DIY, Sewing

Minky Baby Blankets

I visited my parents recently and while I was there my mom wanted me to help her make some baby blankets. She wanted to give them to some church members who are having kids soon. She already had the minky fabric picked out, but it needed a backing and some trims. After picking that up from the good ol’ Hobby Lobby, we headed up the street to my Nana’s house. My mom used to have a sewing machine, but it hated her. It would not work for her at all, but it works for me so she gave it to me. Honestly, I think it’s scared of me because it knows I’m not afraid to take it completely apart to figure out what’s wrong. So we got Nana’s sewing machine out and her box of sewing supplies.

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I have such fond memories of this box and it’s contents. Nana used to sew and this small cardboard box would always be around holding pins, bobbins, and thread. And this Apollo 13 patch from when my grandfather used to work at NASA.

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Anyway, back to sewing. I started by cutting the kinky fabric. In hindsight this was really stupid because I thought I could just measure it with a measuring tape and cut it. Yeah no. That’s a bad idea. I had this not-quiet-rectangular piece of minky. I gave in and made a simple pattern out of wrapping paper. I just pinned it to the minky and cut around it. I repeated this two more times for three blankets in total.

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The next step I did was to follow the same process with the flannel fabrics. We ended up with three different patterns; one for a girl, one for a boy, and one gender neutral. The plan was for one blanket to not have a stain trim, and the other two would have them. So I started with the easiest one.

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For the first blanket, I laid the minky on the table, right side up, and then the flannel on top of that, right side down. I pinned all the way around, making sure to use plenty of pins since minky fabric can be tricky to sew. On one side I left about a four inch long “hole” in the pins. I marked this by placing the pins at the beginning and end the opposite way I had been pinning. I sewed the two pieces together with approximately a 1/8 inch seem allowance.

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I laid the fabric back on the table and found the hole I had left in the stitching. I pulled the fabrics through, turning them right side out. I carefully folded the open seem inward, pinned in place, and top stitched the whole blanket down. I quickly made a few stitches in the middle of the blanket to secure the top and bottom layers. They aren’t too noticeable since the thread matches the fabric pretty well.

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The next day, after giving the first blanket to the momma, I did the second one. For this blanket, I decided to skip a step. This was also a bad idea. What I did was attach the satin trim to the blanket fabrics without attaching them to each other first. Technically, this is okay. For me, the inexperienced seamstress that I am, this was a bad idea. The edges gave me a bit of trouble but the corners were the worst. I fought with them the entire time. All I can really say about this part is PINS. Do not be scared of the pins. You need them. I added a couple stitches in the middle of the blanket like before and I was done!

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It was after successfully completing the second blanket that I had the idea to add and appliqué to the third blanket. I had left over flannel and thought it would look super cute to cut a fox out and sew it to the front. I was trying to figure this out when the machine decided it had had enough for one day and refused to work. I don’t know if the tension got messed up or if there was a stray piece of thread somewhere but it just would not work. After figuring it out the next day, i started on the appliqué. All I did for this was sew a small, close zig-zag stitch around the fox. I cut closely around the stitches and pinned it to the minky fabric. I made sure to do this before sewing the two fabrics together. Then I did a straight stitch around the fox, trying to be as close to the zig-zag stitches as possible.

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I’m in love with how it turned out. This time, I quickly sewed the two fabrics together before attaching the trim. This was a huge help. I wasn’t trying to work with two fabrics and trim; I was working with one fabric now. So I pinned the trim around the edges. The corners were still a bit tricky though. I figured it out eventually. Once you fold the trim around the corner, it’s really just pushing and pinning fabric into place. Next time I make a blanket like this, I’m gonna buy extra trim and practice.

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When sewing the corners, I was careful to only rotate the fabric when the needle was down. This helps to keep the position of the needle so when you start sewing again it doesn’t end up too far to the left or right.

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Overall, I’m really happy about how these turned out. My mom let me take the leftover fabric. There’s not much but I might be able to get something out of it!

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Thanks for reading!

With Love,

Wendy

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