Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fancy Burp Cloth Tutorial

As promised, here's a tutorial on making some very quick, very cute burp cloths.  These make great baby shower gifts - I received something similar when I was pregnant with Bridget and we're still using them with Graham.  I make them using both my sewing machine and my serger, but you can do it all on a regular sewing machine. 

1.  You'll need some plain cloth diapers (I bought these from Target), pins, scissors, your sewing machine (and serger if you have one), a tapestry needle (optional, but it helps), and some fancy fabric.  I used some minky fabric from the clearance section on, but I've also made them with flannel and regular cotton and they turn out great.  A yard of 60" wide fabric will usually yield 8 burp cloths and 45" wide fabric will usually yield 6, depending on shrinkage.  Definitely prewash everything - the burp cloths seem to have a ton of starch when they're new and they shrink like mad.

2.  Lay your fabric face down on the table (yes, that's a pool table that I use for my work table and no, my husband does not like the fact that I use it as a work table).  Lay the burp cloths on the fabric, leaving  1 1/2" or so between each one.  Move them around until you get the best fabric usage.  Pin the burp cloths to the fabric and cut them apart, leaving the excess fabric around all the edges of the burp cloths.

3.  Now on to some sewing.  I use my walking foot for these because my machine has some trouble with the minky fabric.  This is what my walking foot looks like.  I think most machines come with them - mine did - but if you don't have one, don't worry.  You'll probably be fine with your regular foot.
4.  With the burp cloth facing up, stitch two seams down the middle, following the seams in the burp cloth.  You can see in this picture how the sewing machine needle is lined up with the existing stitching line on the burp cloth.
5.  On to the serger!  Serge through both layers (the burp cloth and the fabric) on all four sides.  I line up my fabric so the knife cuts off 1/8" or so of the burp cloth so when it's stitched there's a nice, clean edge.  You don't have to worry about being too exact - the burp cloths never turn out square when you wash them, so they're not going to be perfect anyway.

You can use your sewing machine for this part, too.  Trim the fabric edges even with the burp cloth, then set your machine to the zig zag setting.  Set it to a wide zig zag with a short stitch length and stitch along all four edges, backstitching at the beginning and end.

6.  To finish the edges, I like to tie the serger thread tail in a little knot right by the corner of the burp cloth.  Then I thread the tail through the eye of a tapestry needle and feed it back through an inch or two of the stitching, then trim the thread tail close to the fabric.
7.  Add a label if you've got one, and you're done!  Now wasn't that easy?  I usually bundle mine up with ribbon in groups of two or three and everyone loves them!

If you're not up for making your own, I'll have some in my Etsy shop starting September 3rd!


  1. Thank you for sharing! These are beautiful!!

  2. Thanks, Theresa! I'm glad you came by!

  3. so pretty, I love this fabric

  4. I love that fabric too, but I keep checking and it's gone. I wish I would have bought more!

  5. Thank you for sharing! These are beautiful!!


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