Saturday, March 30, 2013

Making a Swaddler

David actually has very few clothes of his own.  My sister Carol has lent me all of her son's baby clothes.  Since Henry is about a year older, this has worked out well. Among the box of clothes Carol lent me was a swaddler, a blanket designed specifically to swaddle babies with Velcro to keep it tight.

This has been wonderful for David. He won't sleep unless he feels pretty cozy and since he can now unswaddle himself, other blankets become loose and present a hazard. Though David can still get his arms out of the swaddler and as of late kick his feet out the bottom, the Velcro keeps the blanket wrapped around his abdomen securely.

Unfortunately, as can be seen in the picture, David is now much too big for this swaddler. He has been too big for a while, but I finally admitted it sometime recently. As I have already fought and surrendered (after about a week of him sleeping no more than 45 minutes to an hour at a time) the battle to have him sleep unswaddled, I decided to make him a new one.

My mother had sent me this bear flannel a while ago and I hadn't had a project for it yet. Though the original was made out of fleece, which is a good deal stretchier, I decided to use this flannel for the swaddler. As we are moving into warmer months, this will help David stay cool and I have swaddled him in flannel receiving blankets on numerous occasions, so I figured this would work as well.

I laid the original swaddler on the fabric and put David on top of that to mark how much taller it needed to be. I didn't actually make it much wider because the problem was length, but I did leave a little room for growth lengthwise. I just cut around the outside to make it just a little larger than I wanted it to be.

The original had darts on the shoulders and by the feet, so I wrapped David in the fabric and made similar darts, like in the picture above. I then cut out another peace of fabric to make the inner pocket he sits in. I folded over the open edge (the edge of the pocket on the top and left side of the picture to the left) twice and hemmed it before sewing up the edge on the bottom to the larger piece.

I then basted the bottom of the pocket to the edge of the larger piece.  I finally folded the entire outside edge over twice and hemmed. I made the darts go toward the outside, like in the picture, and just folded them into the hem as I went.

I then let the project sit for a week (optional step).  Finally yesterday, I got out the fusible Velcro, cut off two small sections, wrapped David in the swaddler, marked where I wanted the Velcro to go and put it on.  It probably took 10 minutes at most. I skipped sewing tabs like the original swaddler as I decided they were unnecessary.

I think he is pretty cute in it, but then I think he always is.


  1. Okay, so that's a swaddler! I like your enterprising spirit.

  2. Thanks, he has grown out of being swaddled with warmer weather, but I was glad I made it for while it lasted.


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