Baby Blankets…Let’s Sew Some!

Ok, I know this isn’t an alteration, but I just have to tell you about these blankets that I make for every baby shower that I go to!

They are so simple and fast, you can whip up two or three in an hour.

I first got the idea when my mother-in-law showed up after the birth of our first daughter, 24 years ago, with this:

Aren’t the ducks cute?

We all thought I was having a boy, hence the blue and yellow.

I absolutely loved the blanket and knew that I had to make some for everyone I knew and then some.

But, see how she went to all the trouble of turning down the edge of the blanket?

I figured out a much easier way to make them.

I can’t tell you how many people still come up to me today and tell me how wonderful the blankets were and how their kids dragged them around until they fell apart.

That’s a sign of a good gift.

I know what you’re thinking…you’re thinking you can just go out and buy some just like these, right?

Wrong!

These are way better.

Everything is better: the thickness, weight, pliability, durability and softness.

You couldn’t ask for more.

So, let’s take a closer look at the process and some tips along the way.

I wait until there’s a really great sale on flannel and I buy a bunch of it.

I select some fabric suitable for boys, and some for girls.

I buy 2 1/2 yards for each blanket.

It’s usually 45″ wide, so I figure 1 1/4 yards (or 45″) for each side of the blanket, because I like them to be a square shape.

Don’t worry if your measurements are not a perfect square.

Go with what you have.

A square shape makes them easier to fold and these dimensions are a  perfect size for baby.

First, prewash and dry your fabric because flannel is usually made of 100% cotton and it almost always shrinks some.

Next, take that 2 1/2 yard piece and cut it in half across the width:

Then, open up the 2 pieces of fabric and lay them right sides together like this:

Smooth out the fabric.

Trim where it doesn’t line up well.

Stick  at least a few pins in on every side of the fabric.

You may want to put more pins in than that, but I figure you need a few so that when you lift it up off the ground or table, it doesn’t shift on you.

Always put those pins in perpendicular to the edge, that way they’ll be easier to remove as you sew along.

(Most of you already know that, but I do have several readers who are just starting to sew.)

Don’t start at a corner, start sewing on some area along a side:

It doesn’t matter what amount of seam allowance you use, but I would suggest at least 3/8″ or larger.

Sew around the edges, pivoting at the corners, and leave about 8 inches open:

Trim the corners so that you’ll have less bulk in that area when you turn the blanket right side out.

Press the seam allowances back at the opening:

Do both sides of the opening:

I do this because it will be easier than pressing it in a later step.

Take an item you have around the house, like this small screwdriver….

and stick it inside the blanket and use it to pop out the corners of the blanket:

Turn the blanket right side out and press the edges nicely so that one side doesn’t stick out more than the other:

Next, topstitch around the edges of the blanket.

Whatever seam allowance you used, make sure your topstitching is done using a narrower seam allowance so that when you go over the 8″ opening, the machine stitching will close it in and you won’t have to hand stitch anywhere.

Again, begin topstitching in the middle of a side, not at a corner because it looks nicer to not have the tail threads at a corner.

When you get to a corner, be sure and stop before you get to it.

If you are topstitching a half inch from the edge, then stop a half inch from the upcoming edge.

Keep the needle down in the fabric:

Lift the presser foot and turn the fabric 90 degrees toward the next side you want to topstitch.

Put the presser foot down and continue sewing.

When you’re all finished, your corners will look great:

That’s it! That’s all there is to it!

Whip up several this afternoon and keep some on hand:

You’ll make baby and Mama so happy.

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