching and getting mishapen, run a zig sag stitch (or other deorative stitch) along the edges of the top hatch, the top of the pocket holder and the outside pocket, the top of te main compartment and the blanket.

Step 3 – Begin to make the outside pocket

Place the outside pocket right side to the wrong side of the pocket holder.  sew around threee sides (leaving the curved side open) using a .5 inch seam allowance. Troim corners. Turn right side out.  Optional – using a marking pen mark down the middle of the outside pocket and topstich down the front tof the pocket to make two small pockets.

Step 3 – Add the Velcro

Sew on a three inch segment of Velcro onto the right side of the pocket holder.  Sew the other half onto the wrong side of the top hatch (see picture)  If you want a button on the top hatch sew it onto the right side at this time.

Step 4 – Make the Straps

Place the two strap pieces wrong sides together.  Pin.  Sew each side using a .5 seam allowance.  Using a safety pin turn long tube right side out.  Flatten out as best you can, then top stitch down the middle of the strap.  Set aside.

Step 5 – Attach the Pocket to the Main Compartment

Place the pocket onto the right side of the main compartment (this will be the body of the bag pack)  The Pocket is places just below the curve and should end before the angled slits in the bottom.  pin.  Top stitch .25 from the edge of the pocket around three sides (leaving the top open) to attach the pocket to the compartment.


Step 6 – Make the Main Compartment 3d

Taking the bottom inside pieces (see image) place them right sides together and using a 1  1/2 seam allowance (approx) .  You may just want to draw a line on the fabric and follow that.  Sew another seam .25 inches inside that one for extra enforcement.

Step 7 – Prep the back pack for mounting

To give the back pack part (main compartment) more shape we are reinforcing the sides.  Fold excess tab in half and sew down the middle of the fold using a straight stitch.

Step 8 – place straps on to the fleece base (fleece color 2)

 Using the pocket holder as a guide, place is on the right side of the fleece base (color2).  Center it.  Taking the long strap piece fold it in half, place the middle at the top center of the pocket holder.  Bring the straps to each corner and pin.

Using a straight stitch sew on the ends and center of the straps.

Note:  The straps are long if you leave them the length they are it will work for an older child 10 -12, but for a younger child you will want to cut off 3.5 inches from each side.

Step 9 – Add the top hatch

Now it’s time to add the top hatch section.  Again using the pocket holder as a guide, place the hatch as shown in the picture.  Note that right side is facing down. Hatch will sit on the folded section of the straps.   Pin well.  With wrong side of hatch fabric facing up sew on .25 inches from the edge, and then sew again .25 inches from the seam you just sewed for extra reinforcement.


Step 10 – Add the main compartment to the Base

Now It’s time to add the back pack body (main compartment) to the base.

Pin the straps and the hatch so they are out of the way.

Please note:   We are making the back pack section inside out on purpose.  Remember quillows?  This pattern operates on the same principle.  But instead of making a simple picket we’re making a back pack to hold the sleeping bag in.

Using the pocket holder as a guide, lay the main compartment down onto the base.  The top should be at the hatch the bottom that we sewed closed should be placed on the edge of the base.  It should be puffy (it’s 3d now) and lay perfectly flat.  Pin well and sew on using a .25 seam allowance from the edge along the sides and bottom.  Then sew again using a .25 inch  allowance from the seam you just made.  Test out your sleeping bag pack.  Fold up the base blanket into thirds width wise, then into thirds again(making sure the sleeping bag pack is on top, flip it right side out, stuff the base into the main compartment.  It should look like a back pack and the hat should attach to the front.  It’s very important to make sure that this is functioning properly before proceeding.

Step 11 – Begin to build the sleeping bag section

Unfold the bag pack, lay out the base so the main compartment is facing you.

Time to make a sleeping bag sandwich.   Pin the main compartment so the bottom is out of the way and the hatch is tucked into the compartment.

Next place the blanket ( fleece color 1) on the base.  Right side facing down.  Pin the bottom and the side ( the side that doesn’t have a curved corner) to the base, then pin the top and the side with the curved corner back out of the way so it doesn’t get stuck in the seam allowance.

Next place the Jersey knit base on top of the blanket and the base, right side facing down.

Then Place the batting on top of the jersey knit.   Pin around the edges well.  Leave a 6 – 10 inch gap  on the side where the blanket meets the base for turning.

Step 12 – Sew the Sandwich together.

I cannot stress this enough.  Take your time!  You are dealing with a lot of layers.  Make sure that base layer stays flat.  Using a .5 inch seam allowance sew all the way around the sleeping bag, leaving a 6- 10 inch gap open.

Snip little slits into corner ( taking care not to cut through seam).  Turn right side out.

Step 13 – Hand sew the gap closed

Since we left the gap where the blanket is we can hide our stitches.  Taking a needs and thread stitch shut the  gap, sewing between the blanket the jersey base.

Step 14 – Finishing up

I know.  It looks amazing, you can wait to get your little one in it.  Just a couple more steps to make it extra durable.  If desired top stitch around the base ( .25 – .5 )  This will give extra reinforcement for the batting layer and gives the edges a nice look.  Again slow because it’s a lot of layers.

Once that is completed we will need to add some stabilizing stitches to the base.  Lay the sleeping bar pack out flat  Using the quilting guide (turned so it’s a diamond shape). pin at each corner, then either by hand or machine, tack down bag at pins so batting won’t tear.  Be care ful not to sew through the pack pack section  – do that by hand.  You’re finished!

Angel Hickman Peterson

Angel Hickman Peterson

Creator, Editor and Author at Fleece Fun
Angel has a bachelor’s degree in Film Studies from the University of Utah, with a professional background is in film, television, radio and ad production. Angel currently divides her time between her small production company Angel Dawn Productions, her online sewing and crafting blog, her two little girls, baby boy, husband and on very good days also manages to get the dishes done.
Angel Hickman Peterson
Angel Hickman Peterson

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  1. I love your instructions but i can’t open up the file for the layout of the patterns.

    • Be sure you are clicking on the Pattern Envelope that is labeled and has the picture of the bag pack. Sometimes emptying your internet cache can help. Make sure you have the most current version of adobe pdf. Chrome can sometimes have issues – try another browser like explorer or Mozilla. If it still gives you issues, contact me and we’ll figure it out!

    • It depends on how tall your teen is. You will most likely need to use two (or three) printouts of the expander kit to make it work. However if you expand it anymore than that it won’t fit in the back pack.

  2. I mean by how big the backpack should be.What do you mean by “two (or three) printouts of the expander kit to make it work. “?

    • The expander kit only makes the sleeping bag longer – it doesn’t adjust the back pack. The back pack stays the same size (it was designed with extra room in case the sleeping bag were enlarged.)

  3. oh..I was wondering if you could do an adult version of the backpack….I showed this to many friends and they liked it but it was too hard to adjust to adult size.

  4. Great pattern and tutorial. My 2 year olds preschool is requiring sleeping mats like this with the blanket attached. I was wondering if it is possible to add a small pillow to the top of the sleeping?

    • Hi Shonnon!
      The backpack is attached at the head of the sleeping bag and acts like a pillow. You could stuff the back pack a little more to make it more pillow like, but I think it works great as is. Good luck with your project!

  5. Hello I get an error for your video and written instructions on how to assemble a pattern it says its not found. Is there another spot where I can go to see how to put the pattern together? Thanks

    • Hi Andrea!
      My guess is that you’re looking on a mobile device and sometimes my website doesn’t play nice (working on that). All my videos are on YouTube as well as the website – so check out my YouTube channel . Other than that my only other suggestion is to try a different browser.
      Hope that helps!

  6. Hello Angel, I am working on the strap section and it states to put the straps together wrong sides but I only seen to cut 1 strap from the pattern piece. Did i miss one? A little confused on the strap part

    • hi Amanda!
      Because there are raw edges the pattern works best with fleece for comfort and function. I suppose you can try using jersey knit for all of it – but I don’t think it will work as well as the fleece.
      – Angel

  7. Hi
    I am looking forward to making this for my girls. I had a question about expanding it. To just expand once it looks like I would just need to add an extra foot of fabric it that right? also what would be the finished length of the pack and sleeping bag then? Thanks

    • Hi Helena!
      It adds about 7 inches to the length, so might want to expand it twice. The length of the sleeping bag is 50 inches (a little bit more than 4 feet).
      – Angel

        • Hi Elais,
          I have to honest – I’ve never tried 3 rows. So I really don’t know. I am sure 2 rows will – but 3 is a gamble. I’m sorry I know that’s not much help – but it’s an honest answer.
          – Angel

          • Since you said you did’nt know if 3 expanded rows would fit or not i did’nt take any chances and just expanded the pieces for the back pack 3in and it fit great this toutorial was awesome and my son was so excited to show his buddys at cub scouts what he and his dad had made although I was surprised this bag can be for boys too! We have just started one for his little brothers and myself these are great who said boys can’t sew.

            Thanks a bunch,
            Elias, Lukas, Floyd, Flynn, Walt, Griffin, Austyn, Phenoix, Dallas, and Lindsey

            P.S. we can’t wait for more great tutorials

          • Thanks so much for letting me know that it works with three expanded rows! And good for you for teaching your boys a valuable life skill!

  8. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around this, math is really not my thing. Do you know how much additional fabric is needed per expansion? I am having serious issues trying to adjust my yardage! 🙂

  9. Hello, I am thinking of putting this one on my must try, but I was wondering if the batting is optional or not? I will need a lot more practice sewing before I try it, but I think my girls would love these.

  10. Hey Angel…
    I would like to ask you if you could say how much Fleece I would need, but in meters ore centimeters. So how long and wide the fabrics has to be!
    Im from Germany so It could fluctuate…
    I Like alot of youre things and I whant to sew this sleeping bag pack for my brothers and sisters 🙂


    • Hi Aurora,
      For me Thinking from standard to metric takes a little brain power in math which is a weak point for me, but I will try. =) The fleece I use is 60 inches wide or 152.4 centimeters. So you will need jersey knit (t-shirt cloth) cloth at that width and just barely more than a meter long. Fleece color one at the same width and 137.16 centimeters long. Fleece color 2 same width and just barely more than a meter long. Velcro 2.5 centimeters.
      Hope that helps or at least points you in the right direction!

  11. I was just wondering how much extra fabric we would need per expansion pack. And would we need to get more in all of the different prints? Just want to make sure I get enough. It looks like you said each pack adds 7 inches, so if I dont her back (I know how busy life can be), Ill just add an extra foot per expansion pack to be safe! Thanks so much! 🙂

  12. thank you forinstructions I love it , but both pdf file(child size &expander kit) are damaged and could not be opend.

    • Hi Mandana,
      My guess is that you are using either safari or internet explorer as your browser. They do not play nicely with pdf files. Please use firefox or chrome and you will have better luck. I have checked the files and they are fine.

  13. Can I wash this in a washing machine? If so, what setting should I put it on?? It just seems like a large thing to put in the machine, but I need to clean it. Any advice will help!!!!!

  14. made it earlier and it turned out really well!!! thank you sooo much. but could of explained it a bit more like were to sew!


  15. Hi, do I cut the fleece color 1 to the line where it says child sleeping bag pack blanket? Or should it be the same length as the base?

  16. Really wanted to share my pic! I made this and it was so fun and easy and my niece loves it! Can’t wait to make more!

  17. Me and my wonderful granddaughter Emma just made this it was fun but confusing and a little hard. We love to make projects together and this one was the best.

  18. Angel, Is it possible to make the sleeping bag with sheeting and the rest with denim? Thank you.
    I can’t wait to make it.

    • Hi Jaye,
      I would recommend adding one extension on to the back pack. I’ts better that it be a little long ( kids tend to grow quickly) than too short. So I would add one expansion to it. Good luck with your project!

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