For the blanket:
- The pattern (download it as a PDF and print to A4)
- Fabric for the front, 10"x12"
- Minky for the back, 10"x12"
- An oven roasting bag (if you want a layer in the middle to make that cool crinkly sound that babies go nuts for), cut a 10"x12" piece. I know it's a bit strange, using a roasting bag, but trust me it works!
- Coordinating ribbons, cut into 4" pieces (as many as you want). Nothing too stiff or scratchy.
- Plastic links from the toy store (optional)
For the name patch: (you can leave this out completely, but I think it's a nice touch)
- Felt, 3"x4" (longer names may need a larger piece)
- Patch fabric, 3"x4"
- Scallop edge pinking scissors (ordinary zigzag pinking scissors as an alternative)
- Embroidery thread (6 strand cotton - e.g. Anchor, DMC)
1. Prepare the name patch first. You will need your computer to print out the name in a font you like (I like cursive fonts, but you can use any font for this). Trace the name on your fabric (you can use my tutorial on this if you aren't sure how). Also draw an ellipse around the name (or you could do a circle, or a square, or any shape you like). Note that I am using my beloved Pilot Frixion pen, which looks like ball point, but magically disappears when ironed.
2. Embroider the name. I used 3 strands of cotton here, and stitched the name entirely in back-stitch (here's a video tutorial for back-stitch). For the thicker parts I used several layers of back-stitch, side by side (the first picture below was taken after only one pass of back-stitch, the second is after the thicker parts were filled in). You can also use stem-stitch instead of back-stitch, which gives lovely results - it's a slightly more advanced technique, video tutorial here.
3. Pin your patch fabric onto your felt, then stitch on the line of the ellipse. Carefully cut off the excess fabric about 1mm from your stitch line (be careful you don't snip off your stitches or the felt backing!). Then trim the felt around the patch using your pinking scissors. This creates a nice lace-like frame for your patch.
5. Position the patch where you want it, hand sew it on with a running stitch (I used 3 strands of white here). You can machine sew as well but I love the hand-made look of the running stitch, and also I find hand sewing much easier and quicker with a small item like a patch.
6. Now it's time to attach your ribbons. Put your fabric down right side up. Position the ribbons where you want them, fold over and pin in place, with the ribbons' raw edges against the outer trace line, and the fold pointing towards the centre of the fabric.
7. Stitch all the way round on the original (inner) trace line, securing the ribbons in place, and pulling the pins as you go. (Note: Please supervise your child so their fingers don't get caught up and twisted in the ribbons. If you are worried about this happening, then you can snip the ribbons off at the loop end and seal the edges to stop fraying, or you can sew them in the middle along the length of the ribbon to stop tiny fingers going through the ribbons).
8. Now it's time to assemble the blanket. Put the minky over the front fabric, right sides together. Then put the crinkle layer over the back of the minky. Pin together securely.
9. Sew all the way around again, just slightly inside the first stitching line (this will secure your ribbons a second time). Leave a 3" opening on one side to turn it inside out (Tip: Don't forget to secure your stitches well at the start and when you finish, so the stitching doesn't unravel when you turn the blankie inside out).
10. Trim off the excess materials with pinking scissors. (Tip: I like to leave a wider 'lip' at the opening for a neater finish in the next step). Cut a notch with ordinary scissors where the inner curves are (making sure you don't snip off the stitches).
11. Turn inside out, tuck the 'lip' neatly into the opening, press with a steam iron (put a small piece of fabric over the felt to protect it from the hot iron). DO NOT IRON THE MINKY SIDE AS THIS WILL REMOVE THE DOTS!
12. Slip stitch the opening closed for best results (though if you are lazy like me you can skip this step).
13. Top stitch all the way around as close to the edge as you can (this will also secure your ribbons a third time, and if you can get close enough to the edge you can get away with not slip stitching the opening).
TIP: When top stitching an item with a minky backing, put your needle down into the fabric before you start, and go slow. Minky is a soft stretchy material so it can slide and stretch and bunch up, making it hard to follow a precise curve. With the needle in the down position you can stop sewing when that happens, lift the foot up (needle still in fabric), tidy and re-position the fabric, put the foot down and continue sewing. This way any small corrections you make to your stitch direction will not be visible and there won't be any big jumps in your stitches.
You can also attach plastic links to the ribbons (from any toy store) - they are great for teething babies and also for attaching the blanket to the stroller or high chair.
Hope you found this tutorial easy to use, and your baby enjoys their cute cuddly crinkly taggie blanket! Alice sure seems to love hers.