First off, thanks to my friend Joslin for conveniently getting pregnant so that I had a real babe in mind when sewing this fun, easy and very practical blankie, The Swaddle Blanket, which is this month’s project for our Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders Sew Along.
I have to admit that I was skeptical. With Tau and then Maceo, we used the Miracle Blanket, and loved it so much that I was not sure that any other swaddler would be nearly as nice, comfy or snug. Silly me.
Pink or blue, pink or blue? I subtly asked Joslin whether she was having a boy or a girl, but it’s still too early to tell. I’m not about to wait a few more months to find out, so I went unisex. Love this pretty flannel!
Ahem! Note: You need two packs of binding for this project. I didn’t read
the instructions carefully, so had to run back to the store.
Another note, make sure you get a generous yard of fabric, because there is little room for error when laying out this pattern.
My only (and very small) frustration with this project is that the paper pattern piece for the ties is printed within the borders of the pattern piece for the blanket piece (see below). Which is okay, because I pinned and cut out the blanket fabric piece first, and then cut out the pattern piece for the ties.
What you’re left with, though, is a very flimsy pattern piece for the blanket panel, should you ever want to make another blanket. See what I mean?
That aside, the swaddle blanket is super quick and easy to whip up. You simply join the two ties with a classic French seam — shout out to my elementary-school sewing teacher for teaching me that at an early age!
Then bind the edges of the blanket and the tie piece separately with 1/4″ bias binding.
And this is the part where you learn what a lazy, impatient stitcher I am. I never pre-wash my fabric, I seldom use pins when I sew, and I only iron-as-you-sew when I know it will make the next step easier.
Pinning bias binding? Pah! For rookies and the feint of heart!
This was the first time I’d used the skinny 1/4″ binding, and you really have to go slowly and carefully to make sure you catch the fabric and keep your stitching straight!
See that beauty of a sewing machine in the picture above. That’s Molly, and it occurred to me that I should tell her story, but perhaps I will keep that for another post.
Once the binding is on, it’s simply a matter of attaching the tie panel to the blanket panel. The directions in the book give you exact measurements for placement.
Within five minutes of finishing the binding, I’d stitched the ties on and was ready to test the blankie’s swaddle power. Unfortunately, my babies are both too big now, but Maceo newest little friend, appropriately named Baby, was happy to oblige!
Baby is a shorty-pants — about the length of a newborn — so you’ll see in this picture that the ties swaddle him a bit too low down on the body. If you want to use this blankie for a very tiny baby, I’d either sew the ties on a bit higher up than the pattern suggests, or you could just fold down the top edge of the blanket a bit to ensure that the tight swaddle starts around your baby’s shoulders.
How does this blanket compare to the Miracle Blanket? Very well! It’s soft, snug and won’t come undone. And — bonus! — I’ve already completed the first of the gifts I plan to make Joslin’s second baby girl. Or will it be a boy, J?!