Tuesday, April 3, 2012

DIY Burp Cloth Tutorial

So, I am sorry to take the easy way out again, I am swamped with Nursing school lately and trying to write an interesting blog post half dead tired, is not working.  I found this awesome post on Pinterest (click on title to go to original post) on how to make your own burp cloths.  Maybe for your old prefolds, or to gift to a friend.  Thought they were super cute!  

Burp Cloth Tutorial

* I just started a flickr group for any projects made using my tutorials.  Please feel free to stop by and post your finished or WIP! :)
**I was asked if you need to prewash anything.  I never have and have never had any problems with the way these wash up.  You could prewash everything but you would need to buy more yardage of flannel than suggested as it may shrink and will fray around the edges when washing.**
This ladies and gents, is a tutorial for the most wicked awesome burp cloth around.  These will work wonders and miracles if you give them the chance.  Let me tell you why!
Long long ago (about 5 1/2 years), I had a baby.  This baby was a puker (aka reflux).  He puked and he puked.  I got soaked every time.  The burp cloths I had may as well have been made out of tissue paper.  That is how well they worked.  They get 2 thumbs way down from me, if I had more thumbs they would get even more downs.  I became frustrated as I had to do laundry every 5 minutes in our creepy dark basement because we were going through 10 outfits a day. Unfortunately I never found a solution while he was a baby.  He eventually grew out of  the puking (thank goodness).
Fast forward 18 months later when baby sister came along.  She thankfully was not a puker but still the spit up would soak right through the burp cloths.  One day I remembered the cloth diapers given to me by the hospital.  I got one out.  It worked like magic.  It was so absorbent (imagine that!).  There was only one problem.  Every time I would put it on my shoulder and then go to get the baby ready to burp (or puke) it would fall right off of my shoulder.  So half the time it would miss.  The other half though, pure genius.  One day I had a lightbulb moment.  I can’t remember how I figured it out but FLANNEL sticks to your clothes, like really well!  Then I had an epiphany.  What if I combined the two things?  I tried it.  It changed my life.  I repeat, IT CHANGED MY LIFE.  It stuck where it was supposed to stick, absorbed like crazy, AND get this……they were CUTE!  Solid gold people, solid gold.
I started whipping these up for friends when they were going to have babies.  They were a hit.  People would ask me to make them more or teach them how.  It really is so simple.  They were the most favorite baby gift they would tell me.  I was pleased that I was helping rid the world of puke shoulder one cloth at a time.
I had forgotten about these in recent years.  Now another baby will be joining our clan and I started making them again the other night.  I made 8 of them in just a few hours.  I took pictures.  I will now show you how to make the world’s best burp cloth.  I hope it will change your life too.  PLEASE, feel free to make these for whoever you want!  Please don’t sell the tutorial.  I don’t really care if  you sell burp cloths made from this tutorial AS LONG as you are not ripping people off with crazy prices or something equally as lame.  Ok, on with the show.
Step 1-
*Gather supplies
** 6/29/11  I just bought some last night and found a new nice brand!  Child Of Mine by Carters at Walmart.  They are called “Padded” and come in a package of 6 for $6.  The quality of them is really nice.
-cloth diapers.  I buy mine at Target in the baby aisle.  Make sure they are the kind that are nice and thick in the middle and thinner on the sides.  I buy the Gerber brand and I think a dozen are $16.99.  I have word that the Gerber brand diapers from Walmart are horrible quality and that in comparison the Target Gerber brand are much better and still look great after washing.  The Walmart ones are made in China and the Target ones are made in USA.  If you are buying online like Amazon, the ones that are a few dollars more may be worth it.
-flannel.  There is so much cute flannel out there folks.  I buy mine at Joann fabrics.  A half a yard will make two burp cloths.  I stock up when they have their flannel sales.
-straight pins.
-chopstick or other tool to push out corners of your cloths
Step 2-
*Lay your diaper on top of your flannel (right sides together) and pin in place.  You may need to run an iron over both the flannel and diaper to make them lay flat.  Make sure you leave a hole for turning when you pin.
Step 3-
*begin sewing.  Start at one end of the opening for turning and sew all the way around the perimeter of the burp cloth.  You may have to take the pins out as you go and smooth out wrinkles.  Use a 1/2″ seam so that when you top stitch you catch the edges where the hole it.  Also, you may want a bit longer needle and a new one at that.  I used a size 80/12.
Step 4-
*Cut excess fabric around the burp cloth.  Try not to knick the diaper because the weave is kinda loose.  Leave a tab where the opening is.  I don’t trim my corners because of the weave thing and also my machine could sew through my femur bone if I wanted it to.  If you think your machine might get stuck on the corners trim carefully and not too closely to the stitches.
Step 5-
*Flip right side out.  Use chopstick or corner tool to push out the corners.  If you have trimmed your corners be careful and don’t push too hard or you may poke a hole in the seam.
*Iron the whole thing turning under the opening and pin shut.
Step 6-
*Find the existing vertical seams in the diaper.  With the diaper facing up sew right over those seams.  This will help keep it’s shape and prevent shifting.
Step 7-
*Sew around outside edge.  Get as close as you can get to catch the edges of the open hole (1/4″ seam allowance or less).  You may need to hand turn a few stitches at the corners.  Also slow down as you go over the bulk in the middle, I have broken needles when speed sewing :)
You are done!  Fold it up and you are ready to go!  You can wash and dry these no problem.  I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial.  Please contact me if you have any questions.
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  1. Very cool!! Our 2nd baby is due in August and I will definitely be making some of these! I was lucky with my son who rarely ever spit up. I am also considering using cloth diapers at home to possibly save money on disposables. We'll see what happens. Thanks!!

  2. I love this! I was making burp cloths with only a piece of fabric covering the center of the cloth diaper. This would be sooooo much better! I'll be making a few of these for the newest baby born to a co-worker! Thanks for the great tute!

  3. I wish I had read your tutorial first. The others didn't mention the issue with the diapers. I did not know there was a difference in the quality of diapers, even within the same brand. I found out the hard way. I was prewashing my diapers and flannel. With only one washing the Gerber diapers from Walmart were falling apart. So out of a 10 pkg, 2 were already non-usable. I'm taking them all back. I am getting ready to run to Target right now and try some of their Gerber diapers. Will give an update. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for being so thorough with the details. I love this idea. My daughter loves using diapers for burpcloths, but is reluctant to use the fancy embroidered ones she given to her. These are darling AND functional, will launder beautifully AND be sooooo soft! I've got a few flannel receiving blankets left over from diaper cakes, think I will go in there and stitch up a few. She will be thrilled!!

  5. When babies eat, they swallow small amounts of air with their food. Adults do the same thing, but their fully developed digestive system makes it easy to release the air as a burp. Not so for babies.

  6. These look awesome! I am (very) new to sewing but think I can handle this. And I just found out 2 days ago that I am going to be an Aunt, so I want to start on projects. Thanks for this!!

  7. When sewing one side of the burp cloth entirely, are both sides covered completely when sewing?