August 23, 2011

A Blanket for Baby

Back when we decided on a black and white nursery, (actually, a black and white and teal nursery), we had no idea what we’d find out in retail land which would or wouldn’t match.

Homemade baby blanket

Now we know:  nada.

But luckily for us, we’re not really into the premade bedding sets and coordinating nursery themes, as ADORABLE as some of them are, so we weren’t too disappointed.  After all, most baby things come in white (score! half our color palette!) which makes decorating a little easier and laundry – no doubt – a little more interesting when the time comes.

A little decorating challenge is a small price to pay for a neutral nursery color scheme that’s still fun and vibrant.  (Yes, vibrant…because “pastel” isn’t in my repertoire.)

Anyway.  Soft goods like baby blankets, bedding, and window treatments just didn’t come cute enough or in the right colors from the store….so I’m making my own.  The exception is the bedding, since we’re only doing a decorative fitted sheet and a white mesh bumper – no pillows/quilts and probably no dust ruffle either.

Blanket Binding Pinned

Good thing my mom recently gave me a sewing machine (thanks Mom!)….and good thing I have sewing experience making her a “WOW” pillow when I was 7 (it was supposed to say “Mom” of course…and it’s pretty dang cute in a “what did the sewing machine upchuck today” kind of way) …..because I can TOTALLY make my baby’s first blanket now! 

And in the right colors to be a cute accessory for the nursery!  Jackpot.

Back of baby blanket

(Quit snickering.  It only took 3 weeks, one mid-fabric-store freak out, several long calls to Mom to figure out which end was up, a ton of white fuzzies all over my house, and a YouTube video tutorial.)

But it’s totally done. 

I will admit that the “teal” portion of the blanket looks a bit on the turquoise side, but it was the closest I could get without special ordering fabric.  I did special order fabric for the window valance, and it was so easy and a reasonable cost, I’ll probably do it again for future projects that require certain colors etc.

So what, exactly did I make?  I used this pattern:

Baby blanket pattern

Along with some fuzzy white fleecy stuff, plain black fleece, and the teal/turquoise flannel daisy print (sorry Baby - if you’re a boy, you’re getting a flowery blanket).  I also got my first exposure to “batting” and “blanket binding”.  Thrilling, I know.

I cut out my squares of fabric using this tried and true method (which resulted in, um, not perfect squares):

The "cutting table"

And then I wrestled around for a while with the flannel, trying to straighten the grain like a good little seamstress, until I finally decided Baby will be totally cool with a crooked grain on the back of his/her blanket.

Finally, I sewed.  I tried to keep my seams straight (fuzzy fabric makes it tough to line up edges, just sayin’) and spent an evening on the couch dutifully basting out from the blanket’s center to theoretically keep the pieces lined up to sew the front and back together.

Not surprisingly, my checkerboard pattern still turned out a bit wonky, which posed a tiny problem for sewing “in the ditch” AND having straight seams…so the back seams don’t make a perfect checker pattern either. 

Then Nick and I both tried to figure out the instructions for sewing the binding on….until I went to YouTube and found a FAB video showing me how to do it.  (Seriously, the pattern instructions were awful!)  I’m not entirely sure I did it correctly, because the front side of the binding looks *amazing* and the back looks….not amazing.  =(

And now, minus the goofy satin rosettes which don’t seem comfy for a baby to lie on anyway, here’s the finished product:

Black and white baby blanketBlack and white baby blanket frontBaby blanketBaby blanket flannel backing

I originally intended to sew ribbon tabs in place of the rosettes, but I couldn’t find my black ribbon until it was too late.  So no ribbon tabs for Baby unless I do it by hand – which probably won’t happen! Smile

As you can see, the crib is in a partial state of assembly.  Nick spent most of the evening last night working on it, and then he put in a special request that “if” I get a wild hair today to try and finish it before he gets home, “please don’t”.  Awwwww Open-mouthed smile 

He wants to do it himself! I’m more than happy to let Daddy put together his baby’s crib – too cute. 

Tomorrow: the CRIB!  I must say, it’s shaping up to be one adorable crib – perhaps even a “must see” Winking smile

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