Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Supereasy and soft fleece baby blanket tutorial

One of the things I've made for Savannah that has gotten the most use over the years is a double-sided fleece blanket (okay she has at least four of them). When she was little, it protected her from hard surfaces for tummy play and protected my carpets from baby drool. Later they were used in the car to keep her warm before the car warmed up. Then they were used to soften the wagon ride, to snuggle in the jogger on cold days, for tea parties, to tuck her dolls in, and larger sizes are used outside (or inside) for picnics and for forts. So to us, they are indispensable (not to mention machine-washable, soft, and durable).

1. Cut two same-size pieces of fleece (we usually coordinate one solid with one color) in the size you prefer, or about 30" x 36".

2. Place them right sides together (or wrong sides out).

3. Using your favorite seam length from 3/8" to 5/8", sew around the perimeter of the blanket leaving a 5-6" opening in the middle of one end. If any of your seams are uneven or larger than 1/2", simply trim away the excess fabric. If perfection is your thing, you can pin and use a walking foot rather than a regular foot.

4. Using the opening, pull the right sides out being sure to pinch the corners so they turn sharply. You can also shape these after the blanket is turned right side out.

5. Once you're satisfied, topstitch around the perimeter (I usually topstitch in contrasting colors and about 1.5"-2" inside the seam).

Here I am topstitching with my walking foot and I have a line drawn on my machine so I can sew a relatively even seam. I used a water-soluble fabric marker for the line - it washes off the machine very easily and if any rubs on the fabric, it comes right off in water.

6. Next sew up the opening by hand using matching or invisible thread. Voila, a super-soft fleece baby blanket.

This one is for my friend Melissa whose baby's sex is a surprise. I thought the bright colors and navy backing were neutral enough for any kiddo plus, babies love the contrasting stripes, even before their eyes can see colors. I might make one just like this for myself as well.

This one is for a high school friend in NY who is having a baby boy with a sailboat themed room. Something about these blue stripes said French Navy to me.

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