Around Christmas time Joann's has all kinds of irresistible sales... such as $2 a yard flannel. I don't usually buy fabric from them being that I work for a fancy fabric store (makes you sort of a fabric snob). But those little owls looked so Japaneses to me I had to give them a chance. So for a grand total of six green ones I left with 3 yards of owls. What to do with them now ?
Last Friday I turned 30 weeks pregnant, and suddenly the thought that I haven't actually made anything for the baby pointed its ugly head. I have since entered an industrious period and here is the result of phase 1:
one square swaddling blanket, one changing pad, two burp cloth.
A few words of explanation:
3 yds of flannel, scrap of terry cloth, contrasting cotton thread.
For the square swaddling blanket, use the width of the fabric minus the selvages as side dimension. Once you have two squares of exactly the same size, iron them right sides together and trace round corners with a pictogram pen and a plate. Cut the rounded corners to shape. Sew a half inch seam all the way around leaving a few inches for turning.
Turn the blanket, iron the seams flat, shaping the corners.
Sew a decorative stitch along the edge with a contrasting
color thread.This step will close the turning hole. I chose an heirloom stitch with a wing needle
because the motif reminded me of the XXX on the fabric. The extra thickness you get from using a 1/2 inch seam creates some stabilizing for the embroidery stitch.
For the changing pad, use as much of the left over flannel you'd like. ( Mine is about 24inch by 18 inches finished). Cut a piece of terry the same size as your flannel and repeat the same steps as for the blanket: iron, round, sew, turn, iron. This time I just topstitched the right side edges, because the terry makes a bulky seam.
For the burp cloth, I ended up with enough fabric for four equal rectangles. The process here is the exact same as for the blanket, except much faster!
In the end, you can make this set as a gift for a friend in about the time it take to watch a movie, or two episodes of Law and Order (your choice). I decided to practice my swaddling skills with the blanket on a large sock monkey. It went very well, the monkey cooperated without a sound, although his arms had a tendency to stick out. Once I picked him up however something weird happened, I felt a strange emotion, as if it was suddenly for real, the baby, all of it. I managed not to cry which is a good thing because I wasn't alone in the room... close call.
PS: A lot of great books and patterns I read have rectangular swaddling blanket, they recommend buying 36 inches of fabric twice. I think that from what I have seen and heard from my friends babies, a square blanket works better. As we all know babies are not actually made of socks and its easier when you don't have to struggle with one arm to find out which way is which (on the blanket not the baby). On the plus side of buying 42 inches twice, the blanket ends up bigger and will be useful much longer, or so I am told...
PS: Thanks to eveyone for their super nice comments on this post. I feel really energized to make more and more. If anyone needs more in depth instructions or pictures I will be glad to provide some.