It is time for another Sewing for Baby Video tutorial. Click on the highlighted text to find the entire Sewing for Baby Series. Today we are making very practical swaddle baby blankets on both the sewing machine and the serger. As always the video is up first and then there are step by step written directions. Let's get started!
Swaddle blankets are stitched with Double Gauze. If this is a material you are unfamiliar with, here is a blog post and video that explains a little about this fabric. I have some organic double gauze available in the shop and regular double gauze is also available on amazon. I purchased 1.5 yards and made my blankets 45" square, but you can go as small as 36" square if you like. You will also need matching thread and basic sewing supplies. If sewing on a serger, you will need 2 spools of matching thread if using a serger and the rolled hem option. The lower looper can be threaded in a neutral thread color. (Watch the video for more details.)
Prewash and dry the fabric. Press the fabric and cut to a square. I tore my fabric so that it is on grain. Double gauze can sometimes run if you tear it, so test a small area first. Even if it does run, the fabric is so loosely woven that it is easy to just smooth the run. When torn, the edges can have strings, so use a rotary cutter to trim off any strings.
Sewing with a Serger:
Set the serger to a 3 thread narrow hem or a 3 thread rolled hem stitch.
My preference is a 3 thread narrow hem. I thought the narrow hem was softer and had better coverage than the rolled hem. My initial sample resulted in a wavy edge.
Set the Differential Feed at 1.5.
To correct this problem, I set the differential feed at 1.5 and it gave me a great finished edge.
The advantage of using the rolled hem setting rather than the narrow hem is that the edge is rolled and the lower looper thread doesn't really show. If you don't have enough matching thread for the serger, put matching thread in the needle and upper looper. a neutral colored thread can be used in the lower looper.
Here I have put black thread in the lower looper for demonstration purposes. It only slightly shows on the wrong side. If I used pink thread in the needle and upper looper and white thread in the lower looper, it would hardly show.
Serge all 4 sides of the Blanket.
Using the above settings, simply serge all 4 sides of the blanket.
While it is possible to turn an outside corner, I always get little loops at the end and found it just easier to serge off each end.
Take a few hand stitches or zigzag on the sewing machine to finish each corner.
Threading the tails back through the stitching is difficult with a narrow or rolled hem. Instead I simply take a few hand stitches at each corner to secure and then cut the tail. Alternatively, each corner could be zigzaged on the sewing machine.
Sewing with a Sewing Machine:
Prepare the Fabric by trimming the corners.
Measure 1.5 inches up from each corner. Mark with a fabric marking pen. Draw a line connecting the two marks and trim the corner. Do this to all 4 corners.
Fold the raw side edges of the blanket to the right side by 1/2 inch.
Do this on all corners. Press in place.
Sew a 1/2" Seam at the Corners.
At the corner, put the two folded edges together with the non-folded fabric back to back and sew a 1/2" seam across the raw edge of the corner. This creates a mitered corner.
Here is the finished stitched seam.
Pin the hem into place on the sides.
Trim the seam to 1/4" and turn right side out. Repeat for all 4 corners. Measure, press and pin the hem into place on all for sides turning in 1/2" and then a 1/2" again.
Edge stitch the Hem in Place.
To finish the hem, simply edge stitch the hem in place from the right side along the inside edge. This is great place to use a decorative stitch. I used a blanket stitch set a 5 W and 5L. I love the beautiful finish this gave to the blanket!
I hope you will give these wonderful swaddle stitch blankets a try and if you haven't signed up for the newsletter - don't forget to do so! You will receive our free sewing planner and a 15% off coupon to the shop!