Sewing Saturday is a new feature I’m adding to the musings and random ramblings ‘from me’. I’m planning on making it a monthly feature, and will try to get a graphic designed before the next one is posted.
This month I want to share with you one of the easiest sewing projects you can make. It is a good place to start with a young child wanting to learn to sew with the machine.
A baby blanket is a fun project, as it can be used as a gift to bless someone else. Therefore you can make MANY of them, and never be run over by them in your own home. If you have a serger this project is even simpler, but a regular machine is great and easy too.
You will need nice (not too flimsy) 100% cotton flannel fabric. You can make your blanket 30″ sq. (for a newborn) or 36″ sq or 45″ sq. We prefer the little bigger sizes as they make a nice favorite “blankey” that the child can use longer. Since this fabric will shrink, you need to buy more than your final size. I like to get 2 1/4 yd. for a 36″ sq. or 2 3/4 yards for the 45″ if I want the front and back to be the same (1 7/8 yd for 30″).
I really prefer to do coordinating patterns, different design on front and back, but the designs go together. For that, get 1 1/8 yd each of 2 different fabrics for the 36″, or 1 3/8 yd each of 2 different fabrics for the 45″ (1 yd each for 30″).
Pre-shrink (wash and dry) the fabric (and iron if needed.)
Cut 2 squares the size you want your blanket to be. (The finished blanket actually will be a little smaller, if you’re using a regular sewing machine, as I’m not adding seam allowance to these.) Be sure to cut along the grain, you want a perfect 90° corner so your blanket will be truly square and not cockeyed. I like to use a rotary cutter and mat for cutting pieces like this. (Using the full width of the fabric and making your square to match that measurement is the easiest way.)
You can leave your corners square if you like, or you can round them. I prefer rounded, especially with a serger, but with a beginner and regular sewing machine you may just want to leave them square. To round the corners, put the 2 pieces of fabric directly on top of each other, right sides together if stitching by regular sewing machine, wrong sides together if using a serger. Place a plate in the corner with the edge of the plate exactly on the edges of the blanket. With a marking pen draw around the edge of the plate, then cut on your line, to round the corners.
If using a serger, pick a “pretty” thread – I usually like to use a variegated, “wooly” thread in the needles. Just stitch the sides together, sewing right on the edge (not cutting any off,) rounding the corners, and overlapping your stitching a bit when you get clear around. After cutting your threads, pull the ends to tighten and “seal” the stitching. You’re done!
If using a regular machine, use a 1/2″ seam allowance and start stitching slightly past the middle of one of the sides, sew to the corner and turn, (or round each corner if you’ve cut them this way) clear around until you get back to your first side, but NOT all the way around. Leave an opening about 8″ or so. Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of your sewing.
Turn blanket right side out and press edges, so the seam is nice and flat, tucking in the seam allowance of the opening. Hand stitch the opening closed. Top stitch, with a pretty coordinating color thread, completely around the blanket, 1/4″ in from the edge. Now You’re Done!
My dd has enjoyed making these as baby gifts for her older sisters’ babies. They are such a nice, soft and pretty and useful gift. You can make matching washies (for bath or wiping bottoms) or hankies (don’t use kleenex on a little nose, these are much softer) or burp clothes (if the mom uses them) out of properly sized pieces of fabric, by either just serging edges, or making a small hem all around. I prefer double sided for all but the hankies. To do this follow the exact same instructions as the blanket, using a glass or smaller round for the corners.
Sew much fun!
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