Monday, December 28, 2009

Organic Ribbon Blanket Tutorial

I just made this little baby ribbon blanket. I'm going to attempt my first simple tutorial for it - partly so I can remember exactly what I did so I can make lots more of these ;) It's a great little gift to give for newborns, not only because babies enjoy these little ribbon blankets, but it's also incredibly fast to make (this one took me half an hour including taking photos) and very economical (this one cost about $5 in ribbon and $2 in fabric.

* 2 13" square pieces of soft fabric - I used this organic sherpa fabric from Wazoodle. The sherpa is very thick and a bit stretchy, so it's somewhat difficult to work with. It's amazingly soft (and thick), though, so I think it'll be perfect for these. Another option is thick flannel. You can get inexpensive 8oz flannel at Organic Cotton Plus. If you only have one yard of fabric, you could cut 12" square so you can get three squares along the yard-length side.
* 20 4.5" pieces of ribbon - I used this 7/8" wide organic ribbon from Near Sea Naturals. You could also get undyed from here and dye yourself with Kool-Aid or plant dyes. Just be sure to wash a few times in hot afterward to be sure the dye is completely set!
* Thread - I used this organic thread from Near Sea Naturals. It's a pleasure to work with!


1. Cut fabric and ribbon.

2. Attach ribbon with pins to the RIGHT side of the fabric - I attached the middle ribbon on each side 2" apart with the middle one at the 6.5" mark - so they were placed with middles at 2.5", 4.5", 6.5", 8.5" and 10.5".

3. Baste with 3/8" seam allowance (I needed 3/8" because it's thick fabric - with thinner fabric you could do 1/4" baste). If you're a perfectionist, it's worth spending a little extra time here so your ribbons end up straight - a few minutes here makes the finished product look a lot more professional. If you don't care too much, you can skip this step.

4. Pin right sides together. I put in two black head pins 3" apart in the middle of one side to remind me to leave an opening to be able to turn the blanket right side out. I like the gap to be in the middle of a side rather than at a corner to make the final pinning and topstitching a little easier.

5. Make sure all ribbons are INSIDE and sew together with a 1/2" seam allowance leaving a 3" opening to turn blanket right side out.

6. Trim corners and turn blanket right side out. I was able to pull out the corners with my fingers, but depending on what fabric you use, you might need a tool such as a chopstick or knitting needle to push the corners out.

7. Iron and fold in the 3" opening and pin closed.

8. Topstitch. I did this with a 3/8" allowance because my walking foot edge is at 3/8", so I get the straightest results at 3/8" :) Also, the sherpa is very thick and difficult to stitch much closer to the edge. You can use any amount up to about 3/8" - you just want to be sure you stitch close enough to actually sew up the folded/pinned area.

ENJOY! If anyone makes this from my tutorial, please let me know! It's my first tutorial, so if there's anything that's not clear, let me know!

Ribbon Blanket

I made a Ribbon Blanket today. I tried to match the style of this one. I really like how it came out - this will definitely be a standard baby gift from now on for me! I used organic sherpa fabric from Wazoodle with organic ribbons and organic thread from Near Sea Naturals. I figure if it's something a baby is going to chew on, it should be 100% organic! I love the feel of the sherpa, but it was hard to work with even with a walking foot. I think it would be impossible with a standard presser foot. I did 1/4" seam and then did again at 3/8" to reinforce, but next time I'm going to do 1/2" seam the first time so it'll be easier to get straight. I cut the sherpa 14" square to begin with, which seems fine and the ribbon I cut 4" based on this tutorial, but she did 1/4" seam allowance and with the sherpa, you really need more (or at least I do). So next time I'll cut the ribbon 4.5" long. I'm going to make one more tonight with my modifications and post pics of both when I'm done.

BTW, the organic thread is amazing. I LOVE using it. I don't think I'll go back to regular cotton. I'll have to order a bunch more so I have a supply since Near Sea Naturals is the only company that I can find selling it :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Knit Socks

So I'm very happy with what I just took off my needles - a beautifully hand-dyed wool sock for Y. I got the yarn 2+ years ago through a coop and had it dyed by the woman who ran the coop. At the time, I was spending far too much time oogling over hand-dyed yarn and I picked the color scheme and she matched it so well! It's Purewool yarn and the pattern is Yankee Knitter Designs Classic Socks, Pattern #29. It's slightly big, but I guess that's fine since that way they'll definitely fit comfortably through the winter and hopefully even next year. So now one to go. I'm loving knitting with this yarn.