how to sew a blanket

How To Sew a Blanket: A Cozy Craft for Beginners

Snuggling up with a warm, handmade blanket is one of life’s simple pleasures. Whether you’re a seasoned seamstress or a novice stitcher, sewing a blanket is a rewarding project that will keep you cozy for years to come. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the art of creating your very own handmade blanket, from selecting the perfect fabric to mastering essential sewing techniques. So, grab your fabric and thread, and let’s dive into the world of cozy crafting!

Choosing Materials

Fabric Selection

The type of fabric you select for your blanket will influence its weight, warmth, and overall texture. Flannel, fleece, cotton, and Minky are popular choices, each offering unique benefits. Flannel is soft and cozy, perfect for a lightweight yet warm blanket. Fleece is a versatile option, providing both warmth and durability. Cotton is a breathable choice, ideal for year-round use, while minky offers a luxuriously soft and plush feel.

When selecting your fabric, consider the desired weight, pattern, and overall aesthetic you wish to achieve. Remember, you’ll need enough fabric to accommodate the blanket size you have in mind, plus a bit extra for seam allowances.

Notions and Supplies

In addition to your chosen fabric, you’ll need a few essential notions and supplies. Thread, fabric scissors (or a rotary cutter for precise cutting), straight pins, and batting (optional for added warmth) are must-haves. If you plan to use a sewing machine, ensure it’s in good working condition and properly threaded. Those opting for hand-sewing will need needles, embroidery floss, and a thimble to protect their fingers.

Preparing the Fabric

Preparing the Fabric
Photo credit: freepik

Cutting and Measuring

Before you can start stitching, you’ll need to cut and measure your fabric precisely. Decide on the size and shape you want for your blanket, considering any specific needs like a baby blanket or a weighted blanket. Measure carefully, leaving enough fabric for seam allowances (typically 1/2 inch to 1 inch).

Utilize either sharp fabric scissors or a rotary cutter blade to neatly trim away excess material from the fabric edges. If working with multiple layers, such as a backing fabric and a top fabric, be sure to cut each layer separately for accurate alignment.

Pinning and Layering

If your blanket design involves multiple fabric layers, such as batting or backing fabric, it’s crucial to align and secure them properly. Use straight pins to hold the layers together, pinning from the center outward to ensure a smooth, wrinkle-free surface.

Alternatively, you can use basting stitches (long, temporary stitches) to hold the layers in place. This method is particularly useful for larger blankets or those with intricate designs.

Sewing Techniques

Machine Sewing

For those with access to a sewing machine, machine sewing is an efficient and reliable method for constructing your blanket. Begin by setting up your machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, threading it with the appropriate thread colour and weight.

When sewing your blanket, take it slow and steady, guiding the fabric smoothly through the machine. Pay close attention to the seam allowances and stitch length, ensuring consistent and secure stitching. If you’re sewing corners or curves, take your time and pivot the fabric carefully to maintain clean lines.

Hand Sewing (Optional)

Hand-sewing is a traditional and therapeutic method for creating blankets, allowing you to add personal touches and embellishments along the way. The backstitch and whipstitch are two popular techniques for hand-sewing blankets.

The backstitch creates a sturdy, continuous line of stitches, making it ideal for seams and edges. The whipstitch, on the other hand, is a decorative stitch often used for appliqué or joining two pieces of fabric together.

If you choose to hand-sew your blanket, be prepared for it to be a labour of love, requiring patience and dedication. However, the sense of accomplishment and the personalized touch make it well worth the effort.

Finishing Touches

Binding or Fringing

Once your blanket is sewn, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Binding or fringing the edges not only provides a polished look but also helps prevent fraying.

Binding involves attaching a strip of fabric (bias tape or coordinating fabric) around the raw edges of the blanket. This technique creates a clean, finished look and protects the edges from wear and tear.

Fringing, on the other hand, involves cutting or tying strands of fabric along the edges, creating a textured, bohemian vibe. This method is perfect for those who prefer a more casual, rustic aesthetic.

Washing and Care

Before you can snuggle up with your newly sewn blanket, it’s important to follow the proper washing and care instructions. Check the fabric content and manufacturer’s recommendations for specific laundering guidelines.

It’s generally advised to wash your blanket in cold or lukewarm water on a gentle cycle with mild detergent. To preserve the blanket’s plush texture, refrain from employing bleach or fabric softener, as these products could potentially compromise the fibre integrity and cause the softness to deteriorate with continued use and laundering.

When drying, use a low heat setting in the tumble dryer or consider air drying, depending on the fabric type. Proper care will ensure your handmade blanket maintains its coziness and longevity.

FAQs

What is the easiest type of blanket for beginners to sew?

No-sew fleece blankets or basic tie blankets are excellent choices for beginners because they require minimal sewing skills. Flannel or cotton quilts can also be beginner-friendly with the right guidance.

How much fabric do I need to make a blanket?

The amount of fabric required depends on the desired blanket size. Generally, you’ll need 1-2 yards of fabric for a baby blanket, 2-4 yards for a throw blanket, and 4-6 yards for a full/queen-size blanket.

Can I sew a blanket without a sewing machine?

Yes, you can hand-sew a blanket using techniques like backstitch, whipstitch, or even simple tie knots. Hand-sewing is more time-consuming but allows for personalized touches.

What is the best way to finish the edges of a blanket?

Common edge-finishing techniques include binding (using bias tape or fabric strips), fringing, or creating a self-bound edge by folding and stitching the raw edges.

How do I wash and care for a handmade blanket?

While adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended care guidelines remains paramount, a generally advisable approach involves laundering the item in cold or lukewarm water using a gentle cycle, followed by either tumble drying on a low-heat setting or allowing it to air dry, thereby minimizing potential damage or premature deterioration. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve successfully sewn your very own blanket, a cozy creation that will keep you warm and comfortable for years to come. Whether you opted for a classic flannel design, a plush minky masterpiece, or a whimsical pom-pom trimmed delight, your blanket is a reflection of your creativity and hard work.

As you cherish your finished blanket, feel proud knowing that you’ve crafted a piece that will bring joy and comfort to your home. And who knows? Maybe your newfound sewing skills will inspire you to tackle your next project, like a stylish tote bag or a cozy quilt.

Now, it’s your turn to share your blanket-making experience. What unique designs, fabrics, or embellishments did you incorporate into your project? We can’t wait to hear about your cozy creations!

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Main image: pexels

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 249

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