Before Niko, I did not have much use for those-elastic bottomed sleep sacks. I always heard them touted as the most convenient option for babies who still needed to be changed at night. But I preferred footed sleepers - maybe because none of the others required middle-of-the-night diaper changes for very long. Or, and this is more likely, it was because my husband always did the changing.
At five months old, Niko still requires an overnight change after one of his feedings or he will wake up soaked in the morning. And now that I do all the night-time changes all myself, I have found that I have zero patience for wrangling cranky baby legs into footed pajamas at 3 a.m. The elasticated sleep sacks (which I layer underneath a zippered fleece sleeping bag now that it has gotten colder) really are much more convenient in the wee hours of the morning. But we only had two, and both were very nearly outgrown.
Since I already had Growing Up Sew Liberated, I used the sleep sack pattern from the book. I was a little leery of using another pattern from that book after the dramatic failure of the basic pocket pant, but then I remembered that I had previously made the book's envelope tee and sleeping john patterns and they were fine (and in fact, Gabriel is still wearing them, though the tee is nearly cropped on him now).
I made two sacks. The first in a buffalo plaid double-faced cotton knit from Fabric Mart. It is a lovely heavy weight for cool nights. The reverse side is a natural-colored rib knit. I used that side to make a quick wonky star appliqué for the front.
I love the combination of plaid and knit - as far as I'm concerned, its one you don't see often enough! For the neckbands, I used some black ribbing from my stash. I would have preferred a bright color for the ribbing but I only had black, white and brown on hand. (Inder and Rachel both recently blogged about their favorite sources for colorful ribbing and now I am itching to buy a whole rainbow of it to have on hand.)
I made the 6-12 month size for my stalwartly 50th percentile-in-height nearly 5-month-old in hopes that they would last us through winter. After I cut out the plaid sack and basted the shoulders together, I laid it out next to the baby. It seemed quite short - one kick and his feet would stick right out. Ugh, I was annoyed. I should have measured him before cutting, but really, he is of average height for a 5-month-old, so the 6-12 month size should have been plenty long enough!
Grumbling all the way at the whack sizing of the pattern, I cut two more 5" wide strips of fabric to attach to the bottom, matching the plaid ok vertically but not really horizontally, and then made the elastic casing as directed. I didn't hem the sleeves, but just serged the raw edges and turned them up to leave plenty of room for growth.
I made a second out of some lovely medium-weight red cotton/lycra (also from Fabric Mart) that I now wish I had bought more of. It is a great weight for a sleep sack - and I have enough left for a pair of leggings for Natasha.
I used some Laguna jersey in aqua for the neckbands, which I cut narrower for this version. I think the proportions are a little better this way.
He has now worn both sacks to sleep and his feet have remained fully covered! Plus he looks adorable.
I won't be doing this KCW as doggedly as I usually do - I did not manage to get to the machine today - but I hope to turn out one or two more items before the end of the week. My mother-in-law is visiting, so I am optimistic!