Ive made a few little blankets in the last few months – clearly mini couldn’t be called a baby by any stretch of the imagination, but she still loves a snuggly blanket, don’t we all? She’s really attached to a little Cath Kidston baby blanket I bought her when she was still in my tummy, but it’s just too small to cover all of her, meaning her toes poke out the bottom if her shoulders are covered, and vice versa. This causes much strife at bedtime, so it was time for a change. Yeah, she could use her actual duvet, but that is just too big mummy! So a compromise was in order.
I bought this fabric remnant a while ago. I know. It’s a bit much. But it has realistic pink and blue unicorns frolicking on a rainbow background with flowers and butterflies! It’s from my good friends over at Frumble, adn it’s made by Timeless Treasures, should you love it as much as I do. However, everyone I showed it to said it was horrible, and I had just under a metre so not really big enough for any sort of clothing (pattern matching, people!), so after a few months of deliberation, I settled on a blanket. I’m teeing it with a dusky pink/purple plush with dimples – cos nothing says ‘baby blanket’ like dimple plush!
I’ll take you through the process of making the blanket. First, decide what size blanket you’d like to make. For a newborn, a small pram/car seat blanket should only use around half a metre of fabric, and they double as a play mat in the early days. For an older toddler blanket, or one for a cot, a metre should do it.
For your blanket, you’ll need the following:
- One metre of crazy printed cotton
- One metre of dimple plush (I recommend Cloth Head, they do some great fabric/plush bundles)
- 5m of chunky 5mm cotton bias piping in a contrasting colour
- Plenty of pins and Wonder Clips if you have them
- Matching thread
- A carpeted floor or rug (you’ll see why later)
If you want to make your blanket a little thicker and warmer, you can add a layer of wadding (batting) in between your two coloured layers.
There are lots of types of bias piping that you can use, I’ve opted for a chunky 5mm, which I think gives a big boundary to the blanket, and gives it some weight. I’ve also used some smaller piping on the other blankets I’ve used, with a lovely sateen finish. There are lots you can choose from, and you can even make your own, if you’re in to that! Anyway, for a little more on piping, check out my other posts on cushions and pyjamas!
So, on to the blanket.
First, decide whether you want to round off the corners. If you do, fold your cotton piece into corners and use a roll of tape to outline a lovely rounded corner. Cut the fabric around the line – but leave the plush piece as it is for now. Make sure that both your pieces are straight, line up the patterns and trim it if necessary – though again this is slightly more important for your cotton patterned piece rather than the plush.
In my example, I haven’t rounded the corners, but using piping naturally rounds the corners slightly anyway (if you try really hard you can make a corner, but I like it like this).
Working with the fabric piece, attach the piping to the fabric, facing inwards. The tape part of the piping is going to form the seam allowance, so you can take it right up the edge of the fabric (so long as you have squared it off).
When I get to the selvedge, I like to bring the bias piping in a bit as at the selvedge is slightly wider than the selvedge, and I don’t want that to show in my blanket.
Pin the binding around the edge starting on a straight edge (not a corner), and making sure that you’re pinning in the opposite direction to the direction you’re sewing. This makes it easier to take the pins out when you’re going along. Wonder Clips are really useful for securing the layers together at this point, so use them if you have them!
Around the corners, clip the tape in a few places to make it go around the curve. Be careful to make sure the curve is even on all sides, using the edge of the fabric as a guide.
When you’ve gone all the way around, leave a little extra to form the join.
Next, sew the bias piping to the blanket using your zip foot. I like to sew into the piping a little to secure it, this also takes a little of the bulk out of it and stops it from looking like it’s been attached and instead looks like part of the blanket (if that makes sense?). It’s a little more fluid that way.
Make sure you sew one side of the join down nearly to the end, leaving around 0.25 inch free, and leave the other free for about 2 inches.
To join the pieces of piping, first trim the length to make it a little more manageable, leaving around 1 inch of piping.
Now unpick the bias tape and trim the part of the cotton cord down to match the other side.
Finally, fold over the bias tape and secure it around the raw edge of the other end. Pin it securely, and sew down any of the tape that wasn’t already secured.
Ta-da, your front piece is finished!
Next, the slightly trickier part because we’re dealing with a stretchy fabric (plush), and it’s important to make sure that it doesn’t move. Here’s where your carpeted floor comes in. In my experience, it’s really helpful to pin the blanket to something that doesn’t move, in order to make sure that the plush is lying correctly and isn’t sagging or stretched.
Pin your blanket to the carpet face up, and lay the plush piece on top, with the right side facing the right side of the cotton.
Using the dimples as a guide, line up the plush along the top horizontal edge. Pin securely and sew.
Repeat the process with the bottom horizontal edge, making sure to fully stretch the piece of plush so that it’s straight along the edge of the fabric.
Anyway, you’ve got two lovely straight edges now so fixing the sides should be a cinch!
Continue sewing down the vertical edges, and when you get to the last side, leave a little gap so that you can turn your blanket inside out.
Trim the seam allowances pretty short to stop any unnecessary bulk, leaving the seam allowance full at the gap where you’re going to turn it inside out.
Turn the blanket out the right way, making sure to poke the corners out fully using a pokey stick!
Very carefully, sew in the ditch between the piping – don’t be afraid to do it manually with the wheel if you need to to make sure your stitches don’t show. you might want to change your bobbin thread to match the plush to make it extra neat. If you want to add a little “handmade by me” tag, here’s a really great place to do it.
Yeah, I love it. Mini approves too, she loves “sleeping on the horsies”
Have you tried to make a baby blanket? Let me know how it goes!