Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Burp Cloths

Babies need burp cloths, or as I like to call them -vomit cloths. I don't know about other babies, but my babies burp, spit-up, and outright vomit a lot. My first was an exorcist-style projectile vomiter. I didn't have one nice burp cloth. The dogs kept getting a hold of them an chewing them up (they're dogs -they like that kind of stuff). And, eventually the "spit up" was so bad, I just resorted to using bath towels and dressing poorly. No, I'm not even kidding. I could write a dissertation on this issue and how I now suffer from post-traumatic stress. But anyway...

On this third time around, I decided to make myself some nice little burp cloths knowing that they will be my constant companion for many months to come. It took a long time, but I finally understand why flannel is really the best fabric for baby stuff -because they spit-up a lot and flannel absorbs it, pretty fabrics and minky dots do not. Other fabrics, like plain cotton or jersey soak through. Flannel absorbs well as does terry cloth which also catches runny spit up before it ends up on your lap.

So, here's my recipe for this style of burp cloth:

  • 1 piece 18" x 7" white flannel (if you find one more expensive than another, buy the more expensive one).
  • 1 piece 18" x 7" white knit baby terry cloth (that's the fine stuff, not the towel material you'd want to use to dry a wet dog. Unless, of course, you have a serious vomiter and then OK, I will let you use the heavy duty towel stuff).
  • 36" x 2" white knit (or as I would call it, T-shirt material, you know, the stretchy stuff).
  • Pretty fabric scraps at least 7" wide or narrow and 18" long
    Stick to these fabrics and you will have a very soft to babies skin, thin but effective burp cloth.

    1. Cut the fabric pieces with the long side parallel to the grain.

    2. Cut the knit strip that will be used as the binding across the width of the fabric. In fact don't even bother measuring 36" across. Just take your ruler and rotary cutter (if you have one) and cut 2" strips all the way across as many times as the burp cloths you want to make.

    3. Use a 1/2" bias tape maker (Clover #12 for example) and feed your knit strip through it and iron. Fold in half and iron.
      If you haven't used this tool, it's super easy, just follow the instructions on the package
      By-Hand-Method: Fold strip in half, iron. Fold each outer edge to center fold line and iron. Then fold in half and iron. Really, just go buy the Clover tool because it's a pain to do this by hand with stretchy material.

    4. Now, you can apply some fabric accents to the flannel piece by positioning the fabric then flipping it over right sides together and sewing with a 1/4" seam allowance. Flip it back and iron flat. Don't forget to account for the 1/4" when positioning the fabric so you don't end up short on the outer edge.
    5. Stick the flannel piece to the terry cloth piece wrong sides together and pin in the middle and maybe the corners. Oh yeah, did I mention to clip the corners round. You can do that now.

    6. Binding:
      • Place the edge of the knit binding onto the terry cloth side of the burp cloth and start sewing about 1" from the beginning. Stitch along the first crease all the way around. Stop about 1" from end. Cut thread.
      • Take it off the sewing machine and fold the ends of the bias tape right sides together and sew together where they meet when placed flat on the burp cloth.
      • Finish sewing this last 2" section along the first crease.
      • Flip it over and fold the binding over to the flannel side. Top-stitch along the inner edge all the way around.
      That's it. If the top-stitching doesn't come out perfect on the other side, it will be camouflaged by the terry cloth and also remember that someone will soon be vomiting all over it anyway.

  • I have to add, so far I've only managed to make four. Pathetic. But I'm planning on making more so I can just pick off clean ones like Kleenex.

    And next up --bibs.