Here’s a good project for the long winter months while you may be dreaming of camping: make sleeping bags for your kids! This is a simple project, and a little time spent now will save a lot of money next summer.
Start with an old comforter or soft blanket. If you don’t have one, buy one in a thrift store. Fold the comforter in half and sew across the bottom and partway up the side, either by machine or using the blanket stitch (see illustration). That bag would fit an older child, and even leaves a little room for growing. For a smaller person, cut the folded comforter or blanket to the right length (have the child lie on it) and again sew across the bottom and up the side.
An even easier method for putting the bag together is to fasten the edges of the comforter together with big safety pins, like diaper pins. This “sleeping bag” can be opened up and dried out in case of an accidental nighttime wetting.
If you want to go one step more elegant for your sleeping bag, line the comforter with an old, soft sheet. Just fold sheet and comforter together, and proceed as above.
Finally, for a brand-new sleeping bag, go to a fabric store and buy quilted material (intended for bathrobes) or heavy fleece to measure, and once again fold and sew. You’ll find fleece is a wonderful material to work with; it cuts easily and the edges don’t ravel. For a trip through the Grand Canyon, I made a double sleeping bag by sewing a length of fleece to a single bed sheet, creating a big pocket. On warm nights, we slept on the fleece, under the sheet, but on the one night that was chilly, we reversed the bag, sheet on the bottom and the fleece on top. You can do the same thing with quilted material.