Monday, July 11

Dusting Off the Sewing Machine

Because apparently babies under 6 months shouldn't be out in the sun and can't wear sunscreen or bugspray yet, the combination of spending my summer indoors and my recent obsession with do-it-yourself craft blogs has created some right-brain (the creative side) inspiration for me. My wonderful mother-in-law bought me a sewing machine for Christmas a few years back, and I have perfected the art of pillow-making on it (mostly because pillows are easy and very forgiving and I can't sew in a straight line to save my life). Since I haven't had a need for any throw pillows lately, the poor machine has been collecting dust in my basement/craft room for a little while. Last week I decided it was time to show it some love again.

My sister-in-law's mother-in-law (or my brother-in-law's mom, or for simplicity's sake, Sammye) made Brock a little blanket before he was born. You know the ones I'm talking about; they are small and really soft and babies often get attached to them and carry them around until they're like 20 years old and give them nicknames like blankie, silky, lovey, wubby. Well, Brock is a big fan of this little blankie that Sammye made...

Since Brock likes his so much, I thought it would be a fun and simple little gift to make for one of my best friends who is having a baby in November. So I texted Sammye to find out for sure how she made them and then headed off to Hobby Lobby with my birthday gift card from my mother-in-law (she knows me so well!). Here's a breakdown of the blankie making in case anyone else is interested in trying it out.

Step One: Collect supplies. Soft, washable fabrics in whatever patterns/colors you like, sewing machine, matching thread, scissors, and thread needle. I think I bought a yard of flannel fabric and a half yard of silk. This easily made two rectangular blankets that were about 12x16 inches and I have a lot of fabric left over.

Step Two: You should probably pre-wash and iron your fabrics but I'm lazy and hate doing laundry, so I skipped that step. I washed it afterward though and mine turned out fine. So if you skip that step also, then this would be your step two: Cut out one square or rectangle (or I guess any other shape you like) from each piece of fabric.

Step Three: Place fabric pieces together wrong side out (so the pattern on the flannel and the silky side of the silk were facing in toward each other) and sew along the outside edge leaving about 2 inches open at the last corner (seen in the top right of my picture below). I will go ahead and mention again that I cannot sew straight so please do not pay attention to my lines. These blankies are my new favorite because they're as forgiving as the pillows are.

Step Four: Using the corner you left open, turn the fabric right side out (just reach inside the hole and pull the opposite corner through and it's like magic!). This is a good time to iron the fabric and press it down flat, which I did do.

Step Five: Using your needle and thread, handstitch closed that one corner that you left open. Then using the sewing machine again, make a stitch about two inches in from the edge to keep it from bunching up when washed. I used a zig-zag stitch because I thought it upped the fancified factor and gave it a little flare, but straight stitches work just the same.

Step Six: Almost burn dinner that has been cooking during the sewing project because baby wakes up from nap and demands to be fed immediately and husband is outside mowing yard and can't take it out of the oven for you. FYI, though it may not look too appetizing from my picture, dinner that night was Taco Casserole and it was easy and delicious.

Step Seven: Have baby test blankie to make sure it meets quality standards. Then make another one for friend because baby gets his drool all over that one.

That's it! It was pretty easy to make and I liked the end result. Like I said, I was able to make it while dinner was cooking so it wasn't a huge time demand, maybe 30 minutes or so, depending on how fast you can cut and sew. And lest any of you think I'm some accomplished housewife with my sewing and cooking and all, please note that I had not had a shower that day and I was still in my pajamas. Blaine is a lucky man! :)


  1. I love your little tutorial! I am about to make a taggie blanket and I am going to follow your tutorial for the body. You are TOTALLY an accomplished housewife :)

  2. So Impressed! By chance could I have the taco casserole recipe? Your sense of humor is what's the phrase off the chain? Smile!