Thursday, November 8, 2012

DIY Flannel and Fleece Baby Blanket/ Lap Throw (Simple Sewing Blogs)

I started making baby blankets awhile back for several reasons.  The ones at the stores were expensive for the nice, thick, warm ones...  And sometimes they still were not big enough for me.  So, I started making my own awhile back, because I just could not justify anymore paying $18- $40 a baby blanket that would probably get spit up on and pooped on anyways.  You can also use these instructions, but get a more "grown up" material and have a fantastic lap throw.  Besides, homemade is always better.  And it is always custom made.

These are the steps for a flannel and fleece baby blanket.  In all reality, you could use any warm material in the place of one of those two.  Sometimes, I have opted to do something a little more fluffy, but that can get expensive.  Remember, one of the reasons we are doing this is to SAVE money.

The finished size will be approximately 35 inches by 44 inches.

You need-

One yard of flannel material
One yard of fleece material
Sewing Machine

A note on material:  The material is measured in two different sizes with these two kinds.  The bolts of material themselves come in a taller size and shorter size.  The taller size is a 58"- 60" length when unfolded.  The shorter size is a 44"- 45" length when unfolded.  The fleece will come in the taller size, and the flannel with come in the shorter size.  Also, DO NOT buy material unless you can get it on sale.  At Joann's (one of my favorite places to shop), I bought the flannel today for $2.99 a yard, and fleece for $4.99 a yard.  Then on top of that you can get coupons (like today) that allow you to take an additional 20- 25% off.  If you are a homeschooler or a teacher, you get a 15% discount everyday off your total purchase.  So, essentially, I paid $6.40 for a baby blanket.  Can't beat that, and it came out better than a store bought one.

Instructions for baby blanket-

1. On your work space (mine is the floor when I do any cutting), lay out both pieces of material with the wrong sides together.  That means, the sides with the print on them, so the unfinished sides should be on the outside so that we can see them.  Line them up with the 36" lengths together. 

2. Cut the two pieces so that they are the same size.  Also, trim off any unfinished edges or rough edges.  Make sure that the sides are all but approximately straight.  If the person that cut them at the material store did it correctly, they should already be straight, but don't rely on that.  I have gotten some pieces with some pretty jacked up cuts.

3. Once your material is straight and cut equally, pin only one side together.  The fleece will stretch when you are sewing it, while the flannel will not.  We can make up for this difference as we go.

4. Take the material to the sewing machine now.  If you need help setting up a sewing machine, you can find how to do that in one of my previous blogs here.  It will give you step by step instruction on how to make sure the machine is set up right and USUALLY this will take care of any tension problems if you are having them.

5. Before you start sewing, decide if you want a toy loop in your blanket.  For this all you need is a piece of ribbon about 5 inches long and about half an inch wide.  Fold it in half and place it between the two pieces of material with the folded edge pointing to the center of the blanket. 

6. At the sewing machine, stitch together the side you pinned with the flannel side down.  Adjust the flannel to make sure that it is still even with the fleece, trim as needed. Then do the same for the adjacent sides, stitching in the same direction both times.  Stitch from the side that is already finished, to the side that is not on either side.

7. On the final side that is still not sewn, sew it so that there is a hole left open toward the center of that side.  You need this open so that you can flip the blanket right side out. 

8. Turn the blanket right side out.  If you added a toy loop, it should be sticking out where you put it.  Push all the corners and edges out as far as they will go.

9. Take where the hole is left in the blanket and pull both ends tight so that the material folds itself under, then pin it in that position.

10. Once you have the whole blanket closed, start sewing the edges shut.  Do this by using a straight stitch and run it around the entire outside edge of the blanket, leaving only about 1/4 inch space to the edge.  There is a small ruler under the presser foot to guide you.  Of you if you are like me, just make sure the stitch stays close to the edge and that should be sufficient.

11. After I do this, then I also do a zig zag stitch about three inches from the edge of the blanket.  The zig zag I use is a 1.5 stitch length and a 3 width.  Adjust the settings to what you specifically want to use.  Test first on a strip of material if you are unsure.  I always round the corners when I do this so that there is no stop and start point when I hit a corner.

And your blanket is finished!  That is pretty much it. 

Unless, of course...  you want to customize it!  This is the part that for me is the most time consuming, but I usually put a lot of thought into what goes next onto the blanket.  Make it fun and be creative.  Cut out letters or shapes from the extra fleece you have left over and then sew them into the blanket with just a straight stitch around the edges.  This will also help keep the two pieces of material attached better.  You can also draw in a shape with a material marker (make sure it is the kind that washes out or disappears, don't use permanent!) and then stitch over the lines.

 It is hard to see in that picture, unless you are close up on it, but it does say "Baby Wolverton."  :) 

This one has a pig sewn into it.  

Add a toy or a binky to the loop!

After all that THEN you can REALLY be finished.  These make fantastic baby shower presents and new baby gifts.  Or just great lap blankets for someone that likes to read on the couch.  Either way, your friends will be impressed with what you made and personalized and isn't that what counts?  Right?  wink wink

Other blankets made!  The possibilities are just endless!

 I did not use fleece with this one, but another kind of soft material that I found...  too bad I can't remember the name of it for you.  But it is pretty!  And soft!

This one is John Deere flannel on one side and mysterious material on the other side.  Wish I could remember what it is called.  But it is pretty, too, and I love the stars in it!

With these, I found a bolt of this pretty blue flannel on sale and bought the whole thing.  I was able to get four baby blankets out of it once I got the fleece for the other side.  Each blanket is just a little bit different.

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