I decided to start my baby sewing with some simple flannel receiving blankets.
They sell receiving blankets in the store for pretty cheap, but I found that most of them weren't very soft. Plus, I like to buy flannel when it's on sale, so I already had a couple of cute prints on hand.
This is a REALLY easy project, too--perfect for beginners. And you get to use some of those decorative stitches on your machine! (I always want to play around with them, but never have a reason to...)
To make one of these little blankets, you will need:
1 yard of flannel for the front
1 yard of co-ordinating flannel for the back
thread (preferably in a fun, contrasting color)
rotary cutter or scissors
small round bowl or plate
I started by pre-washing my fabric. Some people do it, others don't. You decide. I like to get the shrinkage out of the way.
Next, cut your fabrics into squares. Since your flannel is 44" wide and 36" (1 yard) long, ideally you would end up with 36 x 36" cuts...but oftentimes you'll find they cut your yardage very crooked at the cut counter. And if you pre-washed, you'll have some shrinkage. So once I squared up my fabrics, each of my blankets were more like 32 x 32"--some a little smaller, some a little bigger. (You can really make these whatever size or shape you want. I just read online that 34-36" squares are good for swaddling, so I kind of went that route.)
Okay--so you should have 2 squares of flannel cut to the same size. Make sure they are right-sides together. Take your little bowl or plate and place it in the corner...
Now use your rotary cutter to trace around the bowl and round off the edge. If you don't have a rotary cutter, just trace the curve with a marker and trim it off with your scissors. Repeat for each corner.
Pin your two layers together, then head to your sewing machine and straight stitch all the way around using 1/2" seam allowance, leaving a 5" gap for turning.
Clip all of your curved corners to reduce bulk.
Reach through your 5" gap, turn the fabrics right-side out, and poke out the corners. Use your iron to press the seams nice and flat, making sure the edges of your gap are pressed evenly with the rest of the seam allowance.
Now we'll top stitch around the entire perimeter to close that gap and finish off the blanket. You could just straight stitch...but that's boring! Like I said, how often do you get to use those cute decorative stitches that come with so many sewing machines? Choose a zig zag, scallop, or other fun pattern just to add a little interest. (If you're unsure about what decorative stitches your machine can do, bust out your machine manual!)
And if you are going to go to all the trouble of a decorative stitch, make sure you use a contrasting color of thread so the pattern really pops.
Now you can make a whole slew of cute little reversible blankets for a baby on-the-way. Plus, you could use your flannel scraps to embellish a burp cloth and make a gift set for a baby shower!
** P.S. Don't forget to enter the Ivy Lane Accessories giveaway HERE. **
There will be TWO winners...and the odds are looking good! Ends 7/13/12.
(And the shop owner just added some cute new styles...including chevron!)
Bike print--Fabric.com (Michael Miller)
Gray dots--Fabric.com (Robert Kauffman)