Something For Elise

When I found out we were having a girl, one of the most frequent comments I got from people who know that I sew was something like, “She’s going to have the cutest handmade clothes – you’re going to have so much fun sewing for a girl!” (No pressure! lol) Well, as I started at looking at all the things that could be made, I was a bit paralyzed by the idea of me putting so much work into something for a newborn that would grow out of said clothes in a few months (if I was lucky). One thing I did know we needed, however, were some girly blankets & burp cloths. I’ve had this left over cotton print from some bibs I sold on Etsy and this baby pink knit I had originally intended for a garment, but every time I’d pull it out to sew on, it just didn’t seem right.

I wasn’t sure the color was for me, but as I searched my stash for girl blanket-appropriate fabrics, I realized that it might have just found it’s perfect purpose. There was a lot of it so I cut a generous square, basically taking the width of it and folding it on the diagonal to make a rough square. I took it to my cutting board and squared it up. Then I used one of my kitchen bowls to round the corners.

I then set out to make as much bias tape as I could out of the scrap cotton print. I know there are more efficient ways of making bias tape (drawing lines, offsetting the seams and sewing to make one continuous line of bias, etc) but I just went old school and started cutting strips on a 45 degree angle.

Pretty soon I had a good little stack of 2″ wide bias strips.

I sewed all the strips together, trimmed and pressed the seams all in the same direction. Then I grabbed my handy, dandy bias tape foot for my Husqavarna Viking Machine – no pressing of the bias required! Just insert strip, place fabric edge down the center and sew:

I’d like to say it was that easy, but after going around, there were places I had to go back, take out and restitch. Most of the oops’ had to do with uneven feeding of the bias strips through the foot channels, but after a few fixes, I ended up with this.

After making a rather large blanket, I still had quite a bit of knit left over and plenty of bias. I cut a double layer of the knit (I wanted it to be thick enough to prevent all the baby lovelies from soaking through) modeled after one of my son’s old burp cloths. Instead of using the bias foot, I simply folded the bias tape in half, wrong sides together, and used my walking foot to sew 1/4″ from the edge. After pressing and folding the tape over, I turned the burp cloth over and sewed the cotton strip down. Here’s a look at the one I made next to it’s inspiration:

And the burp cloth by itself:

If you can believe it, there is still plenty of knit to make a few more burp cloths or even 2 small receiving blankets! There’s not as much bias left, however, so I’m thinking if I can get one more receiving blanket from the batch, I’ll feel good enough saying, “adios” to the remaining pink knit forever. It’s taken up room in my stash for far too long and has now certainly come in handy! 🙂

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