So last Christmas, I begged my husband (the Coach) for a sewing machine. I wanted one so badly, so that I could be all crafty and domestic in my all of my excessive amounts of free time. He balked. He thought it was a trick, and referenced the well-known Husband Rule #1: “Thou shalt not gift her with a blender, vacuum, iron, steam mop, or any other appliance that would suggest she is a happy little homemaker.” Please note that all of these links go directly to the items on my current Amazon wish list. You know you want that Dyson, baby.
But I persisted, shopped online, read reviews, asked around, and decided that the Brother sewing machines were good starters. I selected the most basic machine and figured that I’d give it a try, and learn from there. But then Cyber Monday happened. And I found this baby for like, 400% off. And free shipping. SOLD. I ordered it for myself. From Santa. Thanks, babe.
It turns out, the Coach was right: I don’t have as much free time as I’d imagined, and my sewing machine stays in the corner more than I’d like. In the last 10 months, it only appeared to make the girls’ Fourth of July dresses. But then came my sister-in-law’s baby shower. I really wanted to make her something because, to me, my most favorite things from my showers were gifts people had made just for my baby.
So I went to Pinterest and decided on custom burp cloths. This tutorial, in particular. Pinterest is full of tutorials and DIY baby projects and links to Etsy girls who will make these for you, but here’s my method.
First, get a pack of white, pre-fold cloth diapers, some fabric, some washable grosgrain ribbon, and gather your sewing supplies. You don’t need a lot of fabric, I’ve gotten remnants and scraps that work just fine. Wash (with a second rinse) and iron the diapers and your fabric. Lay it all out. Fill up your wine glass. Empty it. Fill it up again. Now you’re ready to start.
Next, make yourself a little cardboard pattern. You’ll want to use cardboard and not paper so that you can use the pattern to help with folds and creases. Cardboard will withstand the heat from the iron and the pulling/tugging that goes with shaping the fabric. I cut a piece of cardboard the width of the burp cloths and a length that was about a third of the length (about 10” wide x 5” high). Giving yourself a good half-inch extra on all sides, cut your fabric using the cardboard pattern as a guide. Set your fabric right-side down on your ironing board and place the pattern on top. Fold the extra fabric up around the cardboard on all four sides and press all around, making your perfect creases to the exact dimensions of your pattern. You may have to negotiate with the corners and do a little trimming. I’m sure there’s a better way to handle corners, and I will ask my Grammy for next time.
Then, place your fabric (edges folded & pressed under) on top of your burp cloth right-side up, and pin all the way around. Top-stitch the fabric to the burp cloth. Don’t screw up the corners like I did. Press the sewn burp cloth again. You’re probably ready for some more wine.
Finally, pin the ribbon to the burp cloth and top-stitch in place. Make them look pretty and you’re good to go. Hopefully the pictures make the process look as simple as it was. Seriously, once you cut the pattern and your fabric – it took me less than an hour to make 6 of these. And I’m totally a beginner. It’s a great starter project!
What have you learned from Pinterest? Any new crafty talents? Any suggestions for what I should tackle next?