How to Make Burping Cloths for Your Newborn, Infant or Baby
What Exactly Are We Talking About?
In this world, there are lots of things that your baby is going to spit-up on. Why not make some of those things fun to look at and homemade to boot? I'm talking about sewing your own burping cloths: bone or bowtie shaped pieces of flannel that protect you from your child's spew. One of my sisters, Amanda, is the queen of whipping these puppies up. She gets super fancy with patterns, stitches, and hems. I'm not that cool and I needed to make about 100 for me and my pregnancy buddy. I used one of the burpers that she had made for me as a template.
The Prep Work
So I took my cute little template and lay it on double thickness of Snuggle brand flannel that I purchased on sale at Joann's Fabrics. Eventually, I got crazy and used quadruple thickness. I did not approach this project with perfection in mind so I traced around my sister's burper with blue tailor's chalk about 1/4" away from the template. I used dashes instead of a straight line for ease and efficiency.
Once I had everything cut out of all of my different patterns, I realized I had some fabric leftover that could be used as a cloth napkin or something for the baby so I cut out small squares to sew together.
Everything All Cut OutClick thumbnail to view full-size
I purchased on last year's Black Friday at Joann's Fabrics. I took this little girl home for the low price of $99.99. I am just past breaking her in and I really like it so far! It is extremely easy and straightforward to operate. I met a sewing teacher one time while browsing cotton who said to me, "You don't need to know how to sew, you need to know how to operate and maintain your machine." How right she was! I definitely recommend this model to anyone who has a little experience with sewing machines, but I think a complete novice could find their way around. Singer's Fashion Mate sewing machine
Flannel is (for lack of a better term) sort of a "sticky" fabric. It clings to itself easily and doesn't slide around much. If I were sewing pajama pants or some other sort of clothing item, I would use pins to be more precise. In this case, I just stuck two pieces of the flannel right side to right side together and went at it. This was a major time saver.
For this project, I used a simple, medium-sized, single straight stitch.
I started sewing in the middle area and following the edge with just over 1/4" seam allowance. Always make a back stitch when beginning and ending a stitch to lock it in.
Make sure that you do not complete the stitch around the burper and leave a hole behind. This way you can flip the burper inside out. I left 2–3" for my holes so I could get my chubby fingers through!
Flip the burper right side out now. Be patient if you happened to leave yourself a smaller hole. You will eventually be able to flip it, it just takes a few more tears and swear words.
Okay, so now you need to push the seams out as much as you can so that you don't just have a lumpy bag like in the last picture. It does not have to be absolutely perfect right now, but this is your last chance to have access to the guts of the burper.
Closing the Hole
We need to sew the hole closed. Line up the seams the way they would be if they were sewn shut. Sew as close as you can to the edge. Make sure you pass the hole with your stitch at the beginning and end by about 1/2". Don't forget to back stitch when you start and stop!
To the Ironing Board!
In order to finish these burpers off, trim any extra threads and then grab your iron!
In order to get the seams all the way out, I would roll the fabric between my fingers until I could almost see the stitch on the inside of the seam. I followed immediately with my iron on the hottest and steamiest setting. I ironed one half of the burping cloth, then the other.
Ironing makes a big difference in this DIY project. Especially if you intend on gifting these burping cloths. See the difference in the pictures below?
These burpers are SO easy to make and are satisfying to complete. They are a hit at any baby shower and extremely useful. Good luck making your burping cloths and remember, with a burping cloth, it doesn't matter if you get vomited on.