June 23, 2013

making my boy a lovie

When Alden started falling asleep while cuddling his burp cloths, I knew it was time for a lovie.

I slept with a security blanket until I was much older than I should probably admit and still have my Blankie in one of my dresser drawers as a 28 year old woman :) Some things you just can't get rid of...

Anyway, since Alden seemed to want something to cuddle, I decided that I was going to make him a tag blanket. I'm sure you've seen them if you're well-versed in trendy baby items as there's a pretty big market for them on Etsy right now. Essentially, it's a small blanket (usually made from two different fabrics) that has all sorts of ribbons sewn into the seams so there are little "taggies" that stick out the edges. This gives the baby both visual and tactile stimulation on top of giving them something soft to cuddle and play with.

Since I first saw them, I've thought they were just precious and knew I could make one for much less money than it would take for me to buy one and pay for shipping. Plus, that meant we could completely customize the design and pick out fabrics that we really loved. Apart from the time it took for me to finally finish the seams of the ribbons and to fight with my sewing machine (we're rekindling our relationship after many, many years apart), the whole project took about an hour and it was really fun!

If you can sew a straight seam, you can make this! (I'm not even that great at straight seams and I managed...)

Here's my short photo-based tutorial:

find your fabric: we went with a fun cotton monster print & some minky dot in a bright chartreuse

cut your fabric into the shape you want: ours is a 15 inch square. then, place the fabric right side in against each other so you see the "back" of the fabric on both sides (so the right side faces out when you flip it inside out after sewing the seams- this gives you a hidden seam that you don't have to worry about looking pretty on the inside)

measure and cut all of your ribbon: we chose some neon grosgrain, black and light blue satin, some tan grosgrain (that I already had at home) and blue and yellow webbing. we wanted to vary the textures so they would be interesting for Alden. 

decide on positioning of your ribbons

once you've figured out spacing, place your ribbons in between the two pieces of fabric

then, pin the ribbons in their positions with the tags sticking towards the middle of the fabric (this means they'll be facing the proper direction when you flip the fabric inside out)

you can see that I folded all of the ribbons in half to create a loop except for the webbing. it was too thick to fold and easily sew, so they stayed flat.

once all of your ribbons are pinned in place, sew straight seams around 3 sides, making sure to catch all the ends of your ribbons in the seam, then flip inside out and sew up the 4th side! I used a zig-zag stitch on the fourth side (since you can see it) so it would look a little cuter and if you're really good on your sewing machine, you could probably figure out a way to hide the 4th seam as well. 

the last thing I did was to sew a straight seam across the very end of the pieces of webbing to prevent them from fraying and my mom sewed a squiggly little seam (I didn't feel confident doing anything but straight at this point) across the front of the blanket in a couple places (after it's been flipped right side out) to help hold the two pieces of fabric together and prevent them from pulling away from each other in the middle of the blanket.

the final product!

I think he likes it :)

much love, L&N

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