March 27, 2023

Since it’s a time-consuming project, if you want to make a handmade cover, I recommend starting now. This will allow you to have your DIY cover finished by the beginning of autumn or, if you plan to work on it occasionally, at least ready by Christmas (it could be a nice handmade gift). So I thought I’d give you 10 different ways to make DIY blankets.

During the long cold winter evenings, there is nothing better than snuggling up on the sofa with a nice warm blanket. Many people just buy a blanket from a store, but it’s much easier than you think to make one and you’ll have a beautiful handmade item that everyone will admire. All you need is fabric, a sewing machine and a bit of patience to make yourself a great winter blanket. Read down below and learn how to make a blanket.

Prepare the material

It will serve to give thickness to the cover. You can buy padding pre-cut to the dimensions of the different bed sizes (single, double or king size) or batting by the meter at a fabric store. If you buy the wadding by the meter, you need a rectangle that will cover your whole body lengthwise (for example, for a single bed, you need a rectangle of 140 x 200 cm ).

  • The dimensions of the padding depend on the size of the blanket you want to make. In general, wadding sold by the meter has a standard width of 120 to 150 cm. Buy the length you want and cut the padding to the dimensions you want at home.
  • You can use cotton or polyester batting. Cotton is softer to the touch and polyester is firmer and stiffer. Cotton is often pre-shrunk, which is also an advantage.
  • Decide on the thickness of the padding. The thicker it is, the softer and cozier the blanket will be. The thinner it is, the flatter the blanket will stay.
  • Look for batting in the form of an already woven web rather than loose. Canvas will be much easier to cut and use than loose stuffing.

Look for flannel. For the surface of the cover, you can choose from many fabrics with all kinds of different prints, such as flowers, animal skins, stripes, etc. You can also choose a solid color that appeals to you, such as dark green or hot pink. The choices are virtually endless. This fabric will show when you use or fold the blanket. It could therefore be wise to match it with other elements that will surround it, such as cushions on the sofa.

Buy soft fabric. The fabric store should carry a range of fleece and cozy fabrics. These textiles are entirely made of polyester fibers and you can find different textures (smooth, hairy, thick, etc.) and different patterns (polka dots, stripes, etc.). Choose a fabric that matches the color and print of the flannel. Many people choose white because it goes well with all colors, but you can pick any color and pattern you want.

Look for suitable yarn. If you’re going to use a sewing machine, buy standard single sewing thread. If you want to sew the blanket by hand, look for six-thread embroidery floss. Even if you’re using a machine, you’ll need some six-thread embroidery floss to finish the edges of the blanket.

Make the cover

Cut out the fabric

If it does not correspond to the desired dimensions, cut it according to these. All of the pieces of fabric (the flannel, padding, and fleece) must be the same size for you to sew them together. To cut them, overlap them and align them at a corner so that the edges starting from this angle are well overlapped.

Pin the three layers together to prevent them from slipping and shifting as you cut them.
Cut the fabric with scissors or a rotary cutter. If you’re using the cutter, lay the fabric on a safe surface.
Cut the fabric in sections. You can use a ruler as you go to make sure the dimensions of the rectangle are even throughout its length. Make small pencil marks to identify where you want to cut the fabric.

Layer the fabrics

  • Once you’ve cut out the fabric and you have three rectangles that are the same size, lay the stuffing out on a flat, smooth surface. Lay the flannel right side out on top, then lay the cozy fabric inside out on the flannel. In other words, the face of the fleece fabric must touch that of the flannel.
  • When the layers of fabric are layered in the correct order, smooth and straighten them. Pin all three together in the middle so they stay straight when you sew them together.

Mark the seam allowance

  • To do this, apply masking tape to the edges of the back of the cozy fabric. For example, if you want to leave a 1cm seam allowance, tape masking tape all the way around the sides of the fleece fabric so that the inside edges of the tape are 1cm from the edges of the rectangle.
  • Use a ruler or other straight tool to make sure the masking tape stays straight. Leave it, glued to the fabric until you are done sewing.
  • If you don’t want to use masking tape, you can just draw light lines with a pencil, but you might have a harder time seeing them while sewing.

Use a sewing machine

  • Position the fabric under the needle of the device. Slowly sew the edges of the different fabrics together, pulling evenly as the fabric moves forward. Sew just outside the edge of the masking tape so that you leave the desired seam allowance.
  • At the corners, you can either continue sewing while describing a curve, or stop the machine, rotate the assembly 90° and resume sewing so as to form a right angle.
  • When you are almost done, leave an opening about 15 to 20 cm long between the beginning and the end of the seam.

Sew by hand

If you don’t have a sewing machine or prefer a more artisanal style, you can do all the stitching by hand instead of by machine. Thread six-thread embroidery floss through a needle. Tie the end of the long part. Start sewing in one corner of the fabric and work your way up the sides. Prick the needle into the underside of the fleece fabric in one of the corners. Bring it out on top of the cozy fabric and pull it until the knot prevents the thread from slipping further. Then loop around the three layers of fabric and poke the needle through the stuffing to bring it out on top of the fleece fabric.

  • Push the needle into the wadding and bring it out through the hole where you have already passed the thread through the fleece fabric for the first time. Pull the thread, but put a finger under it near the edge of the fabric to avoid pulling it all the way through.
  • Thread the needle through the loop formed by the thread you held in place with your finger and pull it until the loop closes and the stitch is tight.
  • Prick the needle into the underside of the wadding about 1 cm from the previous stitch, following the side of the fabric. Pull it through all three layers of fabric so it sticks out on top of the cozy fabric while holding a loop of yarn in place with a finger near the edge of the fabric. Pass the needle through the loop and pull the thread to tighten the stitch.
  • Repeat the process, working along the edges of the fabric until you have gone all the way around the rectangle. If the thread runs out, thread another through the needle, tie off its end and start again at the point where the previous one ends. Remember to leave an opening of about 15 to 20 cm between the beginning and the end of the seam.

Finish the cover

Cut off the excess

You don’t want the edges of the blanket to be too thick. Use scissors or a rotary cutter to trim the edges of the fabric approximately 5mm from the seams. If you use a box cutter, cut the cover on a safe surface.

  • After cutting off the excess, remove the masking tape and remove the pins you had stuck in the middle of the rectangle to hold the layers in place.

Iron the edges

Raise the edge of the cozy fabric at the top and fold it inside the rectangle. Iron it gently with an iron set to a low temperature. When you lift the iron, make sure the ironed part stays flat and folded up. Go all the way around the blanket this way.

When you are finished ironing the edges of the cozy fabric, turn the blanket over and iron the edges of the flannel the same way, setting the iron to a low setting. Go all the way around the rectangle again.

Turn the blanket right side out

Until now, the padding was on the outside and the place for the flannel and fleece was on the inside. Pass your hand through the opening you left by slipping it between the flannel and the cozy fabric (not between the flannel and the batting). Bring it up to the side seam opposite the opening and pull it gently.

  • It is important to pull slowly to avoid breaking the stitches by accident.
  • Once you’ve turned most of the blanket over, put your hand back in the opening and poke a finger into the corners. You can also pull the corners from the outside so that they are straight and not sunk inwards.

Close the opening

Position the blanket with the fleece side up. You will sew the edges of the opening together with blanket stitch. Thread your needle with six-count embroidery floss. Tie the end of the long part and poke the needle into the back of the fleece fabric. Bring it out from the right side and pull it until the knot gets caught under the fabric. You will notice that for this step, you are passing the thread only through the cozy fabric and not through the flannel or batting. If you need more specific instructions, see this article.

  • Loop around the edge of the blanket and insert the needle into the right side of the flannel, which is on the underside. Pass it through the three layers of fabric so that it comes out the hole where you passed it the first time. Place a finger under the thread at the edge of the fabric to prevent it from fully tightening.
  • Pass the needle through the loop of yarn formed around your finger. Pull the thread to tighten the stitch. Prick the needle again into the underside of the flannel about 1 cm from the first stitch. Pass it through the three layers of fabric and out on top, holding a loop of yarn in place at the edge with your finger.
  • Thread the needle through the loop of yarn and pull it to tighten the stitch. Repeat the process working your way along the opening until you have closed it. When you’re done, tie the end of the yarn to keep it in place.

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