This post will teach you how to sew a double-sided baby blanket. It’s the easiest and softest baby blanket you can make, and you can tackle this project even if you have only beginner sewing skills!
How to sew a double-sided baby blanket
I made my first baby blanket back in…2015, I think? My friend Caroline was expecting her second little girl, so I decided to try my hand at my first baby-themed sewing project. This project was really special because Caroline is such an amazing friend to me—and she kicked off my obsession with making double-sided baby blankets for my friends who are expecting!
I have since made 5 blankets, including for my own daughter, but I haven’t photographed any of them. Until the one I just made for my friend Erin, who is another very old friend. We actually went to kindergarten together. I can’t wait for R to be the cool older friend who buys her kid beer when R is 23 and her kid is 20.
But back to the baby blankets. Here is the first one I ever made—for Caroline’s daughter back in 2015. It’s a simple approach.
Easy baby blanket tutorial
I don’t claim to be a seamstress of any sort. Or even someone who is really that good at sewing. But baby blankets are so easy to make that even I can do it. I know my way around a sewing machine, but only when it comes to really easy project. And this is one of those. If you can sew in a reasonably straight line, you can sew this double-sided baby blanket.
How much fabric do I need for a baby blanket?
I have made all of my baby blankets roughly the same size: 30 inches by 40 inches. Though you can definitely make them smaller, which is what I did for the latest one that I photographed for this tutorial. It’s probably more like 28 inches by 35 inches. Babies are small. 🙂
I bought 1 yard (36 inches) of each type of fabric I used: 1 yard of the animal print fabric, 1 yard of the solid gray flannel, and 1 yard of the soft cotton batting. The soft cotton batting actually came pre-cut to 1 yard in a bag, so you’ll have very little waste. Make sure to pre-wash and dry everything so you get any shrinkage out of the way!
What is the best material to make a baby blanket out of?
I recommend popping over to your local Jo-Ann fabric (or similar, depending on where you live) and checking out the nursery flannels. While some of the super minky-soft fabrics and stretchy fleeces are really, really tempting, I don’t recommend using those if you are a beginner.
That’s because stretchy knits are much harder to sew. They can get caught up in your machine and give you a lot of hassle if you don’t have the right type of needle and foot for your sewing machine. Instead, the thin nursery flannels work great. They don’t have much stretch and are very easy to cut and sew.
So here’s what I used.
- Soft flannel nursery fabric; I purchased 1 yard of a decorative fabric and 1 yard of a gray fabric for the back
- 1 yard of % cotton batting; this is the exact kind I used
- Sewing machine
- Scissors, measuring tape, marker, sewing pins
And here’s my easy double-sided baby blanket tutorial!
Step 1: Cut the pieces
Cut three pieces of fabric at your desired dimensions. As discussed above, 30 inches by 40 inches is a great size for a baby blanket. That’s the size most of mine have been, but my recent one was a few inches smaller. The first piece is your decorative/main fabric (the animal print fabric). The second piece is the back piece (my gray piece). The last is the interior batting.
Since it can be hard to cut in a straight line, I recommend using a yard stick or another long straight edge to draw your cut line. You can also use a rotary cutter, which makes things a bit easier. If you have a pattern on your fabric like I do, you may want to lay your patterned fabric out fabric side up to visualize where you want to cut.
After you’ve cut all of your pieces, lay them on top of one another like this. It seems weird, but trust me! And remember, the interior batting layer doesn’t have a right and wrong side, so don’t stress too much about that. The back piece also might not have a right and wrong side depending on what you choose.
Step 2: Pin fabric in place and sew
Carefully line up all the corners as best you can and pin the fabric in place. I like to put an anchor pin that goes down through the middle of all three pieces. Then I put pins around the edges.
Sew a straight seam all the way around your fabric, leaving about 6 inches open anywhere in the seam. The easiest area to do this is probably an area that butts up against a corner. This is where you’ll flip the blanket right-side out.
When you’ve finished sewing the seam, clip the corners, which will give you sharper corners. Maybe sure you don’t clip the line you sewed, though! (Yes, I have done that when making pillow covers…more than once.) You can also trim the excess fabric from around the perimeter of the blanket.
Step 3: Turn right-side out and pin the small opening shut
Carefully flip the blanket right-side out by pulling it through the 5-inch opening. Don’t be discouraged if the fabric doesn’t want to give. Just slowly work it through. Once it’s right-side out, gently poke the corners out so that they are clean-looking.
Find the 6-inch opening you pulled the blanket through, fold it in to hide the ragged cut and pin shut. You might need to trim the batting a bit to get a neat fold. If you’re having a hard time getting it to stay neat, you can use an iron to press the folded seam area (just watch that you don’t get the iron on the pins—they’ll get hot).
Step 4: Sew the opening shut and sew a seam round the blanket’s entire perimeter
Sew shut with a straight stitch. This seam will be visible from the outside, so to hide it, I like to sew a French seam all the way around the perimeter of the blanket. This ensures the opening is sewn securely shut while also adding a sort of decorative trim.
What’s a French seam?
It sounds fancy, and it’s totally not. When you flip the blanket right-side out, the raw edges of the fabric are hidden on the inside of the blanket. But the edge doesn’t look very polished. A French seam is just sewing a straight seam all the way around the perimeter of the blanket to enclose the raw edge of the fabric on the inside of the blanket.
It gives the outside of the blanket a flat, neat, and polish look. See the difference here? The first blanket below is just a blanket flipped right-side out. The second photo has a French seam sewn around the edges of the double-sided baby blanket.
And here’s the finished double-sided baby blanket
That’s it! Really, it’s that easy to make a thoughtful, practical gift for your buds who are expecting. This blanket is also machine washable, and you can put it in the dryer, so it’s easy to take care of. I wouldn’t dare give any new parent something that couldn’t be easily machine washed.
I also have a simple tutorial on making burp clothes, which would be a perfect coordinating gift to make with the scraps leftover from the blanket. I have a post about my daughter’s modern neutral nursery you might like as well!