Homemade Burp cloths: a tutorial for a practical homemade baby gift.
Tutorial for homemade burp cloths.
- sewing machine
- burp cloths (I used Gerber cloth diapers.)
- ironing board
- cutting mat (helpful but not a must have)
- rotary cutter (helpful but not a must have)
#1. Cutting your fabric.
Once you find your favorite fabric or combination of fabrics, it's time to begin cutting the fabric. This project works well for fabric scraps as well as long strips.
Cut a four inch strip of fabric that is a little longer than the total length of all four sides of your burp cloth. This doesn't have to be a continuous strip. You'll see shortly how to sew a scrappy binding. A four inch strip will allow for a one inch border around the burp cloth. Feel free to adjust your measurements based upon how thick you prefer the border.
#2. Making a scrappy border.
For those of you sewing with a variety of fabrics, here's how to sew your strips together to create one continuous strip of fabric.
- Cut out your four inch strips.
- Place the ends of your strips at a 90 degree angle.
- Be sure you put the right sides (printed sides) of the fabric together. You can see this in the picture to the right.
- Pin your corners.
- Using a fabric pencil, draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other.
- Sew along the diagonal line.
When you unfold your fabric, you should have a continuous strip. If your fabric is not a continuous strip, you may have sewn the incorrect corners together. (It is okay if that happens...I have accidentally done it a couple of times. That is when a seam ripper comes in handy.)
#3. Sewing along the diagonal.
As you can see in the picture to the right, I have sewn along my diagonal line, and I have cut away the excess fabric, leaving roughly a 1/4" seam.
#4. Ironing the seams.
In the picture to the right, I have ironed my seam. At this point, continue sewing strips of fabric together until you have a continuous strip long enough to border your burp cloth.
Ironing the seam helps in two ways: 1. Pressing the seams to the sides prevent them from getting bulky and caught up when stitching through them later. 2. Pressing the seams helps to set the stitch.
#5. Add a hem to the binding.
This is when I add a finishing hem to the binding for the burp cloth. Adding this hem is simple and will add a finished look after you have completed the border for the burp cloth.
- Fold over approximately a quarter of an inch of fabric.
- Iron the crease.
- Stitch about an eighth of an inch from the edge of the fabric.
#6. Folding and Ironing.
At this point, you should have your continuous strip of fabric.
- Fold your fabric in half, printed side on the outside
- Pin the fabric before ironing if you feel that's easier for you.
- Iron along the crease.
Your binding strip is now complete! Time to sew it on to the burp cloth!
#7. Sewing the border to the burp cloth.
Be sure to reference the pictures to help clarify some of the instructions. Time to sew the border to the burp cloth!
- Find the hemmed edge of your border.
- Pick a place to start sewing on your border. Pick anywhere on the burp cloth except a corner.
- Open up the border and pin a few inches of your fabric to the burp cloth.
- Sew the border using a quarter of an inch seam allowance. (on most sewing machines, this is using the edge of your presser foot as the guide.)
- Secure your stitch when you start and finish sewing.
- Sew just a few inches with the binding open. This is an important step. After you finish sewing on the entire border, you will tuck the last few inches inside. This will give your border a finished look.
The start and finish in a nutshell.
#8. Sewing around the corners.
The trickiest part of sewing on the border is what to do when you get to a corner.
- Sew your border until you get a quarter of an inch away from the end of the burpcloth.
- Secure your stitch.
#9. Pull the border straight up parallel with the side of the burp cloth and pin it in place.
#10. Pull the border straight back down.
Once you have pulled the border straight up and pinned it, now bring it right back down toward you and pin the corner a second time.
- The corner should look nice and neat. Ensure that the sides of the border line up well with the sides of the burp cloth.
- Now begin sewing right at the end of the burp cloth, traveling down the new edge.
- Continue using a quarter of an inch seam allowance.
- Sew until to come to another corner and repeat the process for sewing around a corner.
#11. Tuck the end of the border in where you started.
Remember leaving a few inches of the binding open when you first started stitching? After you have finished going around the entire burp cloth, tuck the end in where you started. If you have excess fabric, cut if off. Once it is tucked in, finish sewing until you meet up with your original stitch (point 'A' in the picture to the right).
This is what your burp cloth should look like once you have stitched around the entire edge of your burp cloth.
#12. Sewing an invisible stitch.
You are done using your sewing machine. The rest is done by hand with a needle and thread. The border is finished using an invisible stitch.
- Thread your needle.
- Fold the border over your burp cloth edge so you can only see the finished binding.
- Put a stitch through the under side of your border. Only sew through one layer.
- Then sew a stitch through the burp cloth.
- Keep going until you have stitched around your entire burp cloth.
The finished product!
Almost all moms have the nice plain white burp cloths. If you are like me, though, I have dropped my burp cloths plenty of times in the church or school hallways. I go back and find my white burp cloth that looks like every other mom's white burp cloth and just hope it is mine. PROBLEM SOLVED! I now have burp cloths that look different than all the other moms.
If you are curious about the fabrics I chose, they are listed below and referenced in the picture above:
A. the floral prints are from Lotta Jansdotter's line 'Echo.'
B. the gray print is from Aneela Hoey's line 'Little Apples.'
C. the blueprint is Erin Michael's print called 'Sock Monkey.'
Tutorial for a quilt binding.
Tip: If you are in process of learning how to bind a quilt, this is a GREAT way to practice your binding skills. This is the exact same process I use to bind a quilt.
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