A friend of mine had a baby recently and I really wanted to give her a handmade gift. I had been browsing craft & sewing blogs over the last few months for a good beginner sewing project. It’s always nice to find a good tutorial with lots of pictures and easy instructions. Encouragement from the writer also helps boost my confidence! I found this tutorial from Prudent Baby, and decided to try it.
I found my materials at Joann’s. Not knowing exactly what size I wanted (I like to spread out the fabric and see what looks best to my eye), I bought a yard of each, just to be safe. I cute my pieces approx 35″ square.
1 yard cotton flannel (comes 44″ off the bolt)
1 yard minky – mine is double sided because it was on sale! Single sided will work just fine. (comes off a larger bolt 54″ or 60″)
coordinating thread – I chose pink to match my flannel. For an “invisible” look, use matching thread for the minky in your bobbin, and matching thread for your flannel in the top of the machine.
pins – LOTS of them.
Before beginning this project, wash and dry your fabrics. I used Woolite, knowing it would be given as a baby gift.
Minky is very stretchy and shifts quite a bit, so I was a little scared to try this project. I tend to be easily frustrated when things don’t work out the first time. Not a great trait to have as a beginning sewer! While searching for tips on sewing with minky, I found the trend was to use double the amount of pins you think you need.
Here is the blanket laid out right sides together and partially pinned. You can see along the right side there are pins approximately every inch. Trust me, you don’t want it to move!
A closer look at all the pins. It is time consuming, but well worth it. Sew all around the blanket using a 5/8″ seam allowance, and be sure to leave a good 6 inches for turning the blanket.
Here is how mine looked after turning… pretty! I love the modern floral pattern. I went the lazy route and machine stitched the opening closed, but it is so close to the edge, you can hardly see it.
The next step is to top stitch around the blanket to give it a finished look. I used a 3/4″ seam allowance for my top stitch.
I did attempt a second top stitch 1 inch in from the first line, but because the minky is so stretchy, it ended up bunching up on me and turned into a big mess! I spent some quality time with my seam ripper and decided to leave it at one line. 🙂
I did have some trouble with the minky being too large and looking slightly bunchy in the center of the blanket when all spread out. I’m pretty sure this was due to my impatience and rush to get the materials cut & pinned while my daughter was entertained by a TV show. So, please take your time and make sure your fabrics are spread flat and cut square! This truly is an easy project, just take your time and have at least 100 pins on hand. I believe I used close to 150 pins.
You will have enough fabric left over to sew matching burp cloths or bibs for a wonderful handmade baby gift.
Thank you to Prudent Baby for the great tutorial!