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DIY Swaddle Blanket Pattern

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Prudent Baby

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Monday, February 22, 2010

DIY Swaddle Blanket Pattern

OK ladies, I am super proud of this DIY Swaddle Blanket so be nice (I know you're always nice, but please be extra nice).  This gift is destined for a baby yet-to-be-born so it's modeled here by my other child, Scarlet's sister, Pandy.  It's okay, you can laugh at Pandy's forlorn, distant stare.  Just don't laugh at my attempt to show you how to make a swaddle blanket.

There are so few free tutorials on how to make a swaddling blanket and so many expensive versions on the market, so I've been feeling them all out and trying to come up with a simple, yet effective, way to make your own.  This free swaddling blanket tutorial will cost you under $5 to make with inexpensive flannel.  It can be sewn in about an hour or two depending on your sewing style.  Here's a little step-by-step on how this homemade swaddling blanket works. It can be tucked or tied.  Don't worry, it works the same for pandas and babies.

Tell me what you think in the comments, please!!!  And get the Free Swaddle Blanket Pattern after the jump...

How to Make A Swaddle Blanket
Free Swaddle Blanket Pattern
***I've made an updated version of this tutorial.  Check it out here: New & Improved DIY Swaddle Blanket Pattern

1. You'll need 1 yard of flannel (you can use another fabric but i personally found that the non-stretch quality of flannel was ideal for swaddling) and a 1/4 yard of a cute cotton print (I used Patty Young Flora & Fauna Hummingbirds in White). Fold the flannel in half along the width (around 45" for most fabric yardage) on the diagonal and draw a 40" line from the outside corner to the fold to create a triangle like so:

Cut along that line.

2. Leave your triangle folded and draw a 4" line horizontally across the tip and cut the tip off like so:

Here's a little diagram to make it more clear:

***Update:  I've heard from some test moms that tall babies can kick their way out and the blanket would be better a little longer.  So you may want to just make a 2" cut or no cut at all to leave a little extra length.

3. Now at this point I serged a rolled hem all the way around my triangle blanket, but if you don't have a serger I'll give you other options after the picture.  If you want to understand a serger check out my video "What is A Serger? What Does A Serger Do?" here:

You can fold 1/8" and iron all the way around, then another 1/8" inch, iron, pin and sew a hem, or if you want, you can cut another triangle of the same size (in the same or coordinating fabric), sew the two triangles together with right sides facing leaving a turning hole, then turn them inside out, iron flat, and top-stitch around the edge.
Here is my completed rolled hem:

4. Now set your swaddle blanket aside and let's create the wrap. Cut a piece of fabric the length of your yard (44"-45") and 10" wide. Fold it in half lengthwise:

the again widththwise so it's quartered, then draw your tie shape onto it starting at the fold. I freehanded it but you can trace something round for the curves and use a ruler for the straight edges. See this picture for guidance:

Cut that out. This is what it will look like unfolded:

5. So you need a piece of flannel the same size, but if you only bought one yard of flannel (or to get the most out of the yard you already cut into a triangle) you should cut two pieces. Trace the shape of your cotton tie piece onto your flannel and cut two identical pieces, each representing half of your tie:

6. Lay your cotton tie piece right side up, and your two flannel pieces right side down on top with the middle edges lining up, like so:

Pin around the edges:

Then sew in place. Trim the seam allowance and cut little notches at the corners:

7. Turn the whole thing right side out through the space between your two flannel pieces. Push out the edges and iron it flat:

When it's right side out, cut a piece of fusible tape and iron it between the cotton and the flannel along the cut edges of the flannel:

Then top stitch 1/4" from the edge all the way around:

8. Now grab your blanket you made earlier. Fold the triangle in half down the center and iron a nice sharp line into it:

Unfold it so your ironed edge is up.

Take your tie piece and fold it in half with the cotton pattern to the inside and the flannel outside and line it up with the ironed edge of the blanket abut 3 inches down from the top (the widest side is the top):

Carefully pin the center of the tie to the center line of the blanket:

Now you want to sew that in place. Because you will see the sewn line on all sides, and you want to be sure to catch both edges of the flannel, I used a decorative leaf stitch my sewing machine has, but you don't have to, you can use a zig zag. The fusible tape we added earlier ensures we have everything in place:

Here is how it looks from the inside:


Wrap that baby up:

Poor forlorn Pandy...

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Blogger Leah said...

That is a great tutorial. I have been wanting to make one, for some friends who are having babies. A couple of questions. Do you think that flannel would be too warm for babies that will be born in the summer, and if so what other material do you suggest? Second which doesn't have to do with the tutorial. I have the same serger as you and am having trouble with the green needle coming unthreaded when I use it. Just wondering if you had the same problem and if so how you fixed it? Thanks and a great job.

February 22, 2010 at 6:24 AM  
Blogger casserole said...

This is awesome!! When my daughter was a babe, we just used the flannel blanket from the hospital. Your version is SO much better! Lovin' the pretty fabric tie!!

I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


February 22, 2010 at 7:11 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

It just so happens that I know of at least 4 babies being born in the next few months.

Adding this to the ever growing project list!!

February 22, 2010 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger Jaime said...

thank you leah! my daughter was born in april and i swaddled with flannel most of the summer, but we have air conditioning. i think linen would be a good alternative for the summer, especially with a few washings so it's nice and soft. they have some ADORABLE linen prints at harts fabric. as for the needle coming unthreaded, i haven't had that problem. i imagine somewhere along the line it's getting slightly stuck, maybe the tension disk is too tight?

February 22, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Jaime said...

p.s. isn't serging the most fun ever? i could do it all day.

February 22, 2010 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

Thanks for the suggestions on the both the fabric and serger. I just got mine for Christmas and am still working out the kinks. And yes it is a blast.

February 22, 2010 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Faye Farrales said...

I am a new follower of your blog and I love it. Still learning how to use a sewing machine and everything, but these tutorials are great! I am going to be an aunt and am really excited to try all these projects out! Thank you!

February 22, 2010 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Hi I'm Amy, said...

Love it! Makes me want another baby so I can try it out... : )

February 22, 2010 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Jacinda said...

You and Carleton Curtis make the most beautiful babies, I swear. You also make the most beautiful swaddling blankets. I'm not kidding about the swaddling blanket, it really is to die for. If only Quinn had been born a year later, I may have been the lucky recipient. PS. My favorite swaddling blankets were made of muslin gauze. Might be worth a try for summer babies.

February 22, 2010 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Suzan said...

How lovely! My son and DIL are expecting a very premature baby any day now. I will be making several of these for when he finally comes home from the hospital. Thanks so much for the tutorial!

February 22, 2010 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Gwyneth said...

thanks for sharing this! i also LOVE the couch that bear is sitting on!!!

February 22, 2010 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Jaimie said...

That is a REALLY cute swaddling blanket!! I will have to bookmark this for when a new kiddo comes into our lives.

February 22, 2010 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Perfect! Having baby #2 in June...we didn't have a great swaddling blanket for the first babe. Now we will!

February 22, 2010 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger Nutella Nutterson said...

Awesome pattern. Poor Sad Panda, though! It must be tough eating bamboo all day long.

February 22, 2010 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Snot Head said...

This is great! Super inexpensive baby gift, and you could even include a special stuffed animal swaddled up as part of the "baby shower" gift. Can't wait to get a chance to make one of these.

February 22, 2010 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

With a little one on the way I am so excited to make use of this pattern. So adorable and functional!

I linked to your pattern/ tutorial on i*heart*life.

February 22, 2010 at 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Kawtar said...

thank you so much for the tutorial it makes it look so simple !

February 23, 2010 at 3:10 AM  
Blogger kelly gibson said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! i've been looking for a good swaddler pattern for over a year now. two of my best friends are having babies this summer and i'm adding this to the list of projects for them (along with quilts, hospital-necessities kits, and nursing covers).

February 23, 2010 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger GiMilanezi said...

Awesome.. thank you SO much!
I´ll send you pictures of a nice warm baby from Brazil very soon.. =)

February 23, 2010 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger luvinthemommyhood said...

Fabulous tutorial! I just can't seem to stop linking to you lovely ladies! I couldn't resist adding this to our "link luv roundup" today, come by for a peek!

P.s. We have "featured on luvinthemommyhood" buttons if you would like one for your "press" section, we would be honored to send one your way :) Thanks for a great site!

February 24, 2010 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

This is adorable! My baby is due in July, but it can be pretty cold here in Michigan. I can't wait to make one!

February 24, 2010 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Wow is that cute! I will have to give it a try, I have some baby gifts to make! Thanks!

February 25, 2010 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger jasmilly said...

Great Tute!!! My son always gets out of his swaddle then wakes up... off to get fabric and make one of these!!!

February 25, 2010 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger sandy said...

I think you are a very talented seamstress, and I am so thankful that you shared this with us! I have been wanting to make one for a long time but couldn't find one I liked, but I have now!! Thank YOU!!

February 26, 2010 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Jaime said...

leah! i had the serger unthreading green needle issue this weekend. wanted to throw the thing in the recycling bin. you are probably not doing this, but i realized that i was trying to do an overlock on several layers of fabric with it accidentally set to "R" for rolled hem. when i switched it to the "S" it went back to behaving. i think it was mad at me for trying to roll 5 layers of fabric into one tiny hem. so i'm sharing just in case

February 28, 2010 at 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Leeloo said...

Great idea! i wish i found it sooner.
thanks for sharing!

March 2, 2010 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Marie Rose said...

This is so freaking cute. I love love love it! I have so many friends that are pregnant and this is awesome! Thanks so much!

April 2, 2010 at 7:16 PM  
Blogger Lindsey said...

This is so super cute - I can't wait to try it!

This tutorial was featured on my Craft Tutorials Moms Will Love post today:

April 5, 2010 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger csproul said...

Absolutely wonderful! I made several for my daughter-in-law and for a friend who is due any day now. They are both just thrilled and I am so pleased with how they went together so easily and look so nice! Thank you for sharing this pattern. :)

April 15, 2010 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Katherine said...

Wonderful pattern. This has saved me so much $$$$. I found this pattern last night and had to look through my left-over pile of fabric to give it a try right away, I was so excited I was up until 1:00am sewing.
If anybody wants more information read "The happiest baby on the block," great book!!

May 18, 2010 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Margaret V said...

This is SOOOO easy and my daughter loves it!

June 9, 2010 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger A Dixie Girls Delights said...

Jsut found ya'lls wonderful site, and I ma having another little one in march so I am super excited to make tons of these I can see the patterns now :) all of your patterns are absolutely amazing and there are tons of things I will be making for my baby and toddler

November 10, 2010 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Babysqueakers said...

Do you know of this will fit a 3 month old? He loves being swaddled and getting to big for his And i don't want to go out and get one when I have tons of material around. Thanks!

November 21, 2010 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

Great tutorial! I have two friends due soon so I might make a few of these. I love the Panda too :)

February 8, 2011 at 1:14 AM  

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