This week, I’ve been working on a baby gift for a friend’s daughter. The baby is three months old now, so, yes, it was about time we got around to giving her something. My husband and I have a few places we usually hit for baby gifts, but I suggested we look through my sewing books first. Wouldn’t it be nicer to give a super late handmade gift rather than a super late store-bought one?
Together we paged through Amy Butler’s Little Stitches for Little Ones, the only baby sewing book in my library. There were a few contenders, but we decided on the Snuggie Wrap Blanket, a square blanket with a hood and ties that allows you to wrap your baby up like a burrito.
Next stop was the fabric store. That’s where the bumps in the process started. The pattern called for both cotton fabric, for the outside, and fleece, for the inside. I misremembered that, so I was looking for flannel at the store, instead of the fleece. And then, instead of flannel, we ended up buying a knit. To be fair, the woman at the store pointed out before she cut it that it was knit, but you know… knit, flannel, fleece…I’ll make it work.
It turns out all the tricky things you hear about knit fabrics are true. They are stretchy. And slippery. And just a good bit scarier than cotton. But by pairing it with the cotton, I was able to have enough stability to make it work. And really it turned out much closer to square than I would have thought possible when I was cutting the knit.
Once the blanket part was together, the last step was to sew two buttonholes to thread the tie through. The pattern suggested buttonholes long enough to allow the baby to grow longer and still be able to tie the tie comfortably around its waist.
The trouble started when I could barely get the blanket (with its fusible fleece interior) under the buttonhole presser foot. Then once I started the automatic buttonhole, I realized the fabric wasn’t moving. It was either too thick or heavy to move by itself. So I started guiding the fabric myself, which seemed to work until the needle broke. Then I noticed the stitches that were made before I started moving the fabric created a hole in the knit. Panic.
This is where husbands are really nice to have around. When mine came home, I told him there had been a mishap and decisions were going to have to be made. Then I showed him the horrible scar. “That’s it?! No one is even going to notice that.” Hmm, well, that’s an interesting take on the problem.
So we decided to skip the buttonholes, and just stitch the tie to the back, placing one of the stitches over the old buttonhole stitches. The baby can’t grow now, but that’s not really our concern.
I wanted to try it out, so Christmas Kermit got pressed into service due to the lack of babies at our house. You really do wrap the baby like a burrito. First, tuck in the end, and then wrap over one side.
Then wrap over the second side and tie the blanket loosely in place.
Snuggly! Kermie likes it.