As a sewing beginner and the recipient of one of the best sewing machines on the market, I’ve jumped head-first into finding a variety of sewing craft projects that are simple and easy to do. Baby blankets! Baby blankets are simple, easy things to make for beginners like me.
Considering the fact that a baby blanket is a simple square or rectangular shaped sewing project, I figured there wasn’t much chance of making a baby blanket that wouldn’t turn out cute and usable. Even if I had to rip out out seams and start all over again until I got it just how I wanted the baby blanket to look. To date, I’ve made three very easy baby blankets in pink and other pastel colors with flannel fabric since flannel isn’t stretchy, and another blanket out of soft, stretchy fleece material.
Like other sewing beginners who aren’t quite sure how to make baby blankets that would look professionally made vs obviously homemade blankets, I went on a search for baby blanket patterns in order to get different ideas on various ways to make receiving blankets for baby girls and boys. Fortunately, I didn’t spend any money buying blanket patterns because a store-bought pattern is not needed.
To make a baby blanket the easy way, I just used a newspaper folded out all the way as my pattern, added a couple inches to my “pattern” for the cuddly fleece baby blanket because I wanted it to be larger than those found in stores. It’s typically recommended to make a baby blanket with two yards of different but coordinating print fabrics (or solid colors), which is then cut into two equal one-yard measurements.
One of these days I’ll get around to making a quilt baby blanket with batting or a large throw blanket for keeping snuggly warm in the winter while watching tv with Grandpa. For now, I’m doing good to use up all the purchased fabrics for blankets for our grandchildren and the leftover batting from when we reupholstered our dining room chairs.
Beginner Baby Blankets Instructions
It can be intimidating for sewing beginners to start making any craft projects, but let me tell you, if I can make a baby blanket after not touching a sewing machine since high school, anyone can sew a baby blanket together and have it turn out looking great.
Having made a few blankets out of stretchy and non-stretchy fabrics, I would suggest first making a couple flannel baby blankets or receiving blankets before trying to make a fleece baby blanket with stretchy material, but it’s just a recommendation.
Things needed for making easy baby blankets for beginners are:
- Sewing machine or serger (of course)
- 2 yards flannel fabric cut into 1 yard measurements. Solid color fabrics or coordinating prints for double-sided, reversible baby blankets (fleece or quilting fabric – whatever fabric you wish to use)
- Matching or coordinating thread
- Good quality fabric shears
- Newspaper or baby blanket pattern
- Iron (to iron out/press out very wrinkled fabrics)
- Straight pins
How to Make Easy Baby Blankets for Beginners
Prewash/preshrink your fabric. Iron the fabric to remove big noticeable wrinkles. Trim off the rough salvages or any fraying edges with your good cutting shears.
On a hard flat surface, place a one-yard piece of flannel fabric, right side up. Next, lay the second piece of one-yard flannel material on top of the first piece of fabric, right side down.
Carefully pin the two layers of fabric together, approximately one inch apart (or so), all the way around the two fabric sections until fully secured together. Sewing beginners should not skip this step, but the more experienced you become and feeling more confident in your sewing skills, you may choose to skip pinning the fabric together.
Using a straight stitch and a ¼ inch seam allowance, begin sewing along the edge in the middle section of one side. Don’t start sewing at a corner because you’re going to have to turn the fabric right side out, and if you’re not careful, you’ll find you’ve sewn the blanket fabric together completely and will have to rip out at least part of the seam in order to flip the fabric through to the right side.
Sew the first fabric edge until you come to the ¼ inch corner edge and are ready to shift and turn the fabric. Without cutting the thread, lift the presser foot on your sewing machine and turn the fabric, sew the second edge of the flannel using the same ¼ inch seam allowance, then repeat for the third edge.
For the fourth and last edge, only sew about half to ¾ along the edge, leaving a section of fabric not sewn together large enough to fit your hand through to turn the blanket right side out. When you’ve stopped sewing, reverse stitch three or four backward stitches to secure the seam, then forward three or four stitches and stop. Cut the thread.
Turn the baby blanket right side out, being sure to poke out the corner points with your fingertips. Smooth out the receiving blanket and corner edges, or use your not-too-hot iron to carefully smooth and flatten the blanket.
Turn under the area of fabric where you reached in and pulled the baby blanket through to the front side, and pin this area together every inch or so until secured. You’re going to sew the baby blanket again, but not on the same side your initial stitching was done. Sew all the way around the receiving blanket like previously done, including the pinned section not yet sewn (where you pulled the blanket through), using an 1/8 seam allowance if possible, so the initial stitching is not weakened.
Remember to back stitch at the beginning of the stitched seam and at the end when nearly completed. Make sure you’ve sewn all the way around all four sides of the baby blanket before back stitching or cutting the thread. Now, admire your finished receiving blanket and congratulate yourself for a job well done.
That’s what making an easy baby blanket is all about. My first homemade baby blanket is pictured above. Once you’ve made a few receiving blankets like this, step up the difficulty factor to include adding a fancy satin or lace edge to the blanket, or try making a fleece baby blanket with super soft and super stretchy fleece fabric.