This past weekend I had a baby shower to attend for a cousin of mine and her first sweet baby girl she will be welcoming into this world shortly. When it comes to baby showers, I’m normally the giver of the “practical” gifts. You know, butt paste, diapers, grooming kits, shampoo, etc. Generally speaking, I know the mother-to-be will be loaded down with more clothes than she can handle, so I try to give something that will get some good use and be of help to the parents. Well, not this time! I was dying to make something and step away from my typical gifts of practicality.
When I was pregnant with our third child, I had been gifted a set of handmade burp cloths. I was skeptical at first. I had used the Gerber pre-fold diapers for burp cloths with my other two children, and they had worked fine. But, once I used the handmade ones I’d received, I didn’t want anything else! They are SUPER absorbent, I don’t have to worry about it leaking through to my clothes, I can personalize them with fabric of my choice, and they really are the perfect size! Because of how much I loved mine, I decided to make some for my cousin’s baby shower. There. Practical AND cute! Win/win! And now, I’ll show YOU how you can make your own. It’s so easy and pretty darned inexpensive!
Can I just take a minute to say how incredibly weird it is for me to type “cloths” instead of “rags”?! It must be one of those things that goes with where you’re from like pop vs soda, concrete vs cement, you get the picture. Where I’m from, we say burp rags. But, for the sake of your sanity and the fact that I’ve found the most common term to be used is burp cloths, I’ll keep it at cloths throughout this tutorial. Just know I feel the need to shudder every time it’s typed. I’m basically going against my Kansas grains here by doing this for y’all. You’re welcome. 😉 Now, onto the tutorial!
I bought this fat quarter bundle at Hobby Lobby, and they’re perfectly soft, lightweight flannels. Plus, I used their 40% off coupon, so it came in at a great price! For the terry cloth, there are a few ways to get it: you can find it at your local fabric store, you can cut up some towels at home, or you can do like I did and buy the cheap Mainstays towels from Walmart and use those. If you use the bath towels from Walmart, you can get 4 burp cloths and even two or three washcloths out of one towel!
An important note: Always pre-wash your fabrics and put them through the dryer AT LEAST once! This will prevent shrinkage after your piece is finished.
Cut your fat quarter pieces to measure 10.5″ x 18″. Essentially, this will be cutting your pieces in half, yielding two burp cloths per fabric piece – 10 per bundle.
Do the same with your terry cloth or towels. Cut 10.5″ x 18″ pieces. If you want to make matching wash cloths, cut 5 pieces for burp cloths from your towels. Then, cut 6″ x 6″ pieces for your wash cloths. Do the same for your extra 5 pieces of fabric. The steps will be the same for the wash cloths, but for the purposes of this tutorial, only the instructions for the burp cloths will be shown.
Place your fabric and terry cloth right sides together and pin or clip to hold. When you sew, you’ll want to leave about a three inch gap to turn right side out. (You can see I marked my stop and start positions with the two yellow pins on the left.) Sew the pieces together using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Trim your corners to prepare for turning.
Once you’ve turned your burp cloth right side out, you’ll notice your opening naturally folds in, inline with your seam allowance. Now, if you didn’t know before, I’m kind of a pressing freak. I press EVERYTHING when I sew. The thing is, it will make all the difference in your products looking homemade vs handmade. If you don’t press, that’s totally fine. However, if you do press, your items will look like they came from a boutique store instead of your house. If you ask me, it’s worth the extra 30 seconds. So, in the spirit of making things look professional, let’s press! This will also make it much easier to sew through your two layers since everything will be nice and tight.
Now, it’s time to topstitch! I kept my top fabric lined up with the outside of my presser foot, but I know that can vary on different machines. It was basically half way between 1/4″ and 3/8″. We want to make sure we’re stitching through the seam allowance on the inside, so we need to keep it fairly close to the edge. Stitch all the way around. Remember that opening for turning right side out? Well, when we topstitch around the burp cloth, we will close that right up. Voila! It’s all closed!
If you noticed, between the cut cloth and sewing there ended up being lots of extra little pieces attaching themselves to the burp cloth. I always like to run them through the wash one more time before using or even gifting them, and that will eliminate all the little fuzzies that joined the party during sewing.
And there you have it! Beautiful, handmade, super absorbent and crazy awesome burp cloths!
They went in my baby shower gift set for my cousin along with a pair of my handmade baby shoes and these lovelies. I’ll be showing you a tutorial later this week on how to make your own “Fearfully and Wonderfully made” custom onesie so stay tuned! You’ll also find out just where to get your hands on that adorable fabric and FREE pants pattern I used to make those cuties!