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In my last post, I mentioned that I was going to be making a swaddle blanket for a friend expecting her second baby this coming March. Well, over the weekend I attempted this project. I say attempted because it was much more of a challenge than I had anticipated.
The pattern that I used was from the Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders book. After looking it over briefly, I decided that it seemed simple enough. Cut out the fabric, sew the swaddle ties together with a French seam, and sew the bias tape on. I knew the bias tape would be tricky, but was not expecting it to be this painful! The instructions called for ¼” bias tape. I have never used bias tape before, and since I am still perfecting the art of sewing in a straight line, I might have been better off with a thicker bias tape. I found it really tricky not only to sew it onto the fabric, but even pinning it on and trying to keep the fabric tucked within the tape was a challenge. Every time I came to a rounded corner the bias tape would sort of flip the fabric down. This made sewing difficult as it kept wanting to bunch as I tried to straighten it out. I was excited after I got around the first corner because it looked great! And then I realized the fabric wasn’t sewn in all the way.
I wasn’t sure how to handle part of the swaddle ties with the bias tape. At one point the straight edge meets at a 90° angle and goes directly into a curve. I didn’t know if it was best to keep the bias tape all one piece or if cutting it and sewing a seam would be more ideal. I couldn’t seem to keep it along the fabric without it bunching while being all one piece, so I decided cutting and piecing would be the way to go. I’m not sure if what I did was right or not, but it seemed to work. I made a small slit in the bias to fit over top of the previously laid bias tape to help it lay down better.
I’m not sure if this is a common problem or not, but as I was sewing the bias tape on, my machine kept coming unthreaded. I’ve never had this problem before so I didn’t know if it was related to the tape or not. I do have a pretty old machine that I inherited from my grandmother when she passed. I really should probably invest in a new machine, but I love the fact that she used to create things on here long before I called it mine. Ultimately, here is what the finished project shown in the book looks like:
Sadly, I don’t have a baby to model this on, and I really don’t think my cat would enjoy being swaddled all that much, so I’ve included a couple close-up shots to show some of the areas I was pleased with.
Overall, I think the project would be great for anyone with a little bias tape experience. Since it was my first time trying it, I think it was a good starter project. I’m not too crazy about jumping back into the world of bias tape anytime soon (at least not with ¼“!), but I really like the nice and clean finished edge it gave the final product. There may tbe some messy and crooked seams, but it’s still a super cuddly blanket thanks to the Wild Ones flannel! I know my friend's new baby is going to love it.