Getting Crafty: Making Flannel Baby Blankets
I have been busy crafting baby blankets lately. I received one of these flannel blankets way back when our first child was born. So they have been around since the “dawn of flannel cloth;” I am sure. It was one of my favorites and I hope these blankets will be useful for those who have and will receive them from me.
Here is a tutorial in a sense. These blankets are easy to make, but there are some things I learned along the way that I wanted to share with you.
After purchasing your fabric, make certain you wash and dry it, so it will be shrunk before you put the pieces together. I purchased 1 yard each of two coordinating patterns in flannel. My fabrics were 44-45″ widths and would be nice for swaddling a babe. The one I was given was made with 60″ fabric and was nice to throw on the floor/grass for my babies to play on.
After pre-shrinking the fabric you want to square the pieces up. I did this by making sure the cut edge was square to the selvage edge and then folding on the diagonal and trimming off the extra length. Do this for both pieces and then place wrong sides together and making sure they are the same size. Trim if necessary.
You may sew on a serger, but since mine had a broken needle, I used my conventional machine. Choose an overcast stitch. I set mine to be 1/4 of an inch wide. I also shortened my stitch length a bit so I had good coverage of the raw edge. But don’t make it too short or your edge will be stiff.
Since you are sewing two layers of flannel, I recommend that you lessen the pressure on the presser foot. I used my scrap piece and sewed a long edge to make sure that the material was not “walking.” ( That means the top layer is stretching and getting longer than the bottom one.)
Start sewing in the middle of a side and stitch all the way around.
The last step is the crochet edging. For this I used a cotton string and a size 10 hook.
Fold once to turn under the edge stitching. Use a darning needle to make holes through the two layers of fabric and you will probably be able to make only 3 or 4 holes ahead of your stitching. I used the pattern on my material to help me evenly place the stitches along the edge. Space the stitches about 1/4 inch apart.
Starting the in the middle of a side make a loose single crochet all around the blanket, folding once and making holes for the stitches right along the edge of that overcast edge. Then, for the foundation round make two single crochet (sc) in each stitch around and join with a slip stitch.
The pattern I used for the next round was: **sc, ch 1, sk next sc, tr in next stitch, ch 5, sl stitch in 4th chain of the ch 5 (picot made), ch 1, tr in the same stitch with the previous tr, ch 1, sk next stitch, repeat from ** all the way around. Sl st to the beginning of the pattern round and tie off. Weave in your threads. I had to make an adjustment when I got close to the completion of the pattern round so my pattern would come out evenly, but it was not noticeable on my finished work.
There are many different edgings patterns to choose from on the internet or Pinterest. I made up this picot edging since the pattern repeat was based on a small number of stitches and didn’t have large holes for little fingers or toes to be caught in.
- sc = single crochet
- ch= chain
- tr=treble crochet
- sl st=slip stitch