Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tutorial: Baby Receiving/Swaddling Blanket

Baby receiving and swaddling blankets are soooo soft & super simple to make!   Choose some great flannel, set aside an hour, and you've got a great set for your sweet pea OR a great Baby Shower gift!

You can never have enough receiving and swaddling blankets those first few months!  I received so many as gifts for my little one, I was sure I'd would never use them all!  But, alas I did, and my pre-schooler still uses them today, as blankets for all of her baby dolls.  With so many soft flannel fabrics with terrific designs available today, you can really treat a new mom with a few unique blankets she & her little one will treasure!  

Things you'll need:
  • 1 yard 44/45" fabric (Primary fabric)
  • 1 yard 44/45" fabric (Coordinating fabric)
  • Flannel & not too stretchy knits work best

Getting Started - Wash & dry the fabric
As all fabric shrinks some in the wash, you'll want to pre-wash to ensure the final blanket is the size you intend.  I also like to press my freshly washed fabric before cutting.

'Pattern' Layout & Cutting:
Just 1 simple square - times 2!

1)  Cut a square of the size you'd like in your first fabric; I used 33 1/2" to match the size of blankets that works best for swaddling
Figure 1
Figure 2

To make cutting easier, I used my cutting board with built-in rulers & cutting lines.  Place the unfolded fabric with the selvage ends straight on your cutting lines (Figure 1).  Measure 33 1/2" along one side and mark.  I snip a bit with my scissors to mark the right length (Figure 2).

Measure 33 1/2" along the 2nd side and mark.  Cut along along both sides to get a square.  

2)  Cut the same size square in your 2nd fabric
Figure 3

Place your second fabric right side up on your cutting board, with the selvage ends along the cutting lines (Figure 3).

TIP:  By placing it right side up, you get a head start on the next step of putting the front & back together.

Figure 4
Figure 5

Place the square you just created in your primary fabric over the 2nd fabric, right side down (Figures 4 & 5).  As mentioned earlier, having the right sides together now gives you a head start when you attach the 2 pieces later.

TIP:  If your fabric has a 1-way design/motif, be sure both squares have the motif facing in the same direction.

Figure 6

Cut around the top layer of fabric (Figure 6); this ensures both pieces are the same size and shape.

Just 2 simple steps!
1)  Attach the front & back

Figure 7

Pin all sides together and mark an area on one edge to leave open (Figure 7).  This opening will be used to turn the blanket right side out.

Figure 8
Figure 9

Stitch on all sides, leaving the opening marked earlier to allow you to turn the blanket right side out (Figures 8 & 9).  

Use 3/8"-1/2" seam, and if using a standard sewing machine, be sure to finish the seam with a wide zig zag or other appropriate stitch.  The blanket will need to survive a great deal of washings!

2)  Top-stitch & stitch the opening closed
Figure 10
Figure 11

Carefully turn the blanket right side out.  Be sure to push each corner out to create a nice slightly rounded corner & press (Figures 10 & 11).

Figure 12
Figure 13

Fold under the seam allowance of the opening, press & pin (Figure 12).

Top-stitch around all sides with a very narrow stitch (Figure 13).

TIP:  Start sewing at the opening where you've folded under the seam allowance.  I know I'm more likely to carefully stitch this closed with a nice neat stitch if I start here.  Once I get sewing, I'm not likely to pay as close attention :).  

TIP:  I use my presser foot as a guide to be sure I keep a narrow, straight stitch.  

Swaddling Blanket
Pink/Blue Whales & Dotted Chevron Flannel from Riley Blake

Super Soft Flannel makes a great Swaddling or Receiving blanket!

That's really it!  Have fun choosing fabrics for a variety of them for your little guy or girl!

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