Friday, December 14, 2012

Free Baby Blanket Tutorial/What I've Been Sewing

Handmade baby blanket, bibs and burp cloths
The Great-grand-baby's 1st birthday is coming up,
so I decided to make her a few cute, but useful gift items.
The weather is turning cold here in Texas,
and when I saw this cute fleece at the fabric store,
my mind went to baby blanket.
I bought 1 ½ yards of it, plus some quilting cotton for a ruffle.
The bibs were made out of fat quarters.
The thought was,
the blanket could be used length-wise in the crib as a normal blanket,
or, used width-wise to put over the baby seat/carrier.
It was quite easy to make, and,
if you would like to make your own, here are the specs.
Keep in mind....
It is near impossible to get a decent photo in this house,
the fleece fabric is a pink, brown, blue, yellow and white paisley/floral print, and the quilting cotton is a brown background with pink flowers.
I did my best!
1 ½ yards - 45 wide lightweight fleece/main body
1 ½ yards - 45 wide quilting cotton/ruffle
thread, scissors, cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler, sewing machine, ETC.
1. Using the cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler, square up/trim the raw edges of the fleece.
Trim off the printing on the selvages.
2. Cut 5 - 8" strips of the quilting cotton, selvage to selvage.
Trim off the printing on the selvages.
You will have about 14" of the quilting cotton left over, set aside.
3. Using a small plate as a template, trace a curve in each of the four corners of the fleece. Cut on traced lines.
4. On the fleece, cut down the length-wise fold line so you have 2 pieces. Using a ¼" seam, with a normal stitch length, stay stitch each piece separately, around the edges. Set aside.
Rounding corners/cut strips
5. With a ¼"  seam, using a normal stitch length, with right sides together, sew 2 of your quilting cotton strips together ( on the 8" side). Continue adding the strips until you have them all attached to each other. You will have a long circle.
Joining strips
6. Press the seams to one side. Now, fold your joined strips, wrong sides together, making the width 4". Press.
7. Using the longest stitch length, baste ¼" from the raw edge.
(This will be your gathering threads to form the ruffle).
Since this is such a long piece, I chose to break up the gathering threads into 5 sections, starting and stopping between the seamed pieces..
Just be sure to leave yourself enough tail ends.
8. Lay out your ruffle piece around one of the fleece pieces and start gathering.
Make sure you leave extra fabric at the corners so it lays right, I
didn't leave enough, and the ruffle wants to curve inward and not lay flat! Lesson learned...
Basting the soon to be ruffle/fitting to the blanket front
9. Once you have the ruffle gathered, with right sides together,
start pinning the raw edges of the fleece and ruffle together. (The finished side of the ruffle will be facing the inside/center of the fleece). Use lots of pins!!!!
10. Once you have the ruffle pinned in place, take it to your sewing machine and sew ¼" from the raw edge, using a normal stitch length. Take out the pins as you go, you don't want to run over them.
11. Now lay the other piece of fleece on top of the ruffled piece, right sides together, with the ruffle to the inside, and pin in place.
12. At your sewing machine, in a ½" seam, using a normal stitch length, stitch the front and back pieces together, leaving 3" or so un-sewn on one long edge for turning. Again.... Take out the pins as you go.
13. Trim the raw edges, except where you left it open for turning. I like to leave that section alone as it leaves you more fabric for turning under later. 
Give the blanket a few stiff shakes to get rid of any stray threads and turn right side out.
Fitting front to back/ turned right side out
14. At your ironing board, turn under that 3" raw edge and press.
Press the whole top, pulling the ruffle away from the fleece to get a good flat edge.
15. At your sewing machine, using a normal stitch length, topstitch, on the fleece, ¼" away from where the fleece and ruffle meet. This will close the 3" opening and give you a crisp, clean edge.
Clip away any stray threads, give it few stiff shakes and you're done!
16. Use that leftover, 14" piece of quilting cotton to make a bib or two, or to run down the center of some diapers to make burp cloths.
Well there you have it, easy birthday present for baby.
If your in a colder climate you might think about adding some quilt batting also.
I hope this tutorial is helpful and if you have any questions/directions weren't clear, let me know, I'll be glad to help. 
Till next time, happy sewing.

1 comment:

Amber Mann said...

What a lucky baby girl! This stuff is all adorable.