Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2 1/2 Pillowcases = a Handmade Swaddler!

Alida over at I Make Stuff is flippin' awesome. She came up with a tutorial on how to make swaddler blankets! I had bought three on clearance that supposedly last up to 14 lbs, but seeing as how my son is about 12 lbs and I can barely fasten the velcro around his broad shoulders, I figured it was time to buy some new ones.

But wait! Alida to the rescue! Why buy when you can sew some for free, using fabric I already have on hand?! Stash-busting, that's what I'm talking about!

Before I decided to whip up some of these bad boys, I did find a The Miracle Blanket Swaddler which gets very good reviews online. It costs $30 at Amazon... it cost me under $2 at a thrift store :)

For my first attempt at a swaddler, I decided to use three pillowcases that I had thrifted for their fabric (technically you need 2 1/2 pillowcases for this project). The plain brown one was 75% off for a total of 15c, and the two sock monkey pillowcases were 40c and 60c. I actually found them on two separate shopping trips, one right after the other. I believe that's what we call good thrifting karma :)

Alida uses minky fabric for her swaddlers, however I don't have any of that and certainly don't need to go buy any new fabric when I have a fabric breeding ground in my basement. Instead, I used flannels, t-shirt fabric, or regular pillowcase fabric.

Also, a quick word about the velcro. Last night when I was sewing the velcro on, my two year old asked me what that stuff was. When I told him "velcro," I think he misunderstood and thought I said, "Hell no," because he said, "Mommy! Don't say that! Say, 'Oh my peas!'" Our son has a swearing problem, and whenever he says something bad, I tell him to say, 'Oh my peas!' Now he's taken to correcting ME when I say a bad word... Not that I ever say bad words, ahem :)

Anyway, back to the swaddlers! The first two swaddlers have black velcro, which I actually cut off of a baby carrier that had been recalled. That velcro is awesome because it's much wider than regular velcro. The last one I had to use regular white velcro, so I doubled up on it so that it would be wide like the black velcro. I also didn't place velcro on the swaddler in all the places that Alida did in her tutorial. I only have so much velcro, and I didn't want to run out and have to buy some, since these are freebie swaddlers. My son has slept in it for two nights now, and so far, he hasn't busted out of it (knock on wood), so hopefully it's okay that I skimped on the velcroing!

Back in '09 I thrifted several yards of this red and black lumberjackish flannel for only 50c. Paired with a cut-up black shirt of my husband's, I think it makes quite a nice swaddler. The best part is, I still have enough to make my older son a pair of pants, and maybe even a matching pair for my husband. That's a lot of mileage for only 50c! (My husband has ripped two pairs of lounge pants in the past couple weeks, and one pair he actually ripped twice. I'm getting tired of mending his pants! I'd say that new ones are definitely in order).

My third and final swaddler is made with 50c race car flannel, thrifted last year, and a green pillowcase from my college days. As that was over a decade ago (wow, I am getting old), and the dark green no longer matches any of our bedding, I decided that chopping it up was no biggie.

Whoops... the velcro didn't quite line up because it shifted while I was sewing. If I had to do it over again, I would have used white thread to sew two strips of velcro together before attaching it to the swaddler. Then I could trim the edges to make sure both strips were exactly the same length.

Second Time Around Tuesday

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