Today I’ve got a fun homemade baby gift idea to share with you. These easy-to-make baby blankets are one of my favorite “go-to” baby gifts. Since they are sewn from knit fabrics, they are soft, machine washable, and perfect for a new baby.
Keep reading to find out how to make a baby blanket. This is a great sewing project for beginners. I’ve also linked up a few other free baby blanket patterns at the bottom of the tutorial that I think you’ll enjoy as well!
How to Make Baby Blankets using Knit Fabrics
The Derby Day fabrics line knits have just been released and I’ve been so anxious to get my hands on some of the fabric. Riley Blake has released 6 of the prints of Derby Day in a great 4-way stretch jersey knit. Two of the colorways are exclusive to the knit fabrics.
Table of Contents
I’ve sewn a bit with knits in the past (and did a series a few years ago detailing how to sew with knits), but haven’t stitched anything up recently. Ever since we planned to release some of the prints in a knit I’ve been dreaming up a list of projects that I wanted to make. Now that I have the fabric in my hot little hands I can finally start stitching!
My brother and his wife are expecting their first baby, a girl. When they told me they are decorating her nursery in Navy and Pink I jumped for joy! I mean, I can totally “do that” considering 4 of my 6 fabric lines are mainly navy and pink.
I’m working on a quilt for her, while I’m waiting to finish that I thought that I’d stitch up a simple receiving blanket to give them first.
I absolutely love how these baby blankets turned out. They are so soft and perfect for a little baby! Aside from being soft, the knit fabric on this blanket is also super practical, in that it’s easy to wash. Just throw it in the washer and dryer, no special washing instructions are required.
What is the Best Material to Make a Baby Blanket out of?
The baby blankets in today’s tutorial are made out of 100% cotton knit fabric. A knit fabric is a fabric that is stretchy. The way the fibers are woven together leaves the fabric soft and stretchy.
You can also make a baby blanket out of the following materials. If you use another type of fabric, you will want to use a binding fabric that is not stretchy. I recommend a quilting weight cotton for binding.
- Quilting Cotton
- Upcycled T-Shirts
How Much Fabric Do I Need to Make a Baby Blanket?
For most baby blankets, you will need 2 yards of fabric. One yard for the front and one yard for the back of the blanket. You’ll also need ½ yard of fabric for the binding.
Do I need a Serger?
These blankets are SO easy to stitch up, especially if you have a serger. If you don’t have a serger don’t worry you can still make these.
Since my brother & his wife are expecting a baby girl, I stitched up a simple layette baby dress to go along with the blanket. The pattern is Butterick 5585.
The blankets are made from 2 different pieces of jersey knit fabric and some rib-knit fabric for the binding. In total, you’ll need 2 ½ yards of fabric.
Baby Blanket Size
The blankets measure 35″ x 35″, which is a great stroller blanket or receiving blanket size.
You can make them ANY size that you want. It’s just a square, keep your two pieces of fabric the same size and go crazy LOL!!
Supplies required to make the Baby Blankets:
The fabric is Derby Day & ½″ Stripe by Riley Blake Designs.
1 yard of fabric for blanket front
1 yard of fabric for blanket back
Pins & Binding clips
½ yard rib knit fabric for binding
Jersey or Stretch needle for the sewing machine.
Rotary Cutter & Cutting Mat.
How to Sew a Double Sided Baby Blanket
How to Make a Baby Blanket
- 1 yard of fabric for the blanket front
- 1 yard of fabric for the blanket back
- ½ yard Rib Knit Fabric for binding
Prewash and dry all fabrics before cutting.
- I recommend cutting knit fabrics with a rotary cutter and cutting mat. If you use scissors they will stretch as you cut them.
From Front and Back Fabric Cut:
- Cut 1 piece of fabric 36″x36″ for the front of the blanket.
- Cut another piece of knit fabric slightly larger than 36″ x 36″ for the back of the blanket.
- From Rib Knit Fabric Cut enough 2 ½″ strips to equal 150 linear inches of binding.
How to make a Baby Blanket:
- Use a large plate to round off the 4 corners of the fabric for the front of the baby blanket. Do the same thing for the back of the baby blanket.
- (photo is from my t-shirt baby blanket tutorial, that’s why the fabric is different, the technique is the same)
- On a large flat surface, lay the back piece of the baby blanket down, right side DOWN. The wrong side of the fabric will be facing up. Place the baby blanket front piece on top of the back piece, so that the wrong sides of the fabric are facing.
- Center the two pieces on top of each other the best that you can. Use your hand and smooth out all of the wrinkles. Since you cut the back piece a bit larger than the front piece, you will have a little bit of wiggle room as you line the pieces up. Make sure you can see the wrong sides of the back piece, "poking" out from the edge of the front piece. That way you know you'll catch all of your layers as you sew the pieces together.
- Pin VERY well.
- Using your serger stitch around the perimeter of the blanket, so that the blade of the serger hits the raw edge of the blanket front piece. You’ll be trimming off a bit of the back piece as you sew.
- Stitch until you’ve gone all the way around. If you like how this looks, you can just leave it. It’s a more casual look, but I think it’s perfectly fine to leave it with a serged edge if you like.
- If you don't have a serger, use a zig zag stitch on your sewing machine (fitted with the stretch needle) and stitch so that the outside of the zigzag stitch goes to the edge of the top fabric. When you're done, trim off the excess fabric with a rotary cutter.
- Stitch your binding strips together at 45-degree angles along the short ends. Trim the excess seam allowance down to a scant ⅛″.
- On one long side of the binding press the edge under ½″. Press seam towards the wrong side of the fabric. Steam well as you press.
- Place the binding on the serged blanket on the back side of the blanket. The right side the non pressed edge of the binding will be even with the edge of the blanket. Pin in place all the way around. Stretch the binding as you need as you go around the curves.
- Stitch in place with a ¼″ seam allowance. When you get to the end, join the binding ends together.
- Fold the binding over to the front of the blanket, the folded edge of the binding should be covering all of the stitching lines on the front. Secure in place with binding clips or pins.
- Stitch in place, close to the folded edge of the binding.
- When you’re done, the binding will look a bit wonky. Use an iron and some steam to press it back into shape.
If you’ve never sewn with knit fabrics before, you may want to check out these posts before you get started.