Spotlight Project Review: Toy Sleeping Bag

Spotlight Project Review: Toy Sleeping Bag

Hi readers,

I thought I'd kick off my new blog series 'Spotlight Project Reviews' with a Toy Sleeping Bag.  The project can be found here.

The main reason I thought I'd start with a toy sleeping bag is that my kids are currently obsessed with camping, and thus their toys must also camp alongside them and are squeezed into the kid's sleeping bags which just looks incredibly squishy and uncomfortable.  My kids have camped out in their bedrooms all through winter and being in lockdown through the global pandemic, so they are quite astute at setting up their bedroom with camp chairs, sleeping bags and air mattresses, and at 3 and 5 years of age can now do it all themselves!

So let's take a look at the pattern which Spotlight kindly provides for FREE!  I love a freebie, who doesn't :)

The pattern says it's 'Easy' and has listed the following supplies:

  • Printed flannelette
  • Solid colour flannelette
  • Coordinating cotton thread
  • Quilting ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Rotary cutter
  • Pins
  • Sewing needle
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Sewing machine

This seems very comprehensive and I have a stack of flannelette just waiting to be sewn up into something as gorgeous and cute as these sleeping bags look.

I do think from the photos on their downloadable PDF pattern that the sleeping bags look quite small, but I want to follow the instructions and see how it turns out.

 

WEBSITE INSTRUCTIONS

Note: that all seams are 1/4 inch.

Step 1. Cut one 10.5 x 8.5 inch piece and one 7.5 x 8.5 inch piece* from each of your fabrics. 

Step 2. Take the two 7.5 inch pieces, place them right sides together, and sew along one edge. 

Step 3. Unfold along the sewn edge, and press wrong sides together. 

Step 4. Take one of your 10.5 inch pieces (the solid coloured) and lay it right side up on your workspace. 

Step 5. Lay your sewn and pressed piece on top, aligning it with the bottom of the larger piece. (Make sure the patterned fabric, or the one you want to show on the outside is facing up) 

Step 6. Lay your other 10.5 inch piece right side down on the two other pieces, aligning all edges. 

Step 7. Pin all pieces together. 

Step 8. Sew around the edges, leaving a 1.5 inch turning hole. 

Step 9. Turn inside out, and press.

Step 10. Using a ladder stitch, sew up the turning hole.

 

DOWNLOADED PDF INSTRUCTIONS

Hmmmmm these are different to the downloaded instructions which I followed (and only noticed when writing the blog AFTER I'd followed the downloaded instructions):

INSTRUCTIONS

Note that all seams are ¼ inch.

Step 1. Cut one 10.5 x 8.5 inch piece from each of your fabrics.

Step 2. Take the two 8.5 inch pieces, place them right sides together, and sew along one edge.

Step 3. Unfold along the sewn edge, and press.

Step 4. Take one of your 10.5 inch pieces and lay it right side up on your workspace.

Step 5. Lay your sewn and pressed piece on top, aligning it with the bottom of the larger piece.

Step 6. Lay your other 10.5 inch piece right side down on the two other pieces, aligning all edges.

Step 7. Pin all pieces together.

Step 8. Sew around the edges, leaving a 1.5 inch turning hole.

Step 9. Turn inside out, and press.

Step 10. Using a ladder stitch, sew up the turning hole.

 

My Review

It should be noted that the 8.5" = width

Step 1. The website instructions include cutting an additional piece of each fabric at 8.5" x 7.5", which I worked out was missing when following the downloaded instructions.  I worked this out and cut 2 pieces of 8.5" x 8.5" in each fabric (which still worked)

 

Wrong!

 

Correct!

Step 2.  Make sure you sew the 8.5" x 7.5" pieces along the 8.5" width (top) so you end up with one long piece (this will be easier if your fabric is non-directional), don't sew along the 7.5" sides

Step 3. I couldn't work out why I was pressing the seams open, again the instructions differ between what is on the website and what is downloaded, I pressed the seams open even though it didn't make sense, and then ended up folding it over anyway (wrong sides together) which I knew would end up being the front pocket you put the toy in.

Step 4. This was one of the few correct steps in the whole pattern!

Step 5. As I was following the downloaded pattern I had to wing it here, else I'd have just had one big open pressed piece on top of the shorter 10.5" x 8.5" piece, I folded the second piece in half (wrong sides together) so I ended up with three edges along the bottom and the folded (pressed) piece part way up the 10.5" x 8.5" piece.  

 

Wrong!

 

Correct!

Steps 6, 7, & 8. Easy to follow these, I left the turning hole at the top of the pieces so I didn't have to try and line up too many pieces when closing the hole after turning.

Step 9. Before you turn the entire piece inside out, clip your corners (to reduce bulk), then turn and poke your corners out, I used a knitting needle but use whatever corner poker you prefer.

Step 10.  I don't do ladder stitches (maybe I'll learn one day!) so I just sewed a topstich with a no. 4 width stitch right across the top of the sleeping bag to sew the hole closed.

Summary

For my first Spotlight sewing project I must confess I was very frustrated with the missing information in the downloaded PDF instructions and having to work it out myself.  I've done quite a bit of sewing so I could easily work it out but I'm sure there are many who might not be able to, especially if they are new to sewing, and this project is marked as 'Easy', which it should have been.  On review of the website instructions they are much clearer and include more information, just a few critical bits of information are missing which I've called out in my review against each of the steps in red.

Cost = For around $5.50 you could  make 5 of these using 1/4 meter each of 2 different fabrics (112cm wide) @$11/m


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