When Chloe was a little baby (3 years ago, gasp!), I noticed that stores were carrying these lightweight cotton Gauze Blankets. I remember them being about $40 for a 4-pack and thinking that was ridiculous. But the one thing that convinced me that I should try them, was the fact that we were living in hot & humid Georgia at the time….and they were super lightweight. So, I gave them a go. And you know, Chloe was a March baby and we used them all spring and then throughout the summer when we moved to Colorado…..and I sucked every penny out of those little gauze-y blankets.
They’re great for swaddling baby and keeping them snug, without over heating them. But they’re also perfect for draping over bare baby skin while outside and there’s a slight breeze or indoors when the A/C is on and it’s just a tad chilly for new baby skin. And you know, I used those gauze blankets to cover myself while nursing Chloe ALL THE TIME…..and it didn’t make me so sweaty hot, like other heavier blankets will do.
So, with this pregnancy, I have had those same blankets on my baby-shopping-list for months….but that price tag, aggggh! I kept thinking that even though that cotton gauze fabric isn’t super common, I’ve got to find it somewhere and just make them myself. And guess what?? I found some gauze fabric online. In a variety of colors. For like $3-$4 a yard (with free shipping). Yes, please!
All of the gauze I found came in plain colors, so I decided to add a little fun to the edges by binding patterned fabric strips all the way around. Yeah, I could have kept it really simple like the store-bought variety, and just hemmed each edge. But what’s the fun in that? :)
And this gauze is 100% cotton. So it breathes really well, is absorbent (if needed), and gets softer and softer with each wash. It also has a slight stretch to it, which helps with swaddling.
3 perfect-for-summer Gauze Blankets complete….and ready for baby boy’s arrival this summer.
But in the meantime, Chloe thinks they’re hers. So, I wrapped up one of her baby’s in the blanket……and suddenly, her little mommy-mode kicked in.
Cracked me right up.
If you’re not having your own baby this summer, I’m sure you have at least one friend who is. Maybe? Or wait, surely you have a pregnant neighbor you’ve seen waddling to the mail box. I’m sure she’d like a set of these. (Hey, why don’t you offer to mop her floors too……I hear pregnant ladies have a hard time with that during the last couple months. Just sayin’.) Just bundle up a few blankets and make a new momma happy!
Wanna make some too?
Okay, first of all, I found my gauze over at fabric.com. There is a nice variety of colors to choose from but there aren’t any prints. But really, that’s okay. The fabric around the edges make these baby’s pop!
Oh, and the fabric width listed online is probably what the width would be if you pulled it out flat (most are listed at like 52 inches wide). But gauze fabric never lays flat. So, don’t be surprised when it arrives in the mail, a little shriveled….and doesn’t actually end up being 52 inches wide. And the regular price of this fabric is listed at $3.98 right now, but I always search for coupons online and plug one of those in.
First of all, these blankets will be made exactly like these Knit Receiving Blankets…so refer to that tutorial as needed.
Now, before anything else……PRE-WASH YOUR GAUZE! In fact, go ahead and pre-wash the cotton you’ll use for the edges BEFORE cutting them into strips too. (I just threw the binding fabric into the dryer after spritzing it with some water to help shrink it up but the gauze, I put through a full wash and dry cycle.) This way, you’ll get all of the shrinkage out of the way and won’t have any problems with the blanket getting all wonky once it’s washed.
Okay, now grab your gauze and look down the manufactured edge of the fabric. Yeah, most likely, it’s a little wonky. But don’t let that make you nervous. Adding the fabric binding will help hide that.
Cut your fabric down to the square or rectangle that you’d like (I cut most of mine down to about 45-48 inches long).
Then, stretch out the width the best you can, to even up the sides a bit. (If you use an iron, I’m worried it will take out too much of the stretch and then when you wash it, the fabric will shrivel back in and then your binding will become like lettuce leaves.) You still want it to be wrinkly and shrivel-y…that’s okay. You’re just trying to even it out.
Next, round off each corner with your scissors.
Then, cut 3 inch wide strips of fabric, that are cut on the bias. (More on cutting bias strips.)
To connect pieces, follow the quilt binding tutorial and sew them together on the diagonal.
Then, open up the fabric and iron it flat. Having a seam on the diagonal like that will lessen the bulk as you fold the strip into bias tape.
Make sure that you have continuous strip of fabric that is long enough to go all the way around your gauze piece. Then, fold your strip into a piece of bias tape. (More on making Bias Tape.)
Then, start along one side, leaving a several inch tail at one end, begin sandwiching your bias tape around the edge of your gauze. Flatten out the gauze fabric as best you can as you slide it between the bias cut fabric strips. Pin in place.
Once you reach a corner, do your best to pin it around the curve of the corner. It’s okay if it’s not absolutely perfect…..but the stretch of the bias cut fabric will curve around that corner pretty well.
Then, sew the binding to the blanket.
Wait…….but don’t freak out if the fabric is a little rippled.
Iron and steam it flat and it will shrink into place and will look MUCH better. Oh, that steam…….it’s magical!
And that’s it! Your little swaddle blankets are ready for baby!
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