Grace of Fun Little Things, shares her tutorial for making swaddling blankets. For our non-sewers, Grace offers similar blankets for sale in her Etsy Shop.
These blankets are one square yard, flannel on one side, cotton on the other, bias tape around the outside. Each one is different depending on which fabric (or fabrics, let's be serious) I'm loving at the time, but I love them all. I will be honest here. I realize I'm in the business to actually sell the things I make, but when anyone at the farmers market actually picks up one of these blankets, my excitement at the prospect of a sale is tempered a little by my love of the blanket and not wanting to see it go. I am aware that this is totally ridiculous, but it is the truth.
They are prefect for wrapping up a new little baby to keep them warm, putting over them in the stroller on a breezy day, or as my wonderful friend Liz recently posted on FLT's facebook page, lying out on the ground outside or at other people's houses for your baby to lie on and not have to touch the dirty, germy floor.
- 1 yard beautiful flannel fabric of your choosing
- 1 yard beautiful cotton or voile fabric of your choosing
- 2 packages of Dritz double-fold bias tape in a matching or coordinating color or 4 yards bias tape if you are buying it by the yard.
- Matching or coordinating thread
- Sewing machine or needle
Step 1: For those who may be new to this, step 1 is to always wash and dry the fabric. This way any pre-shrinking and machine washing weirdness will happen before you painstakingly measure, cut and sew; making your end product machine washable too! A must for baby items.
Step 2: Put flannel and cotton wrong sides together (so the good side of the pattern, or right sides, are showing on the outside for both of them. A big table helps, but it isn't a necessity. You can always use your bed, or a clean section of the floor.
Step 3: To make it into a perfect square, instead of an imperfect rectangle, all you have to do is take one of the straight edges and fold it into a triangle - like towards one of the side edges. Cut off the long skinny strip on one end and straighten up the other edge if the lady at the fabric store did a less than stellar cutting job on your fabric.
Step 4: Start at any corner and put the bias tape along the edges. When you open the bias tape, if you haven't used it before you will realize how easy this is, even if it seems mysterious. Just put the two layers of flannel and cotton between the two sides of the bias tape, right up to the fold. Pin the tape in place at least 5 places along each edge - more if it will make you feel safe when sewing.
Step 5: You have two options at the corner. The best, and most professional looking option is to fold the bias tape so it overlaps and has a diagonal like right at the corner.
The other option and what you will have to do at the 2nd and 4th corners between the two packages of bias tape, is to cut the bias tape off at the edge of the fabric and start it again going down the other side.
Step 6: Put your pinned blanket next to your sewing machine, take a little break, grab a beverage, maybe check your facebook.
Step 7: Sew straight around all 4 edges. Take out the pins! Cut off the little strings left at the beginning and end (if all went well, these should be on the same corner).
Step 8: You are done! Snuggle with it! Wrap up your baby in it. Text pictures of it to your family and friends so they can reply with things like, "omg!" and "so cute!". Post a picture of your completed blanket to FLT facebook page.