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Sew a Boutique Blanket

Submitted by on May 11, 2012 – 5:09 am21 Comments

by Christina Dennis

I love soft, cuddly blankets! My favourite combination for a blanket is to sew it using cotton on the outside and buttery soft minkee fabric on the inside. The result is a substantial, high-quality blanket that is wonderful for a baby, for a living room throw, or for a bed!

Sew a Boutique Blanket by The DIY Mommy

Minkee (or “minky”) fabric can be very thick and slippery. It also is a pain to cut because it can be so furry – fuzz can fly everywhere! In this tutorial on how to sew a “boutique” blanket, I’ll share how I work with this fabric. It’s a little tricky, but the results are beautiful.

Materials:

  • 100% cotton quilting (or cotton twill decor, if you want a heavier blanket) fabric (enough for your blanket – see size chart below) (I used Premier Prints Twill Suzani Storm Grey)
  • polyester minkee (minky) fabric (enough for your blanket – see size chart below) (I used Minky Frosted Zebra Cuddle Grey)
  • thread
  • a rotary cutter, mat and large ruler are helpful but not necessary

I purchased my fabric for this project from fabric.com:

Orders of $35 & up Ships Free.

Size Chart:

Blanket Size Width Length Yards of Fabric
Baby (Crib) 29″ 35″ 1 yard each (minimum 44″ wide)
Child 42″ 47″ 1 1/2 yards each (minimum 44″ wide)
Adult Afghan/Throw 48″ 71″ 2 yards each (minimum 54″ wide)
Adult – Oversized Throw 55-59″ 71″ 2 yards each (minimum 56″ wide)

I love the last blanket size (“Adult – Oversized Throw”). It’s big and cozy and the best use of 2 yards of 56 – 60″ wide fabric. Minkee is usually 60″ wide as is most cotton decor fabric. This is the size of the blanket pictured in this tutorial.

Directions:

Sew a Boutique Blanket by The DIY Mommy

If you are making a smaller blanket and have a large rotary cutter and mat, put it down on a large surface (in my case, my only large surface is my floor – if you have a big cutting table you are soooo lucky!). If you are making a larger blanket and/or don’t have a rotary cutter and large mat, skip this step. Lay your minkee fabric down first – with the smooth side down and the fuzzy (right) side facing up.

Lay your cotton fabric on top of the minkee, with its right side down and its wrong side up. Smooth the cotton over the minkee with your hands to get ride of wrinkles and to line them up at the fabric salvages and cut edges.

I like to cut both fabrics to size when they are laid out together so no trimming is necessary later to make them match! If you are making one of the three smaller sizes of blankets, you will need to measure and trim off one side of your fabrics to produce the correct width. Make sure to add 1 INCH to the measurements in the chart above to account for a 1/2″ seam allowance! Use either a large ruler and fabric marker and measure evenly from the edge.

I find the trick for large pieces like blankets and curtains is to make sure your measurements are even and all of your lines are absolutely straight! You shouldn’t have to cut the ends (tops and bottoms) of the fabrics unless you are making the “Child” size or unless your fabric has been cut unevenly (tip: ask the person cutting your fabric to cut it straight so that you can avoid having to do this yourself later)!

Minkee can be VERY messy when cut. Shake your newly cut pieces outside, or have a dust buster on hand!

Here’s my biggest tip for this project (and for working with minkee in general): pin, pin, pin, pin, pin! I used to hate pinning, thinking it was a waste of time, but the more pins you use the better the blanket will turn out and it will save you a lot of seam-ripping later! Pin the pieces together, all the way around, in at LEAST 4 inch increments. Minkee is very slippery and stretch across the grain, so pinning will prevent puckering and/or stretching of the fabric.

Sew a Boutique Blanket by The DIY Mommy

Now you will be machine sewing the pieces together all the way around. This is a great project if this is your first time working with minkee because you will be sewing from the cotton fabric side which slides along nicely underneath a presser-foot. Start sewing in the middle of one side and leave a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Keep your fabrics taught with your free hand as you sew, making sure they don’t pucker between the pins. If you’ve pinned enough, this should be pretty straight forward. If you are sewing a large blanket, you may want to have a chair or small card table beside you to hold the weight of the blanket as you sew (a tip from my talented sewing mother).

Don’t sew all the way to where you started – leave at least a 6″ hole that will be used to pull your blanket right-side-out. Trim the corners of your blanket at an angle (this produces a nice square, crisp corner when the blanket is turned out).

Sew a Boutique Blanket by The DIY Mommy

Turn the blanket right-side-out by pulling it through the hole you left. Poke the corners out with a knitting needle or scissors to create nice square corners. Pin the opening shut by first turning in your cotton and minkee fabrics 1/2″ to the inside, then pinning.

Top-stitch the blanket all the way around, approximately 1/4″ from the edge (again, you have your cotton fabric facing up so it’s easier to sew). This sews the opening shut and also keeps the top layer from bunching over the bottom layer. With this blanket I only did one row of top-stitching, but I’ve also made blankets that I’ve top-stitched a second time 2″ from the edge for a little more stability/detail. You could even try a zig-zag instead of a regular stitch for some added detail and charm!

Christina Dennis is the creator and designer behind Golly Gee Baby, a collection of unique and colourful baby clothing and accessories that are ethically manufactured.

Linked to these link parties: Made by You Mondays at Skip to My Lou, Sundae Scoop Link Party at I Heart Nap Time, Doin’ it Yourself at aka design, DIY Project Parade at DIY Show Off

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21 Comments »

  • Amy says:

    This is great! I love the minky fabric you have here, but can’t seem to find it on Fabric.com – what was the style name? Great fabric choices!

  • I love this! I am a new sewer, and the blanket measurements are a huge help. Thank you!
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  • Amanda says:

    I love this blanket and it looks so cozy!!! What is the name of the Cotten fabric? I want to order some!

  • Ashley says:

    Hi Christina,
    I would also like to know what the cotton is called. I’m having trouble finding nice patterns in a 60″ width.
    Thanks!

    • Christina says:

      Hi Ashley! The fabric I used is “Premier Prints Twill Suzani Storm Grey”. It’s actually 56″ wide! So sorry about that – I’m going to adjust the post so that the largest blanket is this width up to 60″ wide. :)

  • Ashley says:

    thanks Christina! Unfortunately, I ordered some 58″ wide fabric before I saw your reply. It’s actually a jersey knit and I didn’t realize – practically impossible to work with! I cut and pinned and the fabric just keeps stretching! Then I sewed some and it’s just not working out. So I just ordered some of the fabric you used. Ha, we’ll have identical blankets! I’ll share pictures when I’m done :) Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  • Ashley says:

    finally finished! Enjoy: http://ashleylois.blogspot.com/2012/06/boutique-blanket.html

    Thanks again, Christina! My mom is totally in love – I think she’s going to steal it from me…

  • Anne says:

    Hi! I was searching the web for cute ideas for baby gifts when I ran across your blanket – which would be perfect for the person I had in mind, same material, colors, everything…..but as I went to look at the twill material the care instructions say to not machine dry, to air dry, line dry….UG. Baby blankets need to be easy to care for! My question is – how has your blanket held up? Have you dried it in the dryer? Any problems, shrinkage, etc.? Please let me know as I am eager to get started! Thank you!

    • Hi Anne! Thanks for visiting and for your comment. I’ve washed this twill three times by machine and machine dried, and it has held up great. For a baby’s blanket that gets washed more often, you might want to go with a quilter’s cotton for the other side instead… just in case! It’s a little softer and meant for more washings. :)

  • Carol says:

    Hi Christina!
    I was wondering when making the Adult Oversized Throw is there a seam at all in the minky before matching it up with the top? Or just 2 yards layed out? Hope this makes sense

  • Naomi says:

    Hi, with the larger size blankets, do you baste or stitch the layers together after turning?

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  • Barbara says:

    This is exactly what I was looking for in the adult sizes. I want to get started on Christmas gifts. Do you recommend prewashing the fabrics? Also instead of the cotton fabric could I use a flannel fabric? Your thoughts?

    • I definitely pre-wash my fabrics if they are a natural fiber that could shrink at all (cotton, linen etc.). Yes, I’ve used flannel instead of cotton twill for blankets before and it works great! Just make sure to get the higher quality, thicker flannel that washes well. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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