I’ve just returned from a visit to my brother and sister-in-law, who are expecting their third child in April. Thanks to A Chelsea Morning’s burp cloth tutorial, I made two dozen burp cloths for the newest little spring lamb. Sewing them–under a deadline–I realized I am not nearly so neat of a sewist as A Chelsea Morning is. The diapers really shrank in a hot wash and dry, and with the clock ticking I reminded myself their primary purpose is to be vomitted on 🙂 I didn’t use a seam guage to make neat side hems, I just used the width of my thumb (which stays constant!) and eyeballed it. Chelsea Morning recommends slowly edgestitching the ribbon trim, which time did not permit. However, for every meandering seam I viewed it as an invitation to free-motion embroider. My brother, a southpaw, got his initials on the left side of one, and my SIL, a righty, got her initials on another. A few spirals and curlicues enhanced another. My first effort got the number ‘1’ on the upper corner, just for fun. These just took me a few minutes to do and were more fun for me than sewing a flawless edgestitch. I discovered it’s fine to pin down the fabric, hold the ribbon in hand and apply it as you sew rather than pinning all at once. This economized on ribbon a bit as I had been cutting overly generous hems. The seam ripper was only employed once, when my rickrac trim scooted far from the edge where it was to lie neatly under. Oh, that’s my favourite set, a bright yellow ‘bizzy bee’ pattern with light green rickrac grass peeking out from underneath. They are so cute! If I find cloth diapers locally–at a Baby R Us store or something like that–I’d make some gender-neutral cloths just to have on hand for friends with new arrivals. Now that I’m in my thirties it seems every few months someone I know has a baby.
Keep in mind: these burp cloths use a surprising amount of thread and trim, so have plenty on hand. If a diaper is about 17′ then it’s approximately half a yard, which is a yard of ribbon on each side and two yards of thread for the spool and bobbin to make one burp cloth!