Ladies, we had so much fun with the first DIY Swaddle Blanket, right? But everything can be improved with a little user feedback. So I gave one to my friend Rebecca and her new baby girl, and she gave me some useful tips on how to improve it for even better swaddling-action. What I heard was that baby could kick out of it just a little too easily, so we made it longer. Then I also heard it needed more “tuckability” so I made an adjustment for that. The final thing I did was to make it all out of flannel and create a finished edge that doesn’t require a serger, for all you sergerless sewers out there.
Take a look and let us know what you think. Get the full DIY on How to Sew a Swaddle Blanket after the jump…
New & Improved Swaddle Blanket Pattern
The pink one is made with Anna Maria Horner Folksy Flannels Forest Hills in Glow and the bright one is Valori Wells Della Flannel in Multi.
1. You’ll need one yard of flannel or some other soft non-stretch fabric, like a muslin gauze. Fold the flannel in half along the width, so it’s as long as possible and cut a triangle out of it as pictured (on my disgusting floor, don’t judge me, it’s my garage). In the previous DIY I said to cut off some of the tip of the triangle, but I’ve changed my mind, don’t be mad. Round the corners and the tip of the triangle when you cut, so you’ve got a piece like this:
2. Now you want to use the two leftover bits of flannel you have to cut two shapes like this. UPDATE: to clear up confusion i’ve made this super ghetto drawing of how the fabric cuts work:
So here is what they look like:
You can make the shape by folding your pieces of fabric in half lengthwise, then drawing your tie shape onto. I freehanded it but you can trace something round for the curves and use a ruler for the straight edges. See this picture for guidance:
3. Now we want to sew those two pieces together with a french seam. Here’s how you do that. Take the two flat ends and line them up WRONG SIDES FACING (this seems counter intuitive but it’s correct):
Sew them together along the flat edge with a straight stitch then open up your piece. It will look like this:
Now turn the pieces so they are right sides facing and your seam is in the middle. Iron it flat:
Now sew with a 5/8″ seam allowance like so:
Open it up again and it will look like this:
Fold your seam to one side and iron it down:
Then sew the flap down with a straight stitch. It will look like this from the right side:
Yay you made a french seam! So easy! Ok, moving on…
4. Now we want to finish the edges of our blanket and our tie. You can serge all the edges, but not everyone has a serger and honestly it just doesn’t look as cute:
So instead, grab some double fold bias tape, the skinniest kind you can buy. You need one 4 yard package for the blanket and one for the tie. Check which side is slightly longer than the other. Unfold and pin the edge of that side to the wrong side of your tie all the way around:
Sew in place along the fold with a straight stitch:
Fold the bias tape back up and flip it over to the right side of your piece, iron, pin and sew it in place all the way around:
Do this to the blanket and the tie piece.
5. Now fold your triangle blanket in half and iron a nice sharp crease into it. Unfold it and use the crease as your guide to where the center of the blanket is. Align the center of your tie piece with the center of the blanket, about 3 inches down from the top, and pin in place. Lay a ruler or measuring tape along the seam of the tie piece. mark with a pin 3.5″ down and 7.5″ down. You are marking where you are going to sew the tie to the blanket. In this new and imporved version of our DIY swaddle blanket we are leaving a hole for tucking by NOT sewing between those two marks. Check this picture to see how it’s done:
6. Now sew from the top center of the tie down to your first pin. Since you can see this stitch on all sides, and we want it to be a strong one, I used a decorative stitch my sewing machines comes with, but you can just use a zig zag if you like. Then cut your threads and sew again from the second pin down to the bottom. So it will look like this:
It’s actually easier to see from the inside so here’s another view:
GIRL YOU ARE DONE!
Now fold that baby up. Start by spreading it all out, then bring the right side over baby and tuck under:
Then lift the bottom up and tuck into the top or behind baby’s shoulders:
Then wrap the left side around baby, tucking the excess fabric through the hole we made: