How different it is to have babies today in a pinterest world than long, long ago when I had mine. Ok, so it wasn’t that long ago, but Pinterest wasn’t invented until 2011 so I missed the opportunity to find out what all those creatives moms were making for their babies. Now I see baby stuff on there occasionally because I look at a lot of sewing boards, but I was still pretty out of the loop on the whole “taggie” craze. Heck, I didn’t even know that a tiny baby blanket is called a lovie now! When my girls were babies, they loved blankets, but they didn’t make any small versions, so they mostly just cuddled up with the cutest burp cloths we had on hand. Don’t say it- I know, mother of the year!
So when a friend from church asked if I could make a taggie lovie and blanket for her son who has to make multiple trips to the children’s hospital, I gladly accepted. The poor little guy had lost his old one during one of those trips and needed a replacement. Luckily, I had seen them enough to know it was pretty simple construction, but I still looked at a couple tutorials to see what tips and tricks they offered.
Here are the best two tips I found:
1) Sew the ribbons on very securely by sewing each one two or three times. This is super important! You don’t want any of these ending up in baby’s mouth!
2) When sewing the layers together, sew with the minky side down. This helps avoid stretch.
Now, on with the tutorial:
Prerequisite: Wash your fabric! Don’t skip this step, most cottons will shrink. I used flannel on the front and minky dimple dot on the back. The flannel shrunk quite a bit.
1. Cut the fabric to the size of your choice. Lovies are often 12 X 12. I cut mine 11 X 15 so the finished size was 10 X 14. The blanket’s finished size was about 40 X 40.
2. Cut Ribbons 4-5 inches long. For the lovie I used 4 inch ribbons and for the bigger blanket I used 5 inch strips.
3. Fold the ribbons in pace and pin around the outside of the blanket. (I didn’t measure between tags, and I didn’t put the colors in any particular pattern. I thought that would look best with the different textures and sizes of the ribbons I had. However, you could always measure between them if you’re so inclined.)
**Use two pins to pin each ribbon in place. This is so important, because it keeps the tags from pivoting as you sew. I tried to sew one side with one pin in each, and the tags came out so wonky it was ridiculous. Save yourself seam ripping time and pin twice.**
Again, this is how not to do it. Most of my pictures are from my first time around when I only used one pin in each. I was probably too frustrated once I had to redo it that I forgot to take pictures. That’s so me. 🙂
4. Stitch the tags onto the fabric. (Once again, using two pins per tag will make sewing a lot easier.) Each time you sew over a tag, backstitch all the way over it and sew back down it again. This creates 3 rows of stitching over each tag. It may seem time-consuming, but it’s worth it to ensure they don’t become a choking hazard.
See how securely fastened the ribbons are now?
5. Attach the minky to the top layer. I saw some tutorials that don’t sew the tags onto the top layer first, but I think it’s really key that you do this so those tags are really on there tight! Pin all the way around the minky carefully. By carefully, I mean this stuff stretches like nobody’s business, so watch yourself! I pin on the outside corners first and then the middle and then fill in with pins from there. It’s kind of like pinning something you’re gathering. The two pieces of fabric are the same size, but because of the minky stretch, you may have to guide the fabric back to shape a little.
5 1/2. Quick tip: Make an X with your pins in the spot you’ll be using to turn the fabric. This will keep you from sewing into it like I always seemed to do until I developed this ingenious method. (Can I call it ingenious if I developed it to counteract my sometimes overwhelming airheadiness? Yes, I believe so. It’s my blog.)
See, I remembered to stop sewing! It’s easy to get into it and just keep going, so the big X is like my “Danger, Danger!” sign. And if you don’t see the X coming up, the pins will just stab you, so either way it does the trick!
6. Clip the corners and turn the blankie right side out. Iron on the cotton side, being careful to avoid the ribbons, which could melt. Also, don’t use super high heat, which could affect the minky even through the other layer of fabric.
7. Topstitch. This closes up the hole you have from turning. I used the yellow thread that matched the minky and contrasted with the cute Superman fabric.
To make a taggie in a bigger size, it’s the same process, just on a bigger scale. Even if you got away without using two pins for each tag on the small one, you’ll want to do so on the large on, because the fabric gets so bunched up and moved around when sewing.
Well, that’s all folks! I hope this post inspires you to make your own taggie. It’s nothing to be intimidated by! If you can sew a straight line, you can make one. Most of the work is in the cutting and pinning. And picking minky fuzz off of your cutting table. And your carpet. And your couch. And your clothes. And your cat…