Saturday, April 05, 2008

A tutorial on how to make burp cloths

A good friend of mine is pregnant and having a baby girl. I thought it would be fun to add a personal touch to her present for the baby shower she is having in a few weeks. Here is how I made the burp cloths.


1 yard of patterned flannel
1 yard of contrasting solid flannel
thread to match

Step 1: Wash and dry your cloth before you even think about cutting it. That ensures that all the shrinking that is going to be done will be done before you start sewing. Plus it fluffs up the flannel making it soo soft and nice to work with.

Step 2: Iron your fabric nice and smooth. This helps ensure that you are cutting your fabric accurately. I will then fold the selvage edges together and then fold that in half lengthwise again, this makes it easier to cut your cloths relatively straight.

Stop mid iron and sniff the air. Realize that you need to stop and change a diaper.

Accept the safety pin that your toddler has discovered on the floor.

Step 3: Cutting out the cloths. I have a nice cutting mat and rotary cutter (think razor sharp pizza cutter), but you can use regular scissors. I cut these about eight inches wide and got four strips of fabric that I then cut in half again so I ended up with eight strips of each color.

Tell your toddler that they need to stop trying to take the cloths that you are cutting out. Also tell him that there is no way he will get to hold your rotary cutter.

Take a moment to comfort your now distraught child. Distract them by offering to get his toy trains out.

Step 4: Match a printed strip with a solid colored strip putting the right sides together. The right side will not matter with the solid colors, but it is crucial with the prints. Pin the strips together. I only used two pins at the top since flannel tends to want to stick together any way. The pins were mostly to remind me to leave a space so that I could turn the cloths right side out. I also rounded the edges, but you don't have to do that.

Get distracted by a barrage of trains hitting the back of your legs. Try not to step on the trains that are now on the floor.

Watch toddler pass out and decide that it is too close to lunch time/nap time to continue. Feed children and put the toddler down for a nap. Since the room with your sewing machine is the nap room, you have no choice but to take a break too.

A few hours later......

Step 5: Sew the two pieces together. I had a 1/4 inch seam for my cloths.

Let your toddler sit on a chair because he wants to watch you sew.

Get your toddler a drink when he asks. Then get another one for your preschooler who is suddenly about to die from dehydration.

Step 6: Turn the cloth inside out and make sure that all the corners are poked out.

Accept the button that your preschooler has found on the floor. Realize that you need to pick up your floor better.

Stop to remind your toddler that there is a perfectly good train table right behind you and that is where trains should be driven, not under the ironing board.

Step 7: Iron the cloth flat taking care to make sure that the fabric where the opening was is pressed nicely so that it will lay flat.

Accept the package of socks that your toddler has unearthed from somewhere. If you don't he will just keep screeching at you.

Step 8: Sew the neatly pressed burp cloth again leaving a 1/4 inch seam. This helps the fabric lay flat and just looks nicer. You can get fancy with this since it will be seen and use zig zag stitch or a bright thread if you like.

Stop midway because your bobbin has run out. Let your fascinated toddler help you with the winding of the new bobbin.

You are now done! Take a moment and admire your work.


Karen (Pediascribe) said...

Wow! Those look beautiful! I've been working lots with flannel lately too. LOVE it! Of course, I skip any and all ironing parts. ;)

Damselfly said...

This is hysterical! As someone who sews (note I didn't say a sewer, ugh), I can relate! I try to do most of my sewing while Fly naps.

Christine @ Serenity How? said...

That is great! Your little interrupter is so cute. :)

chelle said...

Those are too cute! What a thoughtful gift ... sorry I have been a little out of the loop ... Happy Birthday!

Kimmie said...

Such a great tutorial...and boy you sure have a wit about you. Sweet interruptions, for which you must be very, very thankful for.

Think I will try some of these burp clothes...we are adopting from Ethiopia (baby girl or two) and the agency said that burp cloths were something that was needed at the orphanage.

Thanks for the tips... ;-)

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted--more coming!

April said...

this is a riot. I can totally relate. Usually while I am ironing, my son starts hanging all his trains off of the ironing board! This tute was the reassurance I needed that I don't need batting in the middle. thanks.