The movie Boss Baby couldn’t have got it more wrong – that there is a rival in this world for the love we have for babies!! Babies are the most adored species in the whole galaxy and beyond and they will remain so for all the time. And every baby needs a baby blanket.
A soft blanket made with lots of love is the right of a much-loved baby. A blanket to replicate the feeling of still being in the womb. Cozy, comfortable and loved. Do you know that a swaddle in a blanket can make the baby feel settled and safe?
Let us see the many ways that these blankets have been made down the centuries
The best fabric for a baby blanket
Whatever fabric you choose it should be lightweight, super soft and breathable and made of 100% natural fibers. If you can find organic fabric so much the better.
A cotton flannel or cotton knit fabric is the most favored fabric for baby blanket. If you buy the best high quality super soft cotton flannel you can get your hands on in a soft color you have the best fabric for a baby blanket. Some prefer to use fine toweling fabric instead of flannel.
You can also use the best quality woven cotton fabric to make blankets, especially if you live in a hot climate. Very fine high quality Muslin fabric make a very comfortable swaddling blanket for newborn babies. Some prefer an organic bamboo cotton blend because of its naturalness and some an open weave cotton
Calculating yardage for the baby blanket
For a square baby blanket, use the width of the fabric minus the selvages. 1 and 1/4 meter long ( about 1 3/8 yards) flannel 45 inches wide will give you a 45-inch square piece for the blanket – With edges finished you will end up with a 42 inch baby blanket which works very well for all babies. Check out this post on the blanket and quilt sizes for more details on this.
Wash the fabric before cutting it so that it will not shrink later. Prewashing also removes excess dye and lint. Press fabric before cutting.
You will need to check that the grain of the fabric you have is perfect before cutting the fabric otherwise the blanket will not lie perfectly flat and square. Learn more about finding the grain of the fabric here.
How to sew a baby Blanket – 10 ideas
Idea 1. Simple and easy baby blanket
A simple baby blanket is just a piece of square fabric which is finished along the edges. Choose a soft fabric which is either plain or printed with baby themed patterns. You can finish the edges of the fabric you are using with your sewing machine by turning under the edge twice.
Turn 1/2 first to the wrong edge, then 1/2 inch again and stitch one side. Do this for all sides. You can use a decorative stitch for a cuter look. You can also sew the hem with a rolled-hem stitch, a mock blanket stitch, or an edge stitch. Or hand sew the hem with overcast stitch or blanket stitch
Personalize the blanket with embroidery, applique work, stamping etc. Add some appropriate baby embroidery motifs or a monogram on the corner and you have this super cute baby blanket which is customized to the baby you are gifting it to.
If you are embroidering with an embroidery machine you must know already that you should keep a mesh stabiliser under the fabric for some stability and strength.
Idea 2. Baby blanket with a mitered border
This is a baby blanket with a wide binding along the edges. The corners have a mitered look which makes the corners sharp and less bulky. You can use a fabric piece for the binding which is suitable in color combinations and fabric pattern to the main fabric.
Cut out a square fabric piece for the blanket of 45 inch and a fabric strip which is 5 inches wide and length equalling the perimeter of your fabric piece plus some 4 inches or so as an overlap.
You will be binding the edge with this fabric strip.
To get the mitered corner you will have to simply manipulate the corners when you reach there. I will tell you how to.
First and foremost you need to fold the fabric strip in a double fold – this means first the side edges are turned to the inside 1/4 inches
Then the fabric strip is folded by the middle so that one side is a tad (1/8 inch or so) wider.
This projecting will ensure that the binding is done accurately and stitching catches the fabric underneath.
Start the binding from the middle of one side. Stitch the binding in place till the very corner.
When you reach the end stop stitching and take out the blanket and keep it in front of you, face up .
When you reach the corner fold the binding strip as in the picture
On the inside, the blanket edge should touch the centerfold of the fabric strip. Arrange it so, if the alignment is not correct.
Fold the fabric binding strip so that a mitered corner is formed.
Stitch this corner in place. Do so for all four corners.
When you reach the starting point, Fold the short end of the fabric strip to the inside and overlap over the starting edge.
Stitch in place.
Idea 3. Double layer Baby blanket
A double layer of fabric blanket is extra cozy for the baby – ie you use two fabric as one. You should buy atleast 3 meters of fabric for making this blanket. You can also use toweling fabric on one side for extra softness and flannel or cotton on the other side.
Cut out two squares of exactly the same size. Keep them right sides together. Cut out the corners in a curved way if you want to or use it as it is. If you are rounding the corners you can use small plate as a template to draw rounded corners
Sew a half inch seam all the way around the fabric joining them together. Just leave a few inches unstitched for turning it rightside out.
Clip the seam allowance at the corners or curves so that it will turn smoothly.
Turn the blanket right side out through the unstitched hole. Poke everything outside with a knitting needle or something. Press the whole blanket so that everything is smooth
Now you can either sew a lace trim along the edge or sew a decorative stitch, in the process making sure that the unstitched hole is stitched
Idea 4. Make a Baby quilt
You can make a beautiful quilt with your favorite fabric scrap pieces; it will be a keepsake.
Idea 5. Make a chenille blanket
A chenille blanket is one of the most aesthetic things I have ever seen made for a baby. Do not know how comfortable it is but it sure looks all fluffy and beautiful. Check out this blog for more details on making this blanket.
Idea 6. Make a baby blanket with ribbon/ruffle trims
Add a gathered and ruffled fabric strip to the edges of your baby blanket for a frilly look. You can make the blanket as said in Idea No 1 and then proceed to add the trims.
Alternatively, ribbon can be added to the blanket edge – just buy a good quality soft ribbon which will undergo many rounds of washing.
Idea 7. Fully hand knitted baby blanket
If you know how to knit you can knit the whole blanket in the size you want; nothing is as soft as knitting wool against the baby’s soft skin. Ensure that you are using the best yarn suitable for baby’s skin
Related post : Best yarn for hand knitting.
Idea 8. Make a hooded baby blanket
Add a simple hood to your blanket. You can add the hood by cutting the pattern as per the picture below
Idea 9. Triangle shaped swaddle blanket
It is easier to swaddle a baby in a triangle shaped blanket than in a rectangle or square shaped one – the arms of the triangles are wrapped over the body so you need long arms for this triangle. You can add a Velcro closure to this blanket arms for cozy swaddling.
Idea 10. Make a baby blanket with crochet edges
You can make a blanket with crochet/knitted edges. Before adding crochet edging or the crochet lace trim to the edge you will have to serge the edges or make a small narrow hem along the edge
Always ensure that the baby is not too warm or too cold while wrapped in the blanket. Check with your baby’s pediatrician for the correct way to use the blanket in your particular climate and in addition use your mother’s instinct.
Use organic cotton and other organic materials to protect the baby skin from allergies and other diseases because of the pesticides and other chemical used in conventional fabric production. Learn more about eco-friendly organic fabrics here.