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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Burp cloths

People often ask me what a good baby shower gift is that doesn't cost too much money.  When I was pregnant I designed and made these burp cloths and LOVED them as a new mom.  I totally believe you can never have too many burp cloths.  You go through a ton!

I love these ones especially because they are so cute!  They are also a great size - narrow enough to go over your shoulder, but big enough to still be useful.  We started having Lily sleep on one of these every night as a newborn so we didn't have to change her sheets every time she spit up.  We still use these all of the time even though she is past the spit up phase.

I also love these because they are so absorbent.  I'm talking I spilled a whole 4 oz bottle one one of these once and the sheet under, although damp, wasn't even wet enough to warrant changing the sheets.

This is also a great way to use scraps if you don't know what to do with an extra 1/4 yard of fabric.

1.  Buy cloth diapers at the store.  Mine came in a 12 pack for $13 at Walmart.

2.  Fold the long ends of the cloth diapers to meet the seams toward the middle.  Pin in place.

 3.  Sew these ends in place.  The middle of the diaper is already padded and thick.  By pulling the sides over the double layer makes a better size (in my opinion) and keeps the edges super absorbent as well.

 4.  Cut 2 strips of fabric for each diaper into a 7 inch by 21 inch rectangle.  I used my rotary cutter making it super easy and fast.  1/4 yard makes 1 of these burp cloths.  I however love using coordinating fabric with a different print on each side.  I buy 1/4 yard of both fabrics I like, and make 2 burp cloths with each fabric on both.

...well to be honest I think it's easiest to do everything in bulk so I usually buy 1/4 yard of 6 sets of 2 fabrics (so 12 fabrics total).  I like to make 12 burp cloths at a time since they come in packs of 12.  It takes longer and costs a little more up front, but then I have a stock pile for last minute baby gifts in the future.

5.  After you've cut the fabric out, iron in 1/2 inch on each side.  Measure this part - don't just eye ball it.  The more accurate your piece is the easier it will be to match the seams later.

6.  Pin one side of fabric centered on the cloth diaper, leaving the short edges hanging over.  Don't pin the other side on yet.  You should have 1/2 of your fabric pieces pinned on with the other 1/2 ironed, waiting for the next step.

7.  Sew the pinned on fabric pieces to the cloth diaper.  Use a quarter inch seam allowance (to the edge of the presser foot.)
 8.  Sew along the long edges of the unpinned fabric pieces as well, also using a quarter inch seam allowance.

 9.  Pin the loose fabric pieces (the ones you just sewed along that aren't attached to the cloth diaper yet) to the empty side of the burp cloth.  Match the quarter inch seam you just sewed to the one you can see from when you sewed the first side on.  Pin into place.

10.  Sew the second side onto the burp cloth (the one you just pinned.)  This time use an eighth of an inch seam allowance (to the edge of the inside of the presser foot.)  After you finish this step, both fabric sides should be secured to your burp cloth.  Parallel lines of stitching should run along both long sides of your fabric.  If your lines aren't so parallel, don't one will really notice.  As long as the fabric is secured well to the burp cloth it'll be fine.  If it's not - re-sew over the part(s) that need work.

11.  Surge along the short ends of each burp cloth.  If you don't have a surger see the step below.

11 for those without a surger.  Fold one end of your fabric over the burp cloth but under the other fabric (pictured above).  Then fold the remaining end inside and pin into place.  Use a straight or zig-zag stitch to sew along the short ends of the burp cloth.


 Here is my finished product.  In the burp cloth above I used the same fabric for both front and back.  In the burp cloth below I used different fabric for each side.

Like I said, these make great gifts!  Below is a picture of Lily using these when she was just a few days old...see how cute they are?!?


  1. Way cute! I made some of these a few months ago before I had my baby and you are right, you can never have enough! These are way cute!
    andrea @ Life in dawleywood