I’ve been neglecting other parts of this blog I’d like to keep up like parties and design and sewing too. I often finish a shower or party or project and realize I forgot to document it. But such is life! Mom brain gets the best of me.
This project is my go-to for my friends having babies. I like to have something that’s 1) a gift you really need (I can never have enough soft blankies for my kids, especially cute ones!), 2) something that I can put a little love into by making it personal (the absolute best part is picking out fabric for someone that you think matches their taste), and 3) something that is unique and kind of my “thing” for gift giving. I try to make them for all my close friends’ babies. I am by no means a great sewer, but I can sew straight and iron well, and that’s half the battle I believe. I started trying to improve my sewing skills after my first baby was born and I had some more time at home. I struggled through many terrible blankets until I found a design I loved, that was easy, and that was a really useful and comfortable baby blanket. I love these! I have them down to the point I can sew one start to finish in an hour! And I’m sure if you try it out you can do it too!
Directions, one-hour handmade baby blanket:
- 1 yard, fabric of your choice (it really takes about 3/4 yard but the shape is such that it’s just better to get a yard, and have some scraps to make a cute coordinating gift with, or save for a quilt.
- 1 satin blanket binding (you’ll also have a little leftover here, but 1 pack is almost the perfect size!)
- 1 piece minky fabric – 28 x 34 inches, cut (I prefer the white, flat minky without lots of fluff or any patterns. I think it looks better and doesn’t shed as much, but I’ve used thicker minky when I couldn’t find thin minky and it’s worked really well!! I usually get mine on Fabric.com)
- White thread
- Thread to match blanket binding
- And all your sewing supplies (iron, scissors, measuring tape, etc.).
- To start, iron your fabric out until smooth. Lay out your fabric face down on the floor or a table or other wide/flat surface. Lay your minky (face up) over the fabric, being careful to closely align the edges and corners. If you can use the edges that are already cut straight as your guide it will ensure you get a straight blanket.
- Then begin cutting. I do have a rotary cutter but this surface is too big for that so I just use scissors! I’m not the world’s best cutter but I can usually get my blankets pretty even by using the fabric pattern as a guide. For example this floral blanket has tiny dots I could easily cut along. Most have some kind of repeating pattern you can follow for guidance. If not I’ve also made tiny lines with a pencil.
- Once you’re done cutting, smooth out the minky and keep the pieces held tightly together, aligning the corners, as you transfer it to your sewing station. I do this every single time and it keeps me from having to pin anything. I am not a perfectionist but I promise if you can keep everything aligned you don’t need to pin!
- Once you sit down at your sewing machine, you are ready to sew a line down the middle of the blanket, to keep the fabrics from separating when washed. Fold your blanket in half (hamburger style, hehe, if anyone remembers that from elementary school). Put your finger at that center fold and that is where you will begin sewing your first line. I just put it right under my machine’s foot, clamp it down and begin my stitch there. I start with a short backstitch, and then again use the pattern on the fabric as my guide to sew a line straight down the middle of the blanket. I usually use white thread for this but if you have a really dark fabric you can just use whatever is the most discreet color. At the end I again backstitch and then I breath a sigh of relief that the pieces are together now without me having to obsessively clamp them with my hands at the corners to make sure no shifting occurs ;)
- Now, smooth out each side of the blanket and you’re going to do a stitch right around the edge, all the way around. No one will see this because the binding will cover it, and I’ve even made some without this stitch and just attached the binding right on, but I think it makes the blanket more sturdy and long lasting.
- Once that rough outline stitch is done you’re ready to attach your binding. Get out your satin blanket binding and warm up your iron. They are usually pretty creased. Run a quick but hot iron over the binding to get the creases out.
- Now to attach the binding, start with one corner. Fold the binding over the edge, making sure to cover your rough stitch from earlier. Don’t pull it around the edge too tight or the binding will wrinkle and warp as you sew it on. Clamp it under the machine foot, once you get it placed over the first edge. I usually sew it on about 1/4 inch up from the side of the binding to ensure it isn’t too close to the binding edge. Sew a little and then flatten the binding out around the blanket, sew a little more, and continue to do this down the first side. The hardest part will be the corner.
- Once you get to the corner, stop your stitch and remove the needle. Pull the blanket out and fold a 45 degree angle at the corner. Make sure the back is folded nicely too. You can pin it or I just hold it tight and clamp it under the foot, and begin my stitch down the next side. Once I’ve stitched all 4 sides, I go back and sew down each corner with a full backstitch and then front stitch up each 45 degree angle.
- Once you’re done with the corners, I go back around and stitch another rectangle over my first binding stitch just to hold everything in place. Also a couple times I’ve had some binding miss the thread on the first stitch around (it was sewn on the front, but didn’t catch on the back because it was too close to the edge), and it’s nice to have that second stitch to make it a little more baby proof. That’s it! Really it’s very very simple!