Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Free Taggie Blanket Tutorial



Here's my tutorial for this cute taggie blanket/toy. It is so quick and easy to make, not to mention inexpensive so it makes a wonderful gift for your kids or someone else's. :-) There are so many variations you could do but for this tutorial, I will just tell you exactly what I did. We can look at variations later. In writing this, I've realised I should have taken a lot more photos so I'll add more in next time I make the blanket...it's only a few weeks before the next baby is due. :-)
Requirements
  • 2 coordinating fabrics, at least 35cm of 110cm wide fabric (you may want a little more to account for crooked cutting by the salesperson)

  • Scrap of velcro approx 1cm x 1.5cm

  • 1.6m of ribbon approx 1.5cm wide in your choice of colours (this will be cut into 10cm lengths)

  • Sewing thread in appropriate colour




1. First we need to cut out our fabric squares. Follow the instructions in this step for each of your 2 coordinating fabrics. 
I cut out squares for 4 blankets at once using a rotary cutter, quilting ruler and self healing cutting mat. First you need to make sure the cut edge of your fabric is straight. Fold one of your fabrics in half matching the selvages (the non-cut edges). Line up the selvages and the cut edge of the fabric on your cutting mat against 2 perpendicular lines. (2 lines at right angles) Make sure the cut edge hangs just over the line so that you can trim it straight. The bigger the cutting mat, the easier this is as you won’t cover up the whole mat with your fabric. Line up your ruler along the line that is only just covered up by the cut edge and trim it straight with the rotary cutter. 
Divide the width of your fabric (110cm) by 4 which equals 27.5cm. Measure 27.5cm from the cut edge at regular intervals and mark. Then rule a line across the width of the fabric using these marks so you have drawn a long rectangle that measures 110cm x 27.5cm. You can do this with the fabric folded in half with the selvages together or laid out flat as one long strip. It saves a bit of time if it is folded in half and I found it was easy to cut through 2 layers of fabric at once. Now line up your ruler on the line you just drew and cut out your strip.



Cut your strip into 4 even squares.


You just need to cut the strip into 4 even squares now. On the long edges of your rectangle, measure 27.5cm intervals and mark. Rule lines at each interval to divide the rectangle into 4 even squares. Then line up your ruler along each line and cut. You should now have 4 squares that measure 27.5cm on each side. Once you have cut out both fabrics, you will end up with 8 squares in total, enough for 4 blankets.





The 8 squares ready to be sewn up.

2. Now you need to get the ribbon ready. Cut the ribbon into 16 tags for your blanket that are 10cm long each. What ribbon you use is totally up to you. You can use only 1 colour, 2 alternating colours or as many as you like. I used 6 colours because I couldn’t settle on only 4 and matched them with the colours on the fabric I chose. 4 tags on each side works well for a blanket this size. Because I used 6 different ribbons, this didn’t work out evenly for me in terms of having an even number of tags of each coloured ribbon but it still looked good. It’s totally up to you as to how many colours you choose and how you arrange the ribbon. 




Taggies all ready to go!




Lay out the ribbons in whatever pattern suits you.


3. To make the velcro loop, you will need to cut out 1 rectangle of fabric that measures 25cm x 5cm.  Use the already straight edge from one of the fabrics you cut squares from as your starting point and simply measure out the rectangle using your ruler. Line it up with the lines on your cutting mat to make sure it is straight and each corner is at right angles. Cut it out. 
Fold this rectangle in half length ways with the wrong sides together. Using a 1cm seam allowance, stitch along 1 short end, down the long side, and then across the other end so there are no open edges. Cut it in half so you have the two pieces of the 'loop' approx 11.5cm long each. This give you open ends for turning. Clip the corners. Turn them out the right way with a chopstick (or something else pointy) and press so they sit nice and flat. I then just hand stitched a small rectangle of velcro to the finished end of each piece. Choose a corner of one of the squares and pin the 2 loop pieces on top of each other onto the right side of the fabric having the velcro ends point towards the centre of the square and the cut end almost lining up with the corner. Make sure they are the right way around so the velcro can close without twisting the loop once it is sewn in. 




Where to pin the velcro loop.


4. Now we’ll pin the ribbon tags in place. To determine where the ribbons need to be pinned, you need to divide up the sides evenly. First, take out the seam allowance so you know how long your finished side will be. For a 27.5cm square, with 1.5cm seam allowances, you will have a 24.5cm finished side. Then divide this by 5. Eg. 24.5cm ÷ 5 = 4.9cm. 
Along one edge of the square you pinned the velcro loop to, with right side up, measure 1.5cm from one end for the seam allowance, then mark intervals of 4.9cm. There will be 6 marks in total but you will use the center 4 marks to position your tags. Mark all 4 sides of the square in this way.  
Fold each ribbon in half and pin them on to the 4 central marks on each side. Line up the cut edges of the ribbon with the cut edge of the fabric so the folded end of the ribbon is pointing towards the centre of the square.




Please ignore the fact that I have a larger gap between ribbons in the centre of every side! ;-)


5. Lay the square of coordinating fabric on top of the first square with right sides together. Pin it together. I left the pins in the ribbon and just used extras to pin the two squares together between the ribbons. Then stitch around the square with a 1.5cm seam allowance making sure you leave a gap so you can turn it out the right way. Start near the middle of one side at a ribbon and finish back on that side on top of the ribbon right next to the one you started with. That way, all the ribbons are sewn in place before turning it out the right way and you don't have to fiddle to line any up after you turn it out the right way. I found that even though it was a small gap, it was just enough to be able to turn it out.

6. Clip the corners and turn the blanket out the right way. Press the edges so they sit flat and neat. Then sew a row of topstitching approx a 1/4 inch in from the edge right around the whole square. This seals the turning gap and helps it all sit flat.





Topstitch around the edge.





The finished blanket back - soft flannalette.





The finished blanket front - bright cotton.



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