Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sewing Tutorial: Baby Swaddler

I'm a huge believer in the techniques of The Happiest Baby On the Block book/DVD. So for a friend's baby shower, I made her a swaddler! I got the basic pattern from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing For Baby. Her pattern uses velcro flaps, and I'm just not a fan of velcro on baby things, so I modified it to tie instead. My friend loves it so much she wanted me to make another one! So I took pictures while I made it so I could share with you!

This was the first swaddler I made for my friend's baby shower. 

This is the design from the book. Cute, but again, I'm not a fan of velcro. It's not very adjustable, and it's hard to get a tight swaddle. 

Here's what you need to get started (in addition to a sewing machine and some sewing music. I sew to Michael Jackson:-)
  • 1 yard (44" wide) of cotton fabric for the outside
  • 1 yard (44" wide) of soft fabric for the inside. Cotton fleece works well, or you could use Minky fabric like I did. SO SOFT!
  • Pattern pieces from the book
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Water soluble marking pen
  • Thread

Minky fabric:-) Love.

First, cut out the fabric pieces using the pattern from the book. There are just two pattern pieces, and you cut out one on each fabric. 
When cutting out this piece on your soft fabric, cut along this dotted line I've marked out. In order to keep the swaddler from being too bulky or hard to tie, we don't use this fabric down the flaps. Oh, and your pattern won't go off the fabric like mine is:-) I didn't have enough fabric so I cut another piece and sewed it on. 

I decided to extend the pattern to make the finished product a few inches longer, as requested from my friend:-) And since I didn't have enough fabric to do it in one piece, I sewed on the extra length. You can just stick to the pattern, though. 
So this is the part where I need to extend the flaps to make long pieces to wrap with. I basically just started out cutting along the flap on the pattern and just kept going. I ran out of fabric so I had to cut some other pieces out and sew on the extra length. 

Now that all of your pieces are cut out, it's time to sew the darts. There are two on each piece of fabric. Mark where the dart lines start on the fabric.  
Measure the length of the side of the dart line. This one is 2".
Remind me to do my nails before my next sewing tutorial:-) 
Now you fold the fabric in half so the outside marks of the dart line up. The RIGHT side of the fabric should be together. Now use your measuring tape to measure the same length from the previous picture, and mark that line with your marker. Sew along that line.
Now it should look like this!
Do the same for the other pieces. This is the dart from the larger pattern piece. This dart is 4 and 1/4" 

Once you've sewn all the darts, follow the directions in the book to place both of the minky pieces together (RIGHT sides together), pin, and sew. Do the same with the cotton pieces. 

When I sew over darts I like to cut them down the middle and spread them open so it's less bulky. The trim off the edges, like in the picture below. 

So now you should have the two minky pieces sewn together, and the two cotton pieces sewn together. Put the cotton pieces (RIGHT side out) inside the minky pieces (WRONG side out).

Pin the two fabrics together

On the top piece, pin from dart to dart, as shown below. 


So now you can flip it right side out!

Start flipping right side out, through one of the side openings. 

It will look really weird at first, and you'll freak out cause it won't look right. 

Then you tuck the minky pouch into the cotton pouch. 

And then you'll be relieved cause it worked. 

So now this is what it looks like. 

As you can see, I had to sew on extra fabric on the ends of the flaps. You might have to do this also. Just make sure you fold down the seams and sew them so they look pretty. 

This is kind of what it will look like when we're done. 

Fold down the edges and iron. Sometimes it helps to spray it with water so they stay down better. Do this all the way around both flaps.  

Fold again and iron. You'll probably have to pin this as you go, or it won't stay down. 

Sew with a decorative stitch, if your sewing machine has one. I just used a zig zag stitch. 

Now fold under the unfinished edges of the minky fabric and sew.

Done! This one is really long:-) Yours will look more like the first one I made. 

Beauty shots!

Looks comfy:-) Maybe I should make myself a sleeping bag like this! Haha.  

1 comment:

  1. My daughter-in-laws want swaddlers; one has used them before and is currently using for her twins. But I'm concerned about the babies being too warm w/ flannel and the summer coming up. Any comments?