I always wanted to sew a baby star wrap blanket. I got the perfect occasion when one of our daughter -in- laws announced that she was pregnant. It will be the first grand child for both family sides; exciting times ahead! Lucky me, the mother- to- be thought that the blanket was a very cute idea.
See how I drafted my own star shaped blanket pattern and how I assembled it;
Before drafting the pattern I browsed the web to see what was out there.
Below is a sample of star shaped blankets found on the internet;
When I studied the photos of blankets with real babies inside them, I found a few points that I did not like and that I could ameliorate.
1- The way that the hood is sewn onto the blanket, overlapping at each side of the neck at the shoulder points, doesn’t leave enough space for the child’s face. I could see on many pictures that the hats were pulled back on the child’s foreheads, but the hood would slide down and cover the baby’s face at his/her first move.
2– The front cross-over panels, which purpose is to insert the baby inside the envelope, the openings were too low and too wide, leaving the child’s chest exposed.
3- I find that in general there was too much fabric bunched up between the legs.
Now let’s find the appropriate star shape to draw my pattern;
I searched the internet for tips on how to draw a star. Many tutorials were way too complicated for me (my geometry classes are way behind). I then happened upon a simple method to draw a 5 points star by Wiki How who started with a pentagon. And I found that this particular star shape looked humanoid as it had arms and legs…….
Let’s draw this star;
I used a geometric shape tracing stencil and traced the pentagon in the middle of the craft paper. It is a very small 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide pentagon shape, but I have an idea on how to grade/enlarge the shape…
To enlarge the pentagon I used this 2 inch (5 cm) wide quilting ruler. (But a Kleenex or a shoe box would work as well).
I aligned one side of the ruler against one of the pentagon sides, and traced a long line on the opposite side of the ruler (see the red line in the above image). This will enlarge the original pentagon shape by the width of the ruler. I did the same for all other pentagon sides.
My pentagon shape was still too small;
To repeat the expansion of the pentagon shape I again placed one side of the ruler along a previously traced line using it as a guideline (see the black arrow on the above image), then traced a line on the opposite side of the ruler (see the red line on the above image). Repeated this for all 5 sides of the pentagon.
I enlarged the pentagon shape one more time. In total I traced 3 enlarged pentagon’s outside of the initial one. The total width of my final pentagon shape is now 12 inches (30.48 cm). I considered that this would be big enough for a baby to fit into.
Lets draw the star 5 points;
I simply connected every other line (it is easy to differentiate which sections will form the star points) with straight lines until the two lines connect.
I then used a plastic cup to round off 4 of the star points (respectively the legs and arms). You also could use a small serving dish.
I used a disposable bowl to round off the star point that will become the blanket’s hoodie.
I then rounded off the exterior of the star point junctions, it will be easier to sew. I again used the plastic cup.
I reshaped the hood to make it bigger and rounder to more resemble a normal head shape.
Let’s verify that the pattern is perfectly symmetrical;
I draw a simple star on paper to better demonstrate how I verified if the pattern left and right side were of identical length and had identical angles. As you see in the image above, the shoulders of the stars are straight and of same length, but the legs of the star are not of the same length.
I also fold the star in half on the center line (center back);
A symmetrical pattern has to be identical on both sides of the center back line. As we see in the image above, with both sides right on top of each other, the pattern is not symmetrical.
I adjusted the pattern by taping long strips of paper on the sides of the pattern that were smaller, rather than drawing and redrawing the pattern.
Now the back part of the star pattern is done.
Next, let’s draft the front pattern pieces;
I drew the junctions where the front and left pieces will overlap (see the red lines in the image above) bringing the closure high enough to cover the baby’s chest area. I placed a sheet of carbon paper under the front junction and then traced over the junction line (the red dotted lines) and also traced around half of the star shape.
Since the back piece pattern is symmetrical, I can cut 2 pieces of the front pattern.
In the image above you see 3 pattern pieces, including the pattern for the hood.
Ready to cut the fabric with the pattern pieces;
When laying out the pattern pieces, it is important to line up the pieces with the straight grain of the fabric.
There are a lot of different ways you could finish the raw edges of blanket with a contrasting bias or a nice handmade blanket stitch. I chose to finish the raw edges (see the black arrows in the image above) with a serger picot edge. I chose to use a thread of the same color than the blanket, but you could use a contrasting thread colour.
Now let’s assemble the star shaped blanket;
Because I have decided to finish the edges with a serger picot edge, I pinned the front pattern pieces over the back pattern piece with the wrong side in.
I machine stitched the two fabric layers together all around the star shape, This will prevent shifting of the fabric layers when I use the overlock sewing machine to finish the picot edge.
I went to the overlock sewing machine and tested the picot stitch on some test fabric, I wanted to picot edges to remain flat without any ruffles and I wanted the stitching width to encase both edges of the fabric for a perfect definition. Then finished the edge of the star shape blanket.
Ironing gave a professional finish to the blanket!
Oh! since I was ironing, I added a embroider iron-on cute owl to the front of the hat.
We all can’t wait to see this precious new addition to our family, probably way cuter than this teddy bear.
I gave the baby star wrap blanket to my daughter -in- law during her baby shower. She loved it.
(Something funny happened during the baby shower. We played this classical game where we had to guess the size of the mother’s belly by cutting a piece of ribbon and then our pieces of ribbon were compared to the actual mothers prominent belly… and guess what? I won! My ribbon was the exact mother’s belly size! Who is a seamstress?! Ha Ha Ha!)
Ah! I also sewed a fabric toy for the baby.
In my next post I will show you how I used Domenica’s pattern from www.easysewing.com to sew this adorable Knot bunny lovey comforter toy. I will also demonstrate how I slightly tweaked the toy pattern to add one more knot!