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Need a baby gift TODAY? Sew a delightful baby swaddle blanket! It's handmade and wonderful so your favorite cousin never finds out that you were too busy with (enter your reason) to spend a lot of time before her baby shower!
Swaddle blankets are an extremely thoughtful gift because they are attractive and can be used in so many ways! Muslin swaddle blankets are generally quite large, 45-47 inches square. This allows them to easily swaddle babies of nearly any size. However, these blankets can also function as nursing covers if you are in a public place and desire a bit of privacy. Baby muslin is a breathable fabric so it won't feel stuffy under there!
Baby swaddle blankets are also used as stroller shades or as a clean surface for Junior to lie on at the park or for diaper changes. Baby muslin is also quite absorbent, so if you run out of disposables in the diaper bag, maybe you can make do somehow with your swaddle blanket! Since the late 1800s, baby diapers have primarily been 100% cotton, just like baby muslin! But watch out~they can get soggy!
Muslin is a fascinatingly versatile fabric! If you're interested to know more about it, click here to read my article.
On your way home from work, whip into the nearest store with a good selection of fabric. Quickly choose and purchase 1 1/4 yards (or enough to make a square) of adorable, printed cotton gauze (a type of muslin) with matching thread.
At home, set up your sewing machine and hem the edges. Then roll up the blanket and tie it with a piece of ribbon, raffia, or even jute twine. BEHOLD! A delightfully trendy and useful baby gift your cousin (or whoever) will love!
This baby swaddle blanket sews up quickly because you begin with an attractive pre-printed muslin gauze. I bought 1 1/4 yards (45 inches) of a delightful blue and gray elephant on white pattern for less than $4/yd. from Walmart. Since the fabric was 43 inches wide, my blanket is not quite square, but it's pretty close! Close enough for government work, as the saying goes! (Do they ever say that in your family?)
Fold over approximately 3/8 inch of fabric two times to make a finished edge. It isn't even necessary to pin it before sewing. Just fold over a few inches at a time as you sew a straight seam. Be sure to reverse stitch to lock the seam before stitching each side. (You could use a zig zag stitch if you prefer.)
Stop a couple of inches before the corner. Begin to fold the next side, which will fold over the side you are almost done with (see the picture as a guide). Then proceed to stitch. Stop when your needle is just on the newly folded side. Reverse stitch to lock and then continue down the whole side. Do this for each corner.
When you finish hemming, trim your threads and pat yourself on the back! TaDa! The baby swaddle blanket is complete! All that's needed is to fold or roll it up and tie it off with a decorative ribbon or jute string to present it for the new addition!