March 26, 2007
I published this photo on Sunday and asked you to guess what this is. Geez. I didn't think anyone would know. Almost everyone knew. LOL
I'd never seen anything like this until Krissy received several of these from my sister, Bev, as a baby shower gift. I wasn't especially impressed, other than the fact that they were very cute, until Cameron was born and I realized that we'd go through half a dozen burp cloths a day for months and months. Krissy only had three of them and Cameron was here with me all day so I made myself a dozen. These are basic Nana supplies!
I just made another dozen last week and as I was working on them, it occurred to me it would be awfully easy to share it with you. I like to have these in stock - they're very sweet to add to a baby gift. Actually, a half dozen of them ARE a baby gift. They'd be especially nice in a baby essentials gift basket. They're easy to make if you have a sewing machine and if you don't have one, they're simple enough you don't have to feel guilty about asking your mom or your best friend or your favorite aunt to make you some. :-)
Remember, you can click on these photos to enlarge them. Just promise me you won't enlarge the photo that shows the pathetic, disgusting condition of my ironing board cover. I must get a new ironing board cover.
This is all you need. I bought everything at Walmart. You can use cotton like I did with these, but flannel is also very nice. I buy one yard of fabric. Better to have a little too much than not quite enough.
So what you need is very simple: One package of prefolded cloth diapers, fabric and coordinating ribbon, and thread. The only sewing supplies you need are a sewing machine, a hem gauge, straight pins, scissors and pinking shears.
Walmart sells two types of cloth diapers. Trust me, you want to buy prefolded diapers. Here's what the label looks like.
This is what the diaper looks like. I tossed the diapers,fabrics and ribbon into my washer and washed them on the hottest setting before I started working on them. (If you have a lingerie bag, put the ribbon in that to help avoid it getting tangled.) You want to preshrink everything. After everything was dry, I ironed it all very smooth to make it easier to work with.
Here's a tip. Lightweight cotton fabric will ravel like crazy in the washer and dryer. Use pinking shears to trim the ends of the fabric to prevent this. It may still ravel a little, but not nearly as much.
After they are washed and dried, the diapers measure about 17 inches long. You're going to sew a seven inch wide strip of fabric down the center of the diaper. To allow for a one-half inch hem around all four sides of the strips, cut the fabric eight inches wide and eighteen inches long.
Edited: I have since discovered, the diapers can vary in length by as much as a couple of inches, so the best way to determine how long the strips need to be is to measure the length of the diaper you're working with and add one inch, which allows a half-inch hem at each end.
Lay the fabric strip on your ironing board and using a hem gauge, press a one-half inch hem down each side. You can leave the ends unpressed because these diapers are not perfectly equal in size and you'll simply turn the ends under so they meet the ends of the diaper evenly, after you've pinned the strip of fabric in place. You'll turn the ends under BEFORE you sew any seams. If you sew the side seams first, you won't be able to turn the ends under.
For each burp cloth, cut two lengths of ribbon the same length as the fabric strip.
Lay the fabric strip down the exact center of the diaper with the pressed hems facing down. Lay the ribbon down the sides, lining it up with the edges of the fabric. Pin the sides in place. Then fold the ends under so they meet the edges of the diaper and pin those in place, too. Everything's all pinned in place now and you're ready to sew your seams.
Sewing through all three layers, sew the side seams first.
Sew down both sides of the ribbon, making your seam as close to the edge of the ribbon as you can. It helps to sew very slowly. After you've sewn the sides sew across the ends, again, as close to the edge as you can.
That's it - you've just made a cute, cute burp cloth!
This is the back of the finished burp cloth.
If you did a good job of centering the fabric strip, the folded over sides of the diaper should meet down the middle.
This is what the finished burp cloth looks like. Because you washed everything in hot water before you started, this is pretty much what it will continue to look like as it's used and washed over and over again.
They're very sweet. And they're fun to make. This is how I make them but you can get as creative with the fabrics and the placement of the ribbon as you want to. There are some mightly sweet baby fabrics out there!
I apologize if I talked to you like you're a dummy. I didn't want to assume that everyone knows how to sew, especially with a sewing machine. I have two daughters. One of them loves this kind of thing, does have a sewing machine and would ace it. The other wouldn't even know how to turn a sewing machine on. :-)
If you decide to give these a try, I'd love to see your results.
Posted by Barb at 2:15 PM