Here’s the thing about the fog in San Francisco: you have to believe it is mystical and beautiful, or else you would just become horribly depressed. See that giant “cloud” at the base of Sutro Tower? Yes, that is fog. Brrrrrr.
So, when we started planning an outdoor movie night for our oldest’s birthday party, I was a bit nervous, since the evenings are often chilly where we live. I decided to make fleece blankets for the boys to use during the movie, thinking they would also be great party favors. I mentioned in the post on alternative birthday gifts and favors that I like to give one or two larger items that can get some long-term use, rather than a lot of small disposable items.
There are a lot of ideas for fleece blanket projects out there. I was looking for something that would be substantial, easy to make, and still look great. That’s a tall order, and I was very happy to find this tutorial for an “Easy Peasy Fleece Blanket” from Polka Dot Chair. I made a few small changes when I did ours, and now everyone can stay toasty warm during our movie!
- fleece – 1.5 yards of two fabrics (front and back) for each blanket. I found some fleece on sale or as remnants at the local fabric store and bought the rest from fabric.com. They had the best price I could find, when you take into account shipping costs and clearance items.
- scrap fleece or felt for monogram letters
- Heat’n Bond Lite Iron-on Adhesive
- Computer and printer for making letter templates
I can do appliques in my sleep after all the recent appliqued clothes I’ve made for the kids! I decided to do first and last initials for our monograms, since we had a few kids at the party with the same first initial. I printed the initials in Century Schoolbook font in 430 pt bold. I then traced them in reverse onto the Heat ‘n Bond. I held them up to a window to trace.
I ironed the Heat ‘n Bond onto the fleece, cut out the letters, and ironed the letters on to one side the blankets, using a press cloth. Because the fabric is so thick, it helped to iron again from the back, to get the letters completely fused to the blanket fabric.
I wanted to apply the letters before sewing the blankets, so the stitching would not show through on the other side of the blanket. I had trimmed the fleece for each blanket already, so I knew the finished size. I then used rulers to mark off 5″ from each edge (3.5″ for the fringe and 1.5″ for spacing) and placed my letters in the corner (first picture below). I then sewed around each letter to secure it (second picture below).
- After choosing the fabric combinations, I laid out the top and bottom of each blanket and trimmed off the selvage and any other uneven areas. (top left picture below)
- I then sewed the letters on one side of each blanket, as described above.
- I pinned the two sides together (top right picture below).
- Then, I sewed the sides together, with the seam 3.5″ from the edge. I found the easiest way to do this was to mark a 3.5″ seam allowance on the sewing machine using painter’s tape. (bottom left picture below)
When I was done sewing, I cut strips about 1.25″ wide all around the blanket to make the fringe, stopping 0.5″ from the stitched line.
Here are the finished blankets. I love how each one is unique. The younger boys had fun prints on their blankets, and the older boys had solid fabrics or the graphic stars.
My younger boys were clamoring for me to finish their blankets, so they could use them right away!
I like how Baby J’s firefighter blanket fits in with the rest of his nursery.
And here they are one more time: cozy fleece blankets all ready for movie night! If I remember, I’ll take some pictures of the boys bundled up for the show.
Yay! I wish I had the energy and fabric to make one of these for myself. I think I will have to wear a parka when we watch the movie…