Well, I was half right. Though it counts as easy sewing, it took me a team to get it done. I first tried to make one for my niece and required my MIL’s mad sewing and quilting skillz to finish in time.
Planning the blanket was fun. I liked picking soft fabric and colors. But between my mild fear of the sewing machine and my lazy measuring style, I needed back-up. My MIL helped me source the materials, cut out the pieces (thank you!), and got me started with a few practice stitches. Sadly, she left me with several pieces of my project pinned to each other but still unattached.
The kicker is that you need to know the baby’s name (or initial) in order to begin the sewing. See my final thoughts below.
Five years later, when Sawyer was born, I had the materials at the ready for a new blanket. So, I just waited for my MIL to come back to town, and VOILA, a half hour later — a gorgeous handmade blanket!
The upshot is that if you’re a wiz with the sewing machine, you should make this snazzy blanket yourself. And if not, maybe your mama can come help you when you’re on maternity leave and she’s looking for projects around the house. After she’s filled your freezer and cleaned the bath tub a second time.
- 1 yard of adorable flannel patterned material (can be made into swaddle blanket if you give up!)
- 1 yard of soft, fuzzy baby minkie material
- 1 foot of soft wide-wale corderoy in complementary color (for the circle)
- 1 foot of soft-ish black denim or felt (for the initial)
- Stitch-witchery or other iron-on adhesive
- Enough quality thread for sewing it up
- Patience, tenacity, a working sewing machine
Materials alone were about $50, as much as buying a nice one. But I got enough for two blankets.
1. Print a template letter. Use Word to make a super huge lowercase letter in a serif font until you’re happy. Print and cut the template. Cut out the letter on the black material exactly.
2. Cut out pieces. I traced a dinner plate to get my circle round and of a good size. I cut my letter based on the template plus a second shadow letter in a different color (optional). I cut squares as big as I could evenly get them. Hey, I told you measuring wasn’t my strength.
3. Attach the letter and circle. Use iron-on adhesive to attache the letter(s) to the circle. Run it through the sewing machine to make it extra secure.
4. Sew the circle to the flannel. Attach the circle around the edges to the flannel material. You’re almost done.
5. Sew the front to the back of the blanket together. Lay out the two squares of fabric so the right-side-outs are facing each other. Pin it so it doesn’t wiggle. Stitch around the perimeter 3 1/2 sides. Squish the whole blanket together and force it through the hole so you can see the blanket right-side-out. Tuck in the ragged edges and stitch the rest together.
6. (OPTIONAL) Quilt it together even more. If you know what that means, do it. If not, no big.
Though I truly love my finished product, I found that waiting for babies to be born in order to do the initial frustrating. Since the letter is the first step. In keeping with Whitney and my theory that monogrammed gifts are problematic, I suggest either giving this blanket “special lovey status” (meaning it never needs to be shared) or going with the last initial instead of the first (Warning: be sure you know the baby’s last name! This is not always obvious).
* As far as I can tell, The Two Tinas are no longer making these blankets either. Do you suppose they got frustrated waiting for babies to be born before they could get started?
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