DIY recycled sweater sleep sack


Fall is in the air and it’s time to start thinking about how to keep our new baby nice and toasty warm once the cold weather settles in.

It has been said that loose bedding in cribs can pose a suffocation hazard in babies less than one year old.   So in my quest to negate this issue I came across some “wearable blankets” such as this one by Baby in a Bag and this one by Halo.  They seemed to be good products with good reviews and reasonable prices (about $30 each from what I can tell).  But naturally, I wanted to see if I could make one myself.

Which lead me to my new obsession with Pinterest, where I found this wearable blanket project by Ashley.  In her blog post, she gives an excellent tutorial on how to make a baby sleep sack made with fleece fabric.

I was all excited about this project but…

I had no fleece and did not like the prospect of driving a half hour (one way) to the nearest fabric store.  Wa wa.

But, lets face it, buying new fabric is not my style anyway, so I started to look around at what I already had.  That’s when I discovered two bags of old clothes set aside for donation.  When I found my old cashmere sweater (originally purchased at a thrift store) in the pile I had a eureka moment.  That’s it!  I’ll use this!

(see how much she likes it!)

When I started this project I planned on using Ashley’s tutorial as-is, and even found a detachable zipper to use from a hoodie that I was also about to donate.


The pink cardigan shown above is what I used as the guide for the neck, armhole, and torso width of my pattern as per Ashley’s suggestion (see Ashley’s original post for further explanation of this point).


Notice that I lined up my neckline with the neckline of the sweater.  I also ended up extending my pattern to include the entire length of the sweater.

However, I quickly decided that I would need to make some adaptions to her project since I had a limited amount of fabric to work with.  Since my sweater was only so wide, I didn’t really have enough of it to make the two separate pieces for the front (because I would need about 1.5 inches more in the width).  You see, in the original design, the sleep sack is supposed to have a zipper running down the entire length of the front.  But, since my sleep sack was made from a stretchy knit sweater, I figured, why not make it a pull-over?

So that’s what I did, I just cut two pieces that were basically the same then sewed them together at the shoulder seams and down the sides.  Remember how I used the bottom of the sweater as the bottom of the sleep sack and the neckline of the sweater as the neckline of the sleep sack?  Well, that meant no fraying in those areas!



The arm holes, on the other hand, were fraying terribly.  So I made a crocheted ribbed edging around them.  Just one row of single crochet worked directly into the sweater and 3 rows of double crochet worked into a “ribbed” pattern.  (first row; sc into sweater all the way around armhole.  Second row; dc in each sc.  Third row; front post dc in first two dc, dc in next two dc, repeat for entire row.  Fourth row, same as row three).


Since I used the original neckline, I could have just left that as-is, but I decided that I wanted to open it up a little more. After I cut the neck hole I added a decorative crochet edge (row 1; sc all the way around neckline into sweater, row 2; picot in first st, sc in next st, repeat all the way around).


I could have left this project alone at this point and basically have a baby-sized sweater night gown, but I wanted to make sure that her legs and feet would stay nice and warm (that was the whole point after all). So I added a zipper along the bottom edge, which gives easy access for midnight diaper changes!




I love how light weight and warm this cashmere sweater is. And oh so soft! As you can tell, Virginia likes it too…


to keep up to date with all things zween please like my facebook page.  And, if you’re a Pinterest junkie like me you can find me there too!

Find this post helpful?  I’d love to hear about it, so leave me a comment below!

Happy crafting!

oh yeah, I couldn’t resist making a “night cap” with one of the left over sleeves. Don’t worry this is just for fun and a photo shoot; she won’t actually be sleeping in it.


This post has been added to the linky party Make it Pretty Monday week 16 over on the dedicated house, Made by you Mondays over on Skip to my Lou, and Make It Wear It Thursday over on The Train to Crazy, so check them out for some linky fun!



Filed under Tutorials

12 responses to “DIY recycled sweater sleep sack

  1. What an amazing idea, Virginia must think so to. Well done

    • Thank you Montana, I hope she does! We’ve yet to try it out overnight since I just finished it yesterday and as luck would have it the weather warmed up right after I made it. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll have lots of chances to use it soon enough…

  2. Janette

    That is an awesome idea, so creative and useful!

  3. Rosa

    So adorable!!! Thanks for sharing………………

  4. Well how cute is that! And Virginia is a cutie pie! Thank you for sharing this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  5. Looks really great! Love the contrast crochet rib on the edges … =D

  6. Lia

    So cute! I love your idea. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Cara

    I am so excited to use the 2 Marino wool sweaters I recently got at good will for this. I played less than $10 for both and the are so soft. I will save the sleeves to make longies. I must say the use of interest while nesting is dangerous! Baby boy is due in May so Ill make it big so it will fit next fall:)

  8. Kata

    hey, i just plan a baby sleep sack for a friend’s baby shower, also from recycled cashmere sweaters, thanks for the inspiration! her baby will be a xmas baby :)))

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