There was numerous projects I had in mind when we first got pregnant. But by far I knew most of all I wanted to make a baby blanket. Something this little man could have from the very beginning. What made me think I could sew my own baby blanket. Pregnant lunacy? Let clear something up, yes I own a sewing machine, I got it for Christmas in grade 11. I have never threaded the machine once since then. I have no idea how I even remembered how to thread it or the bobbin or get it running together at all. But miracles do happen!
Even though I definitely hit a few snags. I had just broken the needle the first time I tested it awhile back, so when I replaced it I must have put it in wrong because for the first hour of attempts the thread broke after a couple inches. I even had to phone my grandma for advice. But enough trial and error and we figured it out!
And I will show you step by step how to make this beautiful baby blanket! But I will warn you, above all your supplies, you will need most of all, patience. And lots of it. Although I am a first time sewer so I know it wouldnt take everyone as long on that part but most of the steps are monotonous. But it sure did pay off in the end. So if you have three days to yourself lets get started!
4-5 different fabrics, 1 for the pattern on the front, 3-4 colors for the back faux chenille.
You will need 1 1/4 yards of each fabric.
For the front You can use Any soft cotton, flannel, corduroy, but cotton weight or heavier works best. Avoid fabrics with lots of stretch.
For the back you need fabric that will fray easily. 100% cotton, linen, flannel (my next one will be made with flannel as its more squishy looking after.) I used 100% cotton though and mine turned out perfect! Choose solid colors as any pattern will not show up due to fraying.
Matching thread, make sure it matches your pattern on the front as thats where it will show the most.
2 packages of quilt Binding + pins to hold in place
and of course a sewing machine! (dont worry that one in the picture is not the machine I used! Thats my grandma’s first sewing machine, I used my newer one for this project! Highly recommended!)
And remember lots and lots of patience. Doesn’t hurt to have a tv or radio near by too!
So lets start. These are the fabrics I picked. I wanted it to match the nursery but not scream IM A BOY! But lets put it out there, there is not as many manly fabrics haha. So the blue circle pattern was perfect! Then I found 3 coordinating solids for the back. You can add a fourth but three turned out just fine.
The first step is to temporarily attach your fabrics to each other. It makes it easier when your sewing as it wont slip around as much. But make sure you read all your instructions on it. I did not. Instead of waiting for the 5 minutes for temporary bonds, I attached them immediately, which on the later steps is very frustrating! So learn form my mistakes! Lay down your front fabric, pattern side down. And attach the back layer of the chenille fabrics. For best contract put your darkest color in the back. It also helps to lay it flat and then do one half and then spray the other half. And repeat until you have all your fabrics bonded. I also used some safety pins just in case.
Next step sewing! Get settled in this is going to be a long one. In fact I have to break mine down in two days, since it took almost 8 hours for me. However from veterans of sewing it should only be able half that time. You want to start at the middle and work your way out. So measure with a ruler or string and mark with a fabric marker your straight line. My pattern had lines in it so I ignored this and went ahead and followed those instead. Still working from the middle out. And it turned out fine but without that pattern you want to follow a guide for sure!
You want to sew on your patterned side as you wont see the stitches on the chenille side anyways, so put your best on the side that shows. Once you have your initial line you can now use the foot of your machine to act as a guide. Your lines should be able 1/2 inch apart. I was able to move my needle position to the far left side and from there it measures 1/2 inch from the edge of the foot.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until you have covered your entire blanket in these uniform 1/2 inch lines diagonally. You will want to back stitch each side to hold your stitching in place. As this thing is going to meet the washing machine many times.
I dont know how I managed it, but mine came out with no bubbles. Must be that intense adhesive I did. But if you took my advice and yours comes out with a few bubbles here and there, no worries as the next step should take care of that. You wont even see them in the end.
This is where I am going to recommend buying a tool. Something I did not do. The Olfa Chenille Cutter. You can, as I did use scissors if you dont care to buy this, but with the amount of cutting it takes it sure would be easier. I’ll definitely have it in the mail days ahead of my next blanket project. Because this is where my well done adhesive job really took a toll on me. You want to cut in between each stitch line. Glide your scissors under your 3-4 chenille fabrics, DO NOT CUT THE FRONT PATTERN FABRIC.
This is the step that I thought “Never again will I make this stupid blanket.” And probably when I do I will think, “I already warned myself why am I doing this again!” But I swear the end result is more than thrilling. This is just going to take some time so put on a tv show and get settled in. Your going to be there for awhile. My blanket had 131 lines to cut. It took me 2 days to finish this one step but thats will my many 8 month pregnant trips to the kitchen and bathroom.
Now you have rows and rows of your beautiful fabrics poking out. Its starting to look like the finished product. Your going to want to trim off your edges at this point. Again I dont have the tools, Im a beginner so I improvised. I eyeballed it. Gutsy. I think part of it may have been the “I just want to finish it!” part of me. Its fine. It may not be perfect but Im ok with it. This is also where you decide if you want round or square corners. I opted for round so I used a plate to be my guide.
Next your going to attach your binding with pins. I would show you this step but I was fighting karma to get off the blanket. But you can sort of see the pins there. This was my first binding as with how smoothly everything else went was terrified of it. But its easy! Sandwich your blanket in between your binding and secure with your pins. Smooth our your corners as much as possible. Its not going to be perfect but your not going to notice it.
On your binding there is one side slightly shorter than the other, your going to sew on the shorter side. I put mine on the chenille side. Then just remove the pins as your sew as close to the edge as possible. I used my foot as a guide on this one too. I had my needle in the far left position and I used the left side of the foot to line up with the binding edge. worked perfectly!
At this point I was running around Brandon’s office with the biggest smile in the world! I had done it. I was finished! I made this! You can see the binding worked like a charm on both sides. And thats the last time your going to see the cutting side look that clean. Next you throw that baby in the washing machine and its where the magic happens! All that work, those three days, of pulling your hair out, all pay off! I thought I was giddy before but when I pulled it out of the dryer I actually ran up the starts to show Brandon. I haven’t run up stairs in a long time since carrying this monster baby. And here it is! All beautiful and finished. The best part is that with each wash it will only fray more and continue to be more and more soft and cosy.
I am so happy with this blanket. It could not have turned out better! If anyone decides they also need to make this I would love to answer any questions and would love to see your version even more! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Karma seems to think this is her new blanket. Every time I lay it on the floor she re appears and immediately lays down on it. I cant wait to put little Sawyer on it. Baby’s are going to love this blanket because its so textured and soft. I just love it.