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An easy beginning sewer project - super simple baby blankets (no sewing machine required)

Mini-Tutorial: Super Simple Baby Blanket

I’ve been meaning to share a mini-tutorial on these easy-peasy baby blankets for a while now.  But then things got a little crazy and I thought I missed my window – cotton flannel blankets don’t exactly scream spring time.  


But now it seems that someone forgot to tell Mother Nature about Spring (it’s down-right nippy in Seattle today).  Maybe I didn’t miss my window after all?  Plus, even spring and summer babies love to be swaddled and these can easily be made with a lighter material. (Please note: for swaddling purposes a lighter material IS recommended to protect against over-heating, which can increase the risk of SIDS).


Simple, no sewing machine needed, baby blanket project.


If you’re a sewing novice but would really like to gift something handmade to an expecting mama then this, my friend, is the project for you! 

I don’t have a step-by-step tutorial for you today because all of the blankets you see here (plus a few more that were being washed) were lovingly whipped up by my mother-in-law and her BFF.  She graciously walked me through the steps and assured me that this is a total beginner project.  So here we go:

  1. Start with 2 pieces of fabric measuring 40″ square.  This, I’m told, is the official size for achieving the perfect swaddle.  As always, be sure to pre-wash and press your fabric before starting.
  2. Sandwich the 2 pieces of fabric together with the right sides of the fabric touching.
  3. Sew all the way around the square with a 1/4″ – 1/2″ allowance, leaving a small opening (about 6 inches or so) to turn the blanket right side out.
  4. Trim the corners so they’ll square off better and pull the blanket right side out through the opening.
  5. Top stitch the opening shut.
Simple, no sewing machine required, baby blanket project - got tons of these from my MIL and they were the best for floor time and having on the go!

The last step is to use tapestry thread to add a blanket stitch around the edging.  This detail is what really gives the blanket that “made with love” feel.  The blanket stitch is not hard.  I found a great collection of tutorials on several pretty versions for you here.  It does take some though – it’s one of those activities you do while catching up on all the shows you have on your DVR but never get around to actually watching.

Also, according to the MIL, the secret is to iron the blanket once more before starting the blanket stitch.  The 1/4″ – 1/2″ that you left outside of the seams when it was inside out will now act as a guide for your stitching.  Just butt the end of each stitch up against it’s edge to achieve a straight line.



That’s it!  Add one tired baby and you’re good to go.


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth Tunnell April 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm

This is beautiful and simple! Thanks, from a novice sewer 😉 Maybe I’ll make matching burp rags with a blanket stitch. such a great idea.


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com April 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Beth – blanket stitched burp rags are a great idea, their smaller scale would really highlight the stitching detail. Simple white rags with stitching in bright, cheerful colors would be beautiful!


~Iffy~ April 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Too cute, I wil have to try this for sure!



Anonymous February 1, 2012 at 3:36 am

Beautiful gift! Just curious which fabric you used? Flannels, cottons, etc.


Jessica Baynes December 30, 2012 at 9:37 am

Great article, I love the simplicity of it all. I was thinking of using heavy merino wool to do this and was wondering if you knew how well it holds the stitching? I love this kind of material since it’s made from natural fiber unlike most of the cotton we have these days. Thoughts?



Alice April 27, 2013 at 10:25 pm

What fabric do you use for these blankets? I am wondering because I have a gift card and I am dying to get started :)


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