In just a few easy steps, even a novice sewer or someone without access to a sewing machine can make a sweet, cuddly blanket for a new little person.
The first (and often most important) step in this project is to find fabric. You will need two pieces, one for the front and one for the back. Many fabric stores have a specific baby section. You can find adorable fabrics there, but don’t be afraid to explore a bit (even checking sale fabric).
If the gift is for a baby shower or to be given right after the baby is born, you may not even know when making the blanket if it is for a boy or a girl. Look for fabric the parents might enjoy, something that matches the nursery theme or something that speaks to you.
For this project, the first piece you are looking for should be 100 percent cotton or cotton “quilting fabric”. The second piece should be cuddly – flannel works well, as does chenille or something fuzzy. The fabric should not be stretchy.
Buy one yard of each piece and find a co-ordinating basic thread. If you do not have needles at home, buy a set of basic hand-sewing needles. You will also need pins, scissors and perhaps a decorative piece of ribbon.
Fabric store employees are often very knowledgeable about sewing. Just ask for help if needed.
Preparing the Fabric
When you get the fabric home, wash it with a gentle, non-toxic cleaner. After tumble drying the fabric, iron it flat.
Next, pin the two “right” sides of the fabric facing each other all around. This can be tricky for a moment for a first-time seamstress. Just keep in mind that you will be turning the blanket inside-out when you finish and you want the right sides to show. You are also doing this to hide your stitches.
Pins should be placed about four to six inches apart along the border of the fabric. Because both pieces are the same size, they should match up almost perfectly, but a yard is not a perfect square and sometimes same-size pieces do get cut differently. If the pieces don’t quite match, turn one piece until they fit well.
Ready to Sew
If you have a sewing machine and a little experience, this part is easy – just sew all four sides about ¼-inch from the edge, leaving at least a six-inch opening for turning the blanket right-side-out. If you are sewing by hand, you will want to use a simple stitch such as running stitch to sew the two pieces of fabric together on all four sides. Again, just leave a little opening for turning.
Once the blanket it mostly sewn, you will want to trim any threads and excess fabric. Then turn the blanket inside-out. Use a chopstick or unsharpened pencil to “poke out” the corners.
Finishing Your Blanket
The last sewing step is to sew up the opening you left for turning. Now that the blanket is right-side-out, you will want to sew closed the opening by folding the edges into the blanket neatly and pinning the two fabric pieces together. Use running stitch to finish.
For gift-giving, these blankets look cute folded in quarters and rolled, then tied with a co-ordinating ribbon.
In just a few easy steps and with a few inexpensive supplies, even a novice seamstress can make an adorable gift for a special baby. The first attempt may not be perfect, but it may still be very loved by a little one. Start sewing and the sweet possibilities are endless.