Thursday, November 11, 2010

No-Sew Fleece Baby blanket

This is really easy. I had a piece of orange fleece leftover from the diaper covers I'd made when I was pregnant with One. It's roughly 1 metre (or yard) square. I cut 3" squares from each corner and then fringed the edges into approximately 1x3" strips (DO NOT cut the strips off of the blanket. It should be attached at one 1" end).

Then use sharp, small scissors to cut a tiny slit in the middle of each fringe, where it connects to the blanket. Pull the fringe through the hole, all going through the hole the same direction. That's it! It is small, so it works up in a few evenings of working while watching tv.

I've made knotted fleece blankets before, but I like this better. It's faster, easier on my hands, and I find the knots uncomfortable when they get under my body when I'm lying down. The pull-through fringe leaves a much smaller lump which is barely noticeable.

This blanket is so soft and washes well. It's great folded in half as a lap blanket in the stroller, wrapped around him in the baby carrier, or placed over him in the crib.

I picked up these fabrics yesterday. I'm not sure what I'll use them for. Any ideas? I only got 1 metre of each since I'm not sure what I'll do with them yet. I was thinking maybe some bibs for One but I'd like to make something more fun... I could get about 3 bibs out of each I think. I might do 1 of each, or 2 bibs that are each red on one side and green on the other, and then do something else with the rest of the material.

Do you see the frayed edge on the green and the other, serged, edges on the green and red?

My teacher was telling us how she stores her fabric. The first thing she does is serge the cut edges, then she washes the fabric. (If it's dry clean or hand wash only, you can take it to a dry cleaner that has a Hoffman - a really big iron basically - and pay them a few bucks to iron it for you, this will effectively "prewash" it.) Jean needs to be prewashed several times, as many as 4-5 before it stops shrinking.

Serging it has two purposes. First, it prevents the edges from fraying in the wash. This saves you fabric and saves wear and tear on your washing machine. Secondly, it lets you know which fabrics have been prewashed, so when you pull it out of your fabric stash years later (at least, if you're anything like me hehe), you know by the serged edge if it's been washed.

These were the first ones I've washed since getting that little tip and what a difference it made! I didn't have to pick loose threads out of the machine, or out of the sink drain. I did miss one edge (on the green fabric) and it was very clear that serging made a difference. I had a big knot of loose threads from that one unserged edge.

I then immediately take it to my ironing board, iron it, and fold it right sides together. I usually cut out 2 layers at a time, and transfer the pattern to the wrong side so by folding it with the right sides together, the wrong side is already up and layered for me to transfer and cut it out. When I get an idea, I like to immediately go and start cutting it out and sewing. I don't like to wait to prewash, iron, and fold. Since it's all done already, I can just go and right away start on my project. I love it! It also prevents wrinkles from getting set in. If I don't iron it very soon after removing it from the dryer, it's hard to get the wrinkles out.

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