Self Binding Receiving Blanket Tutorial

how to make a receiving blanket
Ever wondered how self-binding receiving blankets are made? They can be a bit confusing – until you’ve made one! It’s a lot simpler than you may think, and you’ll have one (or two!) made in no time. Read on to learn how to make a receiving blanket my favorite way!

Pair a cute blanket with some burp cloths, and you have the perfect baby gift! Ready to get started?

how to make a receiving blanket

How to Make a Receiving Blanket

Materials:
affiliate links below
1.5 yard flannel for blanket back/border (make sure to pre-wash)
1.25 yard flannel for blanket top (make sure to pre-wash)
ruler – I use a mat and ruler set similar to this one and couldn’t live without it!

Cut:

flannel for blanket back/border: 42″x42″
flannel for blanket top: 36″x36″

Note: The sizes you cut your blanket top and back will determine your finished blanket size. In this case, pieces cut at 42″ and 36″ will give a finished size of 39″. If you want to adjust your size, just remember that the finished size will be the median between the two sizes you cut (39″ is 3″ larger than 36″ and 3″ smaller than 42″).
Also, the larger the difference between your the size of your two pieces, the larger the border will be. With the measurements in this tutorial, the border will be 1.5″. If you want a larger border, you can increase the amount of difference between the two flannel pieces that are cut, and of course the opposite is true for a smaller border as well. One thing to keep in mind with a larger border is that the larger it gets, the smaller your finished size will be as well, which is one reason that I like to keep a 6″ or less difference between the two sizes.

Directions:

1. Fold each flannel piece in quarters and mark center of each edge with a pin. Open pieces up and pin, right sides together, starting at centers and working outwards. Each end will be left with excess backing fabric.
Each corner should look like this:
2. Mark 1/4″ in both directions by drawing a small square on each corner. Using these marks as your stopping and starting points, stitch along each side of pinned pieces using a 1/4″ seam allowance. If you’d like, you can start stitching at center of each side and work outward rather than stitching from end to end, but if you’ve pinned well you shouldn’t need to. Leave a 6″ opening on the middle of one side to later turn the quilt right side out through.

3. Matching adjacent seams, fold one corner of the blanket as pictured. The excess backing fabric should form a 45 degree angle, and raw edges should match up, with the blanket front fabric tucked inside.

4. The next step can be tricky to visualize, so just make sure to follow the illustrations and you’ll be fine! Align your ruler with the end of side seam stitching, forming a 90 degree angle with the folded edge.

5. Trace along ruler edge, marking 90 degrees from the folded edge to the end of stitching. Stitch along marked line from folded edge to end of side seam stitching.

6. Trim seam allowance to 1/4″, removing excess backing fabric.

7. Press all seams and turn blanket right side out through opening.

8. Carefully press mitered corners in place. Press all four borders flat, being careful that they are evenly sized on all sides (it can help to put a couple of pins away from where your iron will be hitting to make sure everything will lay nice and flat).
9. Topstitch close to seams on all four sides of blanket, and stitching closing opening. Add a second row of topstitching if you prefer.
Great job! Now that you’ve learned how to make a receiving blanket, admire your blanket and make some more!
how to make a receiving blankethow to make a receiving blanket

Burp Cloth Tutorial – 3 Easy Ways

DIY Burp Cloths

Handmade burp cloths make great baby gifts, and can be simple and fast to make. Plus, they’re less expensive and much cuter than anything you’ll find in a store! Today I’m teaching you how to make DIY burp cloths – with my three favorite methods!

DIY Burp Cloths

Want to try 3 different variations to give a bit of variety to your DIY burp cloths? These are all super simple methods, that even a first time sewer can tackle. Pair them with a cute DIY baby blanket, some cozy DIY footed baby pants, or even this darling baby dress, and you’ll have a baby gift that any new mom will love!

how to make burp cloths

DIY Burp Cloths

Materials for All Variations:

Flannel: cut 2 – 9″x16″ pieces for each burp cloth

Rick Rack: 1.5 yard (for Variation Number 1) per burp cloth

Variation Number 1: Rick Rack Burp Cloths

DIY Burp Cloths

1. Using a bowl (or CD, in my case), trace a curved line onto all four corners of each layer of flannel, and cut.

2. Place rick rack near edge of one layer of fabric (for narrow rick rack, I keep it about 1/8″ from the raw edge, for jumbo rick rack, I let the outer curves of the rick rack hang off the edge of the flannel so I can keep the seam allowance fairly small – my Rick Rack Receiving Blanket Tutorial explains the technique in a bit more detail) and use a basting stitch to stitch the rick rack around all edges of fabric. I keep my stitches about 1/8″ away from the center of the rick rack, toward the raw edges of fabric so that the stitches won’t show when you stitch down the center of the rick rack in the next step. Let the two ends overlap and trim the excess.

3. Pin both pieces of flannel right sides together, matching raw edges. Stitch around all sides of fabric, 1/8″ in from basting stitch sewn in step 2 (which should put your stitched along the center of the rick rack that is sandwiched in the middle), and leaving a 3″ opening on one side.

4. Turn fabric right side out and press, also pressing raw edge of opening under. Topstitch close to edge around entire burp cloth, also stitching opening closed.

DIY Burp Cloths

That’s it, you’re done your DIY burp cloths!

DIY Burp Cloths

Variation Number 2: Rag Edge Burp Cloths

1. Using a curved edge, trace and trim each corner of each layer of flannel into a curve.

2. Pin two flannel pieces wrong sides together. Using a narrow zig zag stitch (I keep my stitch length fairly short as well), stitch around all raw edges, 5/8″ from edge (do not leave any space for an opening).

3. With scissors, make small slits 1/2″ apart around entire burp cloth, close to but being careful to not cut into seam allowance.
Throw your DIY burp cloths into the washing machine and dryer. The cut edges will fray and become softer with each wash!

Variation Number 3: Serged Burp Cloths

how to make burp cloths
1. Using a curved edge, trace and trim each corner of each layer of flannel into a curve.

2. Place two flannel pieces wrong sides together and serge around all edges. I find that keeping my stitch length on the short side helps when serging around the curved edges.

Now that you know how to make DIY burp cloths, whip up a few more!
DIY Burp Cloths

Great job! Enjoy using your burp cloths with your little one, or make some to have on hand for gifts! For more DIY baby projects, check out our tutorial gallery!
DIY Burp Cloths

how to make burp cloths

Faux Chenille Bunny Free Pattern

Faux Chenille Bunny Free Pattern
With a free printable pattern, this faux chenille bunny is the perfect gift for any little girl, whether it’s Easter or not! With both Easter and a baby girl coming arriving in our home next month, today’s project is one that will get double the use – my favorite kind of project!

Ready to get hopping?

Materials:

8 12″x12″ pre-washed flannel pieces – can be assorted colors and prints
polyfill stuffing
pins, scissors, and needle suitable for heavy fabric (size 14 works great)

Click HERE to download and print the bunny template.

Directions:
1. Print the bunny template using the link above. Ensure your printer is not set to scale before printing. Join template pieces along dotted line and cut along solid line.

2. Layer two sets of four 12″x12″ flannel pieces on top of each other, matching all four sides. If you are using assorted colors or prints of flannel, alternate the colors and prints evenly as pictured.

3. Pin flannel layers together every few inches throughout each stack.

4. Using one stack of flannel, stitch from one corner to the opposite corner in a diagonal line. If you have a walking foot, use it! It will help to keep all four layers in place as they are fed through the machine. If you don’t have a walking foot, you may want to reduce the presser foot tension slightly to help prevent slipping and stretching of the top flannel layers.

5. Stitch parallel to diagonal line, 1/2″ apart from first diagonal line, and keep repeating until the entire 12″x12″ flannel stack is stitched with diagonal lines.

6. Repeat steps 4-5 with second flannel stack.
7. With one flannel stack, cut in middle between each set of stitch lines, leaving the bottom layer uncut. If you have a slash rotary cutter, it will save a bit of time, but scissors work just as well.

Your finished stack will look like this…

8. Repeat step 7 with remaining flannel stack.

9. Trace bunny template onto uncut side of one flannel piece. Cut along traced line.

10. Flip bunny template over and trace onto uncut side of remaining flannel piece (both bunnies should be facing opposite directions). Cut along traced line.

11. Pin bunnies together with uncut sides facing outward, matching all edges. Stitch around raw edges using a 3/8″ seam allowance, leaving 4″ opening at bottom of bunnies.

12. Stitch again around raw edges using a 3/8″ seam allowance for stability, leaving same opening. Trim seam allowance to 1/8″, clipping close to any tight curves and corners.

13. Turn bunny right side out, ensuring all curves and ears are thoroughly turned. Using polyfill stuffing, fill bunny firmly through opening.

14. Turn raw edges of opening to inside of bunny and handstitch opening closed using a ladder stitch or other invisible stitch.

15. Now for the fun part – throw the bunny in the wash (with a load of towels ideally), and then into the dryer. The raw edges will fray and create the faux chenille look!

Your bunny will become softer and fluffier with each additional wash!
Add your bunny to your little princess’ Easter basket, and let her enjoy her new cuddly friend all year long!

How to Sew With Minky Fabric

One of the most common thoughts I hear about sewing with minky fabric is how difficult it is to sew with. Many people, especially beginners are too nervous to try sewing with it for fear of diaster! The good news is that with these few easy tips, anyone can be successful sewing with minky – even you! Learn how to sew with minky fabric below!

Minky Tip #1:
Don’t allow the fabric to stretch as you cut it. This is especially important if you’ll be sewing it to another non-minky piece of fabric, which most likely won’t have any stretch. Let the fabric lay flat, and adding a few pins here and there to keep the selvages together (if you’re cutting with a folded edge) can help to reduce it slipping out of place while cutting.

Minky Tip #2:
Pin, Pin, Pin!!! Was that clear? Whether you’re sewing minky to minky, or minky to another fabric, pinning every 1″ along the edges of the fabric will make a huge difference as you sew. Not enough pins means that the fabric will likely slide under the presser foot, and stretch as the feed dogs try to guide it, which can result in puckers. I’m not exaggerating when I recommend to pin it every 1″. Even a 2″ gap between pins can allow the minky to slip and stretch. It’ll be more than worth the extra time it takes to pin every 1″. If you’re really dreading the pinning and are looking to save a bit of time, you can also use Wonderclips (affiliate link), as they’re a bit quicker to pop on and off as you sew.

Minky Tip #3:
Use a walking foot (affiliate link), also called an Even Feed Foot. I know a lot of people who don’t think a walking foot is necessary and get by without one, but they are so worth the $20-$30 investment. I purchased a generic brand on Amazon for under $20, and it works wonders. The brand I use is Distinctive, and will fit most sewing machines. A walking foot has feed dogs on the presser foot, allowing both the top and bottom layers of fabric to be grabbed and pulled along at the same rate. Normally fabric is guided by the bottom feed dogs on your machine only. Having the fabric fed evenly under the presser foot is another huge help in preventing the fabric from slipping and stretching while being sewn.

If you are absolutely against using a walking foot, make sure to sew with the minky fabric on the bottom, so it will be guided by the feed dogs on your machine. But, like I said, use a walking foot :).

Minky Tip #4:

Prewash any fabrics being sewn with the minky. Minky will not shrink, so does not need to be prewashed, but always prewash all other fabrics being used in the project to prevent any shrinking problems with your finished project.
Minky Tip #5:
Do not iron minky. If you’re sewing a blanket with minky and cotton, for example, keep the heat on low even if ironing on the cotton side to prevent any damage to the minky. Too much heat can ruin any dots or other embossing on the minky.
Minky Tip #6:
Pay attention to the nap of the minky. Make sure the nap is laying the direction you want before cutting it. Also keep in mind that topstitching in the direction that the nap lays flat will give you a nicer finished product.
Following these simple tips on how to sew with minky fabric will make your life (at least when you’re sewing with minky!) a whole lot easier and more enjoyable. Do you have any other tips to add that have made sewing with minky easier for you? Please share!

Newborn Ruffle Fabric Diaper Cover Tutorial and Free Pattern

newborn diaper cover free pattern

 

Is there anything sweeter than a brand new baby wearing ruffles?! I think not ;). Today I’m sharing a Ruffle Fabric Free Diaper Cover Pattern with you so that you can make your own! It’s perfect for photos, under dresses, or on it’s own for those in hot enough climates where shirts are optional, hehe.
Photo of my niece Lydia – courtesy of Kyla Beth Photo Studio
We are soon to add a baby girl to our family, and I can’t imagine anything sweeter than newborn photos with a little girl wearing a ruffly diaper cover. I’ve heard from many of you who are also expecting a girl this spring or summer, and wanted to share this free pattern with you for a Ruffle Fabric Diaper Cover!
As newborn photos are usually taken within the first week or so after birth, this pattern is sized to fit a baby up to 9 pounds. But, since ruffle fabric is stretchy and super forgiving when it comes to sizing, many babies will be able to continue to wear the diaper cover for their first few months.
 
Materials:
(affiliate links below)
1/3 yd ruffle fabric
1/4″ elastic – 1  14″ piece
1/2″ elastic – 2  8″ pieces
Directions:
1. Print pattern pieces. Ensure your printer is not set to scale the pattern. Cut pattern pieces out along solid and dashed lines and tape together along dashed lines. Normally a diaper cover could be cut on the fold, but since ruffle fabric is a bit trickier to cut out (I’ll give some specific tips below), we’re going to use a full pattern piece that’s not on the fold.
2. Lay pattern pieces on ruffle fabric and cut out as directed, aligning top of pattern pieces just below point where one ruffle is attached (flip that ruffle up and out of the way while cutting). This will give enough width of non-ruffled fabric to use for the waistband casing.
A couple of other tips to keep in mind when cutting out your pieces:
When cutting the sides and curves of each piece, make sure that the ruffles are always laying flat as they would naturally fall.

When cutting the bottom of each piece, flip the ruffle nearest the bottom up so it does not get in the way of cutting.

A few tips before we start sewing with ruffle fabric:
* Since ruffle fabric is a knit, always use a ballpoint needle.
* Before pinning and sewing ANY seam, always make sure every ruffle is laying flat and in place. Sewing in the direction that the ruffles are laying will help them to stay put while being sewn (example: sew the side seams from the top of the diaper cover towards the bottom).
* Pin, pin, pin! I can’t say that enough, especially on any curved edges, where it’s more difficult to keep the ruffles in place as their sewn.
* Don’t stretch the fabric as it’s sewn. Allow the feed dogs on your machine to gently guide fabric through.
* Sergers work great with ruffle fabric, but I like to sew the seams with a sewing machine first and serge afterwards to give myself the opportunity to unpick any areas where the ruffles might have gotten out of place when sewn. Do what works best for you :).
* Ruffle fabric raw edges will not fray, so if you don’t have a serger, you can just leave the raw edges after they’re stitched – no need to zigzag.

3. Pin and stitch front and back pieces together at sides and bottom edges, leaving leg holes open and using a 1/2″ seam allowance. The ruffle nearest the waistband should be flipped upwards toward the top of the diaper cover while sewing the side seams (I didn’t do this, but I’ll explain why you should in a later step). When stitching the bottom seam, you may have to decrease your seam allowance to avoid stitching into a row of ruffles – I only had about a 1/4″ seam allowance on the bottom in this case, but use 1/2″ if you can.

Your ruffles should be laying nice and flat (your top ruffle will be facing upward though, right?).

 

 

4. Turn top of diaper cover 3/4″-1″ (depending how much fabric you have before the next row of ruffles) to the wrong side and pin in place, with the first row of ruffle flipped upward and out of the way of the pins.

If you had sewn the side seams with the top row flipped upward, you would not see this at the side seams, which makes it more difficult to sew the waistband casing without catching the top row of ruffles:

5. Stitch close to edge of pinned waistband, forming a casing for elastic, and leaving an opening to insert elastic. Pay special attention to keeping ruffles out of the way of the seam.

6. Pin one leg opening 1/2″ toward wrong side of fabric, using plenty of pins to keep ruffles in place.

7. Stitch close to edge of pinned edge, forming a casing for elastic and leaving an opening to insert elastic. It’s tricky to keep the ruffles perfectly in place as you sew around the curves, so chances are you’ll have a few areas of imperfection where the ruffles got caught up. The good news is that once the elastic is in, no one else will know, so don’t worry a whole lot about it (for the record, it pains me to say that).

8. Repeat steps 6-7 with remaining leg opening.

9. Use a safety pin to insert a 8″ piece (you can adjust the length of elastic based on the size of your baby’s thighs – take off a bit for an extra tiny baby, add a bit for a chubby baby, or if you want the cover to fit longer, you may also want to add a bit extra length) of 1/4″ elastic into casing of one leg opening. Overlap elastic ends 1/2″ and sew together using a zig zag stitch. Repeat with other leg opening and stitch opening of each casing closed.

10. Use a safety pin to insert a 14″ piece (again, adjust the length as needed) of 1/2″ elastic into waistband casing. Overlap ends 1/2″ and sew together using a zig zag stitch. Stitch casing opening closed.

 

Great work! Your diaper cover is ready to be worn on a cute little behind :).

I’m excited to share some pics of our little one wearing her ruffle fabric diaper cover when the time comes, but in the meantime, please share pics of your covers in by tagging @sewmuchado and using #sewmuchado on Instagram – I’d love to check them out!