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:
This is too cute.
I wish they made one for larger babies. i have a sleep sack for Macy but its just not the same as the awesome swaddler she grew out of. 🙁
Use 1 1/2 Yards of 60″ wide material, follow thw instructions just enlarge everything. My grandson liked being swaddled until he was about 9 months old. This fits a big baby. Also if I make another big one I will use velcro.
Aack! So cute!
Jaime, I love the finished edge! so pretty for gift giving! And these fabrics!
Oooh Sleep sack! Good idea Mommybear22!
This is fantastic, thank you!
Wow! This looks great. We used the Miracle Blanket with our daughter, but I may have to try this with future babies. Thanks@@
I can't wait to start making these. I don't have any grand children as yet, but have a hope chest going.
Thanks for the cute blanket tutorial! I combined both blanket projects. I used the bias tape on the large triangle but used the cotton/flannel combination for the wrapping piece. It was an easy and quick project. I was so excited to give them as gifts! Thanks!
it WAS a great gift! (both times) thanks, prudent baby.
HEY! I love the site! I'm a sewing NEWB and for the life of me, I just can't seem to figure this one out! Being the crazy person I am, I made a grid in Photoshop 10px = 1 inch. So it's 360px wide, or "36 inches" for my yard, and 440px or "44 inches tall for my bolt width. When I fold my "fabric" so there's 22 inches at the top, and cut my triangle, I'm left with 2 (separate) triangles. Is this correct? I thought we were supposed to make the tying pieces from the left over fabric? I'm totally confused!
Should the bottom of the triangle be 36" or 44"?
Your help would be much appreciated!
I'm also having a hard time with the two tie pieces out of the left over triangles. Is there anyway you could post the measurements for the tie pieces?
Ok, so I am also confused! After cutting the large triangle, I am left with 2 smaller triangles, and I don't see how folding them in half and then in quarters and then cutting the tie pattern will produce what is shown in the picture.
The blanket looks so cute and I want to try it, but I'm stuck on the ties now!
I love this idea! I was also having trouble figuring out how to use the leftover triangles to get what is shown in the picture. After looking at the original set of instructions, it looks like you are trying to get a rectangle that is 10 inches by 22 inches and you can get that by trimming off the top and side of each triangle. Since you are making each side piece separately, it looks like you only have to fold them in half lengthwise. You would fold them into quarters if you were cutting both wrap around wings out of a single piece of fabric.
I'm SUCH a newbie sewer but we're expecting baby #2 in late November so this would be a fun project to try! Thank you for posting 🙂
Just whipped up two of these in about 3 hours! Our daughter just told us she is expecting #1, and we are headed to see her tomorrow, so wanted a cute gift- one pink, one blue! I actually made them two layers, one flannel, one cotton print. Made it easy to stitch and flip, then sewed a line around the edges to hold. Thank you for the pattern!
Holy cow! I finished, but whew! Harder than I thought. Like always though, a second one would be much easier!
Here's my version, and let me know if you want me to take out the pictures.
I just came across your blog and can't tell you how excited I am to try out so many of your projects!! I started usingmy machine a little over 6 months ago and coming from a mom who is a genius sewer/crafter, I can't wait to show her some of the things I create. Thanks for the inspiration!!
I think it would be fun to make a version that is essentially just an open-topped bag, with the swaddling sashes sewn to either side, so you could just slide baby into the bag and wrap it up, that way it couldn't kick free 🙂 but this is super cute! I'll have to give it a go
Velcro? I don't know about you . . . but velcro was the only thing that held my boy in after the first couple of weeks!
Anyone put velcro on?
where's the pattern for the new and improved swaddling blanket? i would love to try making one.
I like this pattern and would love to make some to give as gifts, but I just ruined my first attempt when cutting the side ties because I don't think I made them long enough. It would help to know some general dimensions for those ties — like about how wide the base should be, how tall to make the bottom portion before narrowing it, how narrow the tie should be, and how long the tie should be. I'm pretty sure I just cut my first one too short, so I'll have to get more flannel and try again. Can you help by providing additional details to make this tutorial even better? Thanks!
Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. I have dubbed it the "Magic swaddle blanket" because it seems to put the baby to sleep instantly. 🙂 I posted about it here http://embeshop.com/2011/08/for-the-boy-a-magic-swaddle-blanket/
I JUST BOUGHT SINGLE FOLD BIAS TAPE!!!! 🙁
Do you think it will still look/work okay? 🙁
mommafo – how thick did you buy it? if you fold it in half and iron it into double fold bias tape before sewing with it, it could work!
Jaime- I did just that! I only bought one pkg though so I'm going to go back and buy some double-fold for the blanket part. My tie-back part seems so small compared to the blanket part. =
I just cut all my flannel and will sew it up tonite. I don’t know if anyone else had trouble making the “tie” part from the left over triangles. I made a newspaper pattern before I cut my fabric- made 3 before I decided on the right size. For those that want an idea of how to cut the “tie” pieces, I cut my paper pattern like so: On the FOLD 20 inches long by 7 1/2 inches high. I then cut the narrow part of the “tie” at 2 1/2 inches high by 10 inches long (that’s half the length). Once you cut that it’ll look like an “L” turned sideways. I rounded off the corners using the bottom of a round container. When I cut the fabric I folded each triangle piece so that the longest (selvaged edge) was kept straight (think of a triangle wedge that you prop a door with) – bring the angle down to make a fold and place the paper pattern on the fold. Make sure the pattern fits into both folded sides of the fabric before you cut. (you may need to move your fabric’s fold line up or down a bit) Trace and cut 2. I higly recommend you make a paper pattern before you cut the fabric- you can adjust your measurements.
Thank you so much for sharing this pattern!
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I made one of these last night and posted a few pics of my process that might add a bit of insight to the head scratching (I did a bit of it before I got over it and started sewing)! Thanks for the tut, I will be making a few more of these over the next couple days!!
I am trying to figure out the measurements of the actual blanket part. I am using an old sheet not a yard of fabric. Does anyone have that? Thanks so much, I really want to make this for my 1 month old.
I would say a yard long by apx 44″ wide. That’s average for what you find on a bolt.
I LOVE this idea!!!!! I’ve got a couple girlfriends who are expecting and this would be a great gift idea. Thank you!!!!
Ok, now for my nitpicking… That’s actually called a flat felled seam. It’s a French seam until you see it down and it becomes a flat felled seam. You can use this when working with denim too. Sorry. I’m lame and can’t keep my mouth shut. 🙂
Again, I seriously love this project and can’t wait to whip up a couple!!
Thanks so much for sharing both the original and improved versions! I’m expecting my 2nd (due in November) and am excited about making swaddling blankets that I’ll actually use (my 1st didn’t get swaddled enough at the beginning to like it much). I’ve even got my own designed fabric from Spoonflower to make the tie part out of.
I do have a question though (since I don’t have a live model to measure): How long does the non-tie part of the tie-band need to be to fit nicely around a newborn. I’m less worried about having long enough ties, than in having the wide part be too long and therefore too loose. Help, please?
Thank you for the detailed tutorial! I enjoyed making a few recently…
Just wanted to let you know that your swaddle blanket is this month’s project for our Fabric-by-Fabric OYW sew along this month: http://bit.ly/Sc1F39 Great pattern — thanks!
I am really excited to try this project but, I’ve got to tell you, the “Cruze” ads popping up on every photo were sooo annoying and *almost* made me find another pattern elsewhere! Looking forward to gifting this one to some expectant mamas in my life!
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Made one of these this weekend. The ties were a little tricky to cut out but figured it out eventually. Love the way the French seam looks. Used tape for the ties and serged the blanket part (partly because pinning bias is mind numbing and partly because I was too excited to take any longer!). It turned out great and can’t wait to make more.
[…] DIY Swaddle Blanket – Prudent Baby […]
[…] Seriously?! This adorable bundle of joy from Notions is wrapped up in our New & Improved Swaddle Blanket. […]
[…] A while back a friend of mine asked me to make a swaddle blanket for a baby shower gift. I had never seen one like this before but I (the worst swaddler ever!) was intrigued! Here’s the original… http://prudentbaby.com/2010/05/baby-kid/new-improved-diy-swaddle-blanket-2/ […]
Does a yard only make one swaddling blanket? Or more? Thanks!
[…] DIY Project and Photo credit to prudentbaby.com […]
Just love this and I am getting ready to make one, as I have a dear friend having a baby in May. Have the flannel – now it’s ready to sew. Thanks so much for sharing this. It is very appreciated.
[…] to try include Colleen’s ever-popular Fox Scarf, our famous DIY Fabric Slippers, our iconic DIY Swaddle Blanket (Putting Babies into Peaceful Slumber since 2010 TM), our enduring Beginner’s Baby Blanket […]
[…] up baby in the coziest basics this fall, like our New and Improved DIY Swaddle Blanket, Under-an-Hour Jersey Hat, and Top-Knot Baby […]
is there a pdf of the template, as I am having a hard time finding it.
love the idea, cant wait to try it out.
I love this! My daughter’s baby arrived two months early, so my first swaddler is 4 times too large. I just finished my preemie size swaddler and shipped it off to her today. Thanks for the pattern and instructions.
This is so useful to new parents
I’m a way new beginner sewer so I apologize for my dumb question. Can you tell me the sizes of the ties to cut.
Where do I get the pattern?
Any reason I can’t make the ties out of just cotton? Or do I need to follow the original instructions and use fleece and cotton together for the ties? I don’t have kids so I don’t know how this works but want to make one for a gift. Thanks!!
Hi sarah, it should work ok although the flannel was preferred with this project. It’s softer on baby skin and stayed in swaddle better. Thanks!
love this cant wait to try it
Please include the size to cut for the ties. Thanks.