Want to make a gorgeous, soft blanket for your home or to give as a gift? In this blog post, I’m sharing a simple tutorial on how to make a beautiful boutique style blanket. You’l learn how to make a blanket step-by-step, plus you’ll learn how many yards of fabric you’ll need for your blanket whether it’s for a baby, toddler, or to use as a throw blanket on your sofa.
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, as a living room throw for your couch, or for an accent blanket on your bed.
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. (Not a fan of minkee fabric? You can use polar fleece fabric or flannels instead!)
- 100% cotton quilting (or cotton twill decor, if you want a heavier blanket) fabric
- How many yards of fabric do I need for my blanket? See size chart below!
- polyester minkee (minky) fabric (enough for your blanket – see size chart below)
- sewing machine
- a rotary cutter, mat and large ruler are helpful but not necessary
Blanket Size Chart
How much fabric do you need for a blanket? Here are some common blanket sizes with the fabric yardage estimate that’s required for each.
|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 Medium 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.
If you’re making anything larger than an Oversized Throw – a Queen-size blanket, for example – you will have to piece some fabrics together with seams. That’s why I prefer to make my blankets throw-sized at the largest when using 60″ wide fabric.
The baby blanket size makes a sweet gift for a baby shower. You can choose fabrics that match the baby’s nursery decor, and it will be a personal and beautiful gift. My girls still use the blankets I made for them when they were babies!
DIY Boutique Blanket Instructions
Prepare the Fabric
First of all, ensure you have enough fabric to make your blanket. How many yards do you need for a blanket? It depends on the size of blanket you’re making and you can check the size chart above.
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.
Next, 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.
Cut the Fabric
I like to cut both pieces of fabric 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 at the fabric store 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 the Blanket
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).
Finish the Blanket
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!
More DIY Blanket Tutorials
Want more handmade blanket inspiration? Try these ideas:
- use faux fur fabric and soft minkee to create a luxurious faux fur throw for your living room
- for a special blanket that babies and toddlers will love, use two layers of minkee fabric and satin binding to create this beautiful baby blanket
- sew an easy but stunning herringbone baby quilt with this straightforward tutorial
- crochet an heirloom granny square style blanket with this two part tutorial
- how many yards of yarn do you need for a granny square crochet blanket? You’ll need two 164 yd skeins each of eight different colours of sport weight yarn and eight 164 yd skeins of white/cream coloured sport weight yarn.