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Dream bags.

Dream bags

Sweet dreams get a head start with these child-size sleeping bags. They make squaling around a hairpin turn, blasting off for the moon, or gently flitting from flower to flower seem possible almost without closing tired eyes.

Big enough for children up to eight years old, the racing car, rocket, or butterfly can be spread out on a living room floor or taken outside on balmy evenings. (The bags aren't designed for cold or wet nights.) Each has a built-in pillow and a generous surface near the head for spreading out small toys, a book, or a favorite stuffed animal.

Wheels, fins, and wings give each bag a special character, but all start with the same basic shell: a 24-inch-wide, 48-inch-long sleeve with a nylon outer layer, an inner layer of polyester batting, and a cotton liner. An experienced sewer will require about 16 hours to complete a bag.

One body, three choices for sides

For the materials list, we give only the quantity and type of fabric; you can follow our color scheme or choose your own. Cost will depend on which bag you make and the fabric you choose. The basic bag might cost about $35. The car as pictured came to about $47, the butterfly $58, the spaceship $63.

As well as a sewing machine and scissors, you'll need a yardstick, chalk, and butcher paper for patterns.

The basic shell for each bag requires:

2 3/4 yards of 45-inch-wide medium-weight nylon for the outside shell

2 1/4 yards 48-inch-wide polyester batting

2 3/4 yards cotton for liner

Matching thread

The rocket ship has a flame-shaped orange pillow that contrasts with the blue fins. Numbers and striping are made with bias tape, and you can add a flag or ornamental insignia. You'll need:

1 yard cotton for pillow

2 yards cotton for fins

1 package each of 3 colors of single-fold bias tape

2 packages of double-fold bias tape

Thread to match fabric and bias tape

The racing car calls for:

2 yards black cotton for tires

1/2 yard cotton for exhaust pipe

1/3 yard cotton for semicircular pillow top

1/2 yard cotton for axle and number plate

1 package each of two colors of double-fold bias tape

Thread to match fabric and bias tape

The butterfly requires the most fabric because of its big, two-sided wings. We used a striped fabric for the upper wings, a dotted one for the lower sections, but you could use one patterned fabric for the whole area. To duplicate ours, you'll need:

1 yard cotton for pillow

1 yard cotton for lower wing section

4 yards cotton for upper wing section if no one-way design is called for--but 5 1/4 yards if you cut on straight grain

1/2 yard contrasting cotton for antennae

1 package single-fold bias tape

Thread to match fabric and bias tape

Start from the outside and work in

Enlarge the patterns on page 93 onto butcher paper, then transfer to fabric. The idea is to assemble the various elements (side panels, pillows, and body) separately and join them together before adding the bag liner.

Cut two of each piece except for the racer's pillow semicircle, front wheels, and axles--and the butterfly antennae.

Although the racer's tires are unadorned, the rocket and butterfly have other shapes and bias tape appliqued to them. So, before joining the upper sides together, you must add these elements.

The rocket fins can have lettering and stripes made with single-fold bias tape. Add them and any flags or insignia to the top layer of fabric. Stitch the double-fold tape around the fins' outside edges. Leave open the edge of the fin facing the body. The racing car has front tires with axles that extend to the body and rear tires that join it directly. Cut out two axle shapes and fold each in half; stitch a 1/2-inch seam along the side opposite the fold. Turn right side out and press. Fold each front tire piece, right sides together, along fold line in diagram. Stitch a 1/2-inch seam around raw edges, leaving an opening midway along long side; turn right side out and press. Position axle in opening, then stitch around all sides of tire.

Butterfly wings. Each wing has upper and lower sections made of separate pieces of fabric (four for each wing). After cutting out the antennae, press under the raw edges 1/4 inch, then clip curves. Pin each antenna to a top upper section as pictured, then baste and machine-stitch.

Pin and baste each pair of upper and lower wing sections together between A and B, right sides together; clip curve on lower section to make a smooth stitching line, then machine-stitch pieces together. Press seam.

With right sides together, pin and baste each pair of wings together around their outer edges, leaving opening along CAD; machine-stitch, turn right side out, and press. If desired, trim outer edges of lower wing sections with bias tape, as pictured.

Making the pillows

All three bags have pillows attached to the top of the body section. Cut two pillow pieces of fabric and one of batting. Clip curves, fold under a 1/2-inch seam allowance on fabric, and press.

The top piece of the racing car pillow has two parts: an exhaust pipe section overlaid along its base by a semicircle of cotton. After cutting semicircle, clip along arc, turn under 1/2 inch, and press. Cut a same-size piece of batting, position it on the exhaust pipe piece, and cover with the semicircle. Baste and stitch along arc.

On a flat work surface, place bottom pillow piece right side down. Next, lay right and left side panels (rear tires, fins, or wings) so they lap 1 inch over the pillow piece. The side panels should be parallel and about 23 inches apart, with the pillow piece bridging the top. Pin in place.

Place batting over bottom pillow piece and set top pillow piece in place, right side up. Baste all pieces together and topstitch completely around the pillow. Add quilting details on the pillow for car and rocket, or topstitch a piece of bias tape around the arc of the butterfly pillow.

The body comes last

For all designs, cut out two identical body pieces from the nylon, batting, and lining materials. Pin batting to wrong side of each body piece, and stitch along dotted lines (nylon side up) to produce quilting as in the photographs. Trim batting even with body edges. For the racer, add the big number plate; for the rocket, add lines of bias tape.

To join body to the assembled pillow and side sections, hold pillow with base side up. To this edge, pin top edge of bottom body piece with a 3/4-inch seam--right side of body to back side of pillow. Baste and stitch.

Turn over body/pillow section with batting side down and fold one side panel on top of the nylon, with raw edges even. Baste raw edges and repeat for other panel. Lay remaining body piece, nylon side down, on top with raw edges even. Making sure side panels stay inside body shape, pin, baste, and stitch around bag. Then clip corners, trim off excess batting, and turn right side out.

Adding the cotton liner

Allowing a 1/2-inch seam, pin the two lining pieces with right sides together; baste and stitch, leaving top end open. Insert lining in bag and turn raw edges under 1/2 inch; lay lining to top of the pillow edge, baste in place, then machine-stitch. Turn under the raw edge of top body piece, align the folded edges, pin, and topstitch. To keep lining in place, reach inside and tack lining to body along seam lines.

Florence Goguely of Los Altos, California, designed the bags.

Photo: Rocket ship. Letters and striping are bias tape topstitched to top layer of blue cotton fins. Quilted details on pillow repeat its flame shape

Photo: Indy racer. Wide racing tires hold Number 3 to floor in bedtime race. Quilting accents body, defines pillow exhaust pipe

Photo: Bright-winged butterfly. Its broad wings carry teddy and friend to Dreamland. Including wings, bag measures 6 feet wide and long

Photo: Sew quilting details on the nylon body after basting and stitching the batting to the wrong side. Leave presser foot at normal setting

Photo: Grid of 6-inch squares holds patterns for racer, rocket ship, and butterfly. Body shapes are the same, but pillows and side appendages differ. Cut two of each piece except where noted. Dotted lines indicate quilting. Dashed lines show 1-inch seam overlap

Photo: Insert completed side panel over pillow back, beneath batting and pillow top. Stitch together. Add any quilting details to pillow after assembly

Photo: Before stitching long sides of bag together, insert side panel between body pieces with batting faces up. After stitching, turn bag right side out

Photo: Slip the liner inside bag, then fold and pin the raw edges together along top edge and against the pillow on bottom. Machine-stitch to complete
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:sleeping bags
Date:Dec 1, 1986
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