A child’s cherished lovie is something a parent appreciates and often holds onto. It reflects the innocent baby years and reminds us of all that goes with it- it gives us the feels as much as it does our children, if not more.
A few weeks ago a good friend of mine asked if I would be able to help restore her daughter’s lovie- a well worn blanket that she wanted to revive and gift back to her daughter for her 4th birthday.
“Of Course!” I exclaimed.
She handed me a baby blanket that was ½ satiny gray lavender material, and ½ laser cut purple velvet that had pretty much dissolved. What once had been a beautiful, soft, girly, snuggling blanket, was nearly falling apart in my hands. Here’s what I did:
After determining that the velvet was not worth saving, I removed it entirely from the blanket.
Next I looked through my fabric stash and found a few options to replace it. I sent pictures to my friend and we ultimately decided on this sweet pink and gray bunny patterned flannel. I got this flannel at Joann’s Fabric. They have a wide variety of adorable snuggle flannel patterns- check them out here. Be warned though, that some prints are limited edition and sell out pretty quick!
I washed the fabric in cold water and tumbled it dry- why did I do that? It’s important to pre-wash fabric so that it gets any hidden “issues” out into the open- if it needs to shrink or something, it’s done before I cut and sew it.
*Here’s what I found- the flannel does in fact have issues- it gets pilly and a little faded pretty quickly. I don’t really like that. I have used MANY flannels from Joann’s and I can tell you that they don’t all do that. Only some of them do… I don’t know why. I continued with the fabric because I was pretty sure I would be able to make it work- more on that in a minute.
Next I put the flannel down and then put the blanket down on top of it and cut the flannel so it would be the same size (I made sure there would be plenty of the flannel, so I cut it to fit the blanket AND the ruffle.)
After that, I placed the fabrics, right sides together, and began pinning the flannel in place. Because the ruffle was already in place and there was a predetermined perimeter and surged edge of the blanket, I folded the ruffle in before I pinned the new fabric on.
I used my sewing machine to sew the flannel onto the blanket and was sure to sew as close to the original seam as possible so the flannel would fit snugly and the original shape of the blanket would remain intact. I did leave an opening a few inches wide along the edge so I could turn the blanket right side out.
*Tip- when sewing around a project with corners (like a blanket) I always make the open piece of the seam between the corners, not at the corner. It’s far easier to make my finishing stitched along a short straight line, and not at a corner.
I turned the blanket right side out to make sure the edges looked the way I wanted and that the ruffle had been kept clear! All looked good, so I turned it wrong side out and trimmed the extra flannel from the edges.
*Tip- I don’t trim too close to the stitch so the strength of the fabric is maintained.
After the extra fabric was trimmed and the blanket was once again right side out, I made the final stitch across the opening and sealed the blanket together. I used a zigzag on this stitch.
Now… about that pilling fabric.
I washed the whole blanket again, and again did cold water on a gentle wash. This time, I let it hang dry and watched the fabric closely. The pilling seemed less and I determined that the dryer had been partly responsible for fluffing the fibers and causing the pilling, which makes the fabric look older and dingier than it actually is.
After doing this and showing it to my friend, we were both happy with the outcome of this lovie makeover.
Anyway, I think her daughter will get a few more years out of this lovie and if the flannel doesn’t hold up, I’ll happily replace it again!
Have a beautiful day, creating, mending, learning and being you!