Monday, November 7, 2011

Sewing: Swaddling Blanket with Polka Dot Garland

When I was expecting Audrey, my mother's-in-law (and now my!) good friend, Sallee, gifted me a pile of plain cotton flannel swaddling blankets, which she had embroidered with a few little flowers. Such a simple gift, and I loved her handmade touch, but I had no idea how much I would use them. I think I used one every day until I was finished swaddling Audrey and then used them for her little sisters. (Thank you, Sallee!)

So as I was putting together a gift for my sister-in-law I thought about including this great basic, with a handmade flourish inspired by Sallee's. I picked a polka dot garland--some felt polka dots in various shades of blue and grey stitched down in an asymmetrical curve.

To make, I bought enough flannel to form a square (44"), and finished it with a turned hem. I like to zigzag the edge because it makes it easier to turn, and then turn it under twice and stitch down with mitered corners.  You could also of course buy a plain flannel blanket--the appliques are such a cute and simple way to make it unique.

To make the polka dots I cut felt circles that vary in size from that of a quarter to a dime. Then I played with their arrangement in one corner of the blanket until I liked them way they looked, and stitched down.

I love the way this turned out. It was such a quick way to personalize the staple flannel swaddling blanket. And hopefully it's a gift my sister-in-law will find useful. I would have liked to make a whole stack of them, but I ran out of time after working on another blanket, which was a bit more complicated. I'll be sharing the tutorial for it next. (There's a little hint in the photo above.)


  1. I love hints...and of course anything baby!!! Just wanted to pop in and make sure you got my Waverly email. Hugs and happily waiting for the hint tutorial!!! XXX

  2. Really, really cute!. Your SIL will love it, I'm sure. Did you use wool felt? Can't wait to see the reveal of the other blanket too! :)

    Have a great day!
    S xox

  3. I know it's silly, but I like the way you hemmed it! I wouldn't have done it that way, but now I will!

    Of course, the applique is darling :) and I can't wait to see the other blanket!

  4. This is my 3rd attempt hope it works!
    I like how you've continued the theme from the invitations. I love hand made gifts, and I cannot have enough blankets for my son. Your SIL will love using this beautiful blanket.
    Look forward to seeing next one (chevrons!).

  5. Love how this turned out. So sweet and simple. Love it!

  6. Could this be done with linen? I've been kind of obsessed with linen baby blankets lately, but wonder if it's too light to make something like this with?

  7. @Aewsomeness: I think it would be pretty in linen! Maybe hand-embroider the polka dots to be careful with the fabric and because I think it would add another beautiful dimension.

  8. Anneliese, is this how you miter your one-layer flannel blankets?
    And thank you for all your wonderful ideas. I will soon be making the Chevron Chenille blanket for our first grandbaby, "Evie"!


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