The weather outside is really chilly here in Colorado.
And the heater has been inching upward.
And we’re in a basement……so it’s extra cold.
The two bigger kiddos keep their blankets on…..but our littlest one (who turned 8 months old yesterday) wiggles and turns and flops all night long. So, nope, she never keeps her blanket on.
I’m sure you have seen those little zippered blankets in the stores. You know, the ones that the baby can sort of slip into, like a sleeping bag……….but with arm holes.
Well, you know me, I am always trying to save a few bucks and make something myself.
(okay, let’s be honest……even if I don’t save a few bucks, I still like to figure things out and make things I see in the store. Yeah, it’s kinda thrilling. Who’s with me?)
And since I want to make several of these (so that one can take a turn in the wash), it actually saves me some money by just making them myself.
It adds a nice layer of warmth over some jammies (yeah, that’s just a long sleeved onesie……but generally I put this on over fleece jammies).
Since it’s fleece……it’s nice and warm yet soft. Seriously perfect for babies.
You can always find this little girl of mine zipped up in her little blanket for every nap……..and for bed at night.
And because she’s so warm and comfortable, she wakes up less. And that is worth all the effort.
The long zipper down the front and the snap closure at the top, make this blanket easy and secure.
And this thing doesn’t keep this girl from finding her favorite little friends. Her toes.
Would you like to make your own Wearable Blanket?
I bought my fleece at Joann Fabric. With my 40% off coupon (which anyone can get) I think it was about $7 – $8 for the full yard.
To get started, decide what size you want to make.
I grabbed a little shirt that was a little wide on my little girl (to give plenty of room for the blanket) to use as a pattern. You just need the top of the shirt to use for the shape of the blanket. Make sure that the shirt you pick is a high neck (adjust it if necessary). Draw the shape of the back of the shirt first…….which will be used for the back of the sleeper. **Make sure to add on some extra for the seam allowance.
Then, continue the sides down, angling the sides out slightly as you draw them downward. And then curve the bottom corners and close the shape at the bottom. I made this piece about 30 inches long for my long 8 month old……but that also gives her a little room to grow.
Now, the best way to be sure that your pattern is symmetrical is to fold the pattern in half lengthwise and make sure both sides match up. If you need to re-cut a new piece to accomodate, that’s just fine. Or if you want to only cut half the pattern (lengthwise) and then place it on the fold to cut the whole piece of fabric, that’s just fine too.
Now, fold that back piece in half (or use it how it is if you only created a half pattern piece for the back) and place it along the straight edge of your paper……but place it about 1/2 of an inch from the edge. You need some extra fabric here for the zipper. Now trace around the entire thing, adding on that 1/2 of an inch along the long edge.
Now, trim down the neck line for this new piece just a bit, allowing more room for the neck in the front.
Now you have your two pattern pieces. (Generally I wouldn’t make the back piece on the left a whole piece. I would just create a half piece and then cut on the fold. But I wanted to show you what these 2 pieces would look like without confusing the front from the back. But you choose how you want to do it.)
And then cut the pieces out with fabric.
(Make sure and cut them with the stretch of the fleece going left to right, not up and down. You want the blanket to stretch across the belly, not from head to toe.)
The back piece is on the left and the two front pieces are on the right. (Make sure to fold your fabric together with right sides together and then place the “front” pattern piece on top. Then cut both layers at the same time. This will assure the right side of the fabric is facing the right way for each piece.)
Now, grab your two front pieces and place them together with right sides together. Sew along the long straight edge using a 1/2 inch seam allowance (or whatever length you gave yourself when creating your pattern piece).
Now, open up the pieces and lay it down with the wrong side facing up. Place your zipper face down, lining up the top of the zipper with the neck line at the top.
Sew your zipper in place. Here’s a view from the front. (Need help inserting a zipper? Click here.)
Now place the back piece of the blanket together with the front blanket piece, with right sides together. Sew along the shoulder sections and then along the sides and around the bottom. Now zig-zag or serge the edges to secure them.
Now turn the blanket right side out. It’s time to finish off the arm holes and neck opening.
Cut some strips of bias-cut fabric that are about 1 1/4 inch wide. (Need help with bias cut? Click here)
Start with the arm holes and cut your bias cut strips to the length that will measure all the way around the arm hole openings. Add a little extra for the seam allowance then sew each strip into a circle.
Then fold the strip together with right side facing outward, and sandwich this strip around the arm hole opening. Pin in place.
Then sew it just how it is (and don’t worry about the raw edges because they won’t fray) or you can tuck under that top raw edge and sew right next to the fold. Either way works but folding the top edge under is a bit more tricky. Do what’s most comfortable for you.
Then do the same thing for the neck line. Un-zip the zipper and start at one end of the neck line and sew all the way around to the other end. However, you will need to have a little extra room at each end by the top of the zipper to fold under and out of the way. (And again, I folded under that top edge and sewed it in place but you can leave it how it is. **And if you don’t fold it under, you don’t need bias cut strips that are quite as wide. So adjust if necessary.)
Now, cut two long rectangle pieces that are rounded at one end, to make the snap tab. Mine were about 2 x 3 inches. Sew them together with right sides together, sewing all the way around……but leaving the bottom end open.
Turn right side out and then sew the snap tab right to the blanket, right below the neck line and next to the zipper.
Then fold the tab over and sew it down in place.
Then add your snap pieces. For the snap piece on the actual blanket (opposite the tab) I placed an extra square of fleece on the back side, just for added strength.
(Need help with snaps? Click here.)
Then turn your sleeper right side out, iron seams flat……..
And that’s it.
Your Wearable Blanket is all ready to be worn.