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Baby Items

San | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I’d like to sew some items for a new baby.    Does anyone know the approximate size of a baby’s receiving blanket?      Thanks.        


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    Store-bought receiving blankets always seemed too small for my own babies use so I make extra large ones to give as gifts.  If your flannel cloth is 45" wide buy 45" of length.  For extra-extra special make it two layers, serged right sides out.

    Hope this helps,


    1. Kiley | | #2

      I also make my baby blankets extra large and my DD's and DDIL's ask for more. Even when the kids get older they still use them for cover ups etc. I like making the bibs a bit larger also and just serge them. In fact I am making more baby things now, grandbaby 26 was just born 2 days ago and grt grand number 6 is coming around the New Year.

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #5

        Dear Kiley,

        Wow!  I have 10 Grand Kids, the oldest is 8 years old, so I have a little while to wait for Great Grands!!

        Isn't sewing for the kids fun?!!  I enjoy indulging their favorite color (yellow) or critter (frogs) or hero (Zorro masks) etc....... and with 10 of them (plus the Moms) there is always something to make! I don't think I'll be bored till I'm 99 yrs old and half blind! LOL


    2. San | | #3

      Thanks for response.  I made a larger one and the new father said,"Oh good!" 

      One problem I'm having is my serged edge on my 3-thread overlock stitch looks balanced but it seems too far off the edge of fabric...I want it to look like the store bought ones.     

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #4

        I have a very old serger, none of the newfangled self adjusting things; I just play around with tension settings on a scrap of cloth till it looks right.  I like to use "wooly" in the upper looper and tighten the lower looper tension a bit.

        Does your serger have an adjustment on the knife assembly that changes the distance from the cut edge to the needle?  I was messing around with my machine the other day and ended up with loops hanging off the edge of the cloth; the fix was adjusting the knife blade assembly.

        Kiley mentioned Bibs... very easy... 2 layers of flannel, wrong sides together, serge around bottom and sides, bias tape for ties and neck edge (all one piece, 30").

        Happy sewing,


        1. San | | #6

          I also have an older "generic" machine.   I know I can disengage the knife but I'll check my manual further and read the fine print!!   I'll let you know.    Thanks for the bib tip.   My great-nephew is only 3 wks. old so I have time to get it right!

          1. MaryinColorado | | #7

            I don't think you want to disengage the knife for this, some machines have an adjustment that moves the knife farther out or closer in.  My Viking serger has a round knob with numbers on it. Mary

          2. San | | #10

            I did move the knife to 3.5 and my stitches were off the edges more..... then put it on 5 which was good, except the stitches look wider.   ( I guess it's because the whole stitch is on the fabric now, right?).      I just like the look of the store bought ones that have narrower edges...I just hope if the loops are slightly off the edge as my original setting were, will they hold up??     I'm checking my books out to see if I can adjust it any differently.     

            I will see if I can find some of the thread type you mentioned. 

            Thanks Mary and Becky

          3. MaryinColorado | | #11

            I don't know what stitches you can do with your machine.  This sounds like a 3 thread wide overlock. First, are your needles fresh?  If so, the upper looper on 3, lower looper on 4 or the middle is where I would start and then I would try tightening the looper tensions or using wooly nylon in them.    Stitch lenth around 2.0-2.5?  Differential maybe at 0.8-1.0?   How heavy is your fabric?  Usually if your threads are looping off the ends of the fabric it is cutting off too much fabric so I would widen the cutter width to a higher number maybe start at 5.5 and go up, this sounds backwards but is the measurement from the left needle to the cutter so you would actually be cutting off less fabric at the highest number.  Sometimes if a fabric has a little stretch it may pull the top fabric and cut more of it off and skew the stitches off the edge.

            Can you do a narrow overlock instead?  You mentioned that your stitches look balanced  so I am wondering if this problem  is because the fabric is a bit light for the wide overlock.   You also said that the stitch looks wider than you expected.

            The only other thing I can think of is: is your presser foot up when you thread the machine?  Hope this helps.  Mary

            Good morning!  Is your fabric light enough to do a rolled edge?  If not, there is also a wrapped edge that could be done if your machine has the rolled edge setting. Mary

            Edited 9/12/2006 9:41 am ET by MaryinColorado

          4. San | | #12

            Hi Mary,

            I finally had time to experiment and thanks for the tips.   My cutter is on 5 (it goes from 3.5-5 only).   I think my presser foot was up when I threaded.  (would it make a difference if it weren't?)    My differential is mid-range.    My stitch on 2.  I do not have a new needle ...(dont' know when it was last changed since I haven't used the machine for a while)..however,   I left a note saying it's a 10.    My fabric is a cotton-polyester with a slight stretch in one direction...it's baby-type fabric, very soft.   

            I had tried the rolled edge settings as in my manual without changing to the rolled edge plate.  The results were inconsistant on underside but stitches were not hanging off the edge of the fabric as before.    BUT!...I tried your suggestion starting with upper looper on 3 and lower on 4 and settled on 4 upper and 5 lower and WALAH! a SUCCESS!  I think it looks pretty good!   I can't make it look any narrower with my machine but that's okay.      At least I can start sewing!     Thanks, San


          5. MaryinColorado | | #13

            Good for You!  Now, about that rolled hem setting....you will have to switch to the rolled hem plate as it has a very narrow stitch finger for the threads to go over.

            Also I would try  80/12 or 90/14 needles.  The 7010 you mentioned would be more appropriate for cotton batiste and very lightweight fabrics I think. 

            Have fun with the baby blankets!  I know it has been frustrating getting to this point, but now the fun begins!  Enjoy!  God Bless You, Mary

          6. San | | #15

            I'll get the manual out again this weekend to try the rolled hem plate .  Do you think that might make that narrow hem finish I've seen?


          7. MaryinColorado | | #16

             Let us know if you need help with the adjustments.  When you read the manual, after setting up the machine, see if you have two or three thread rolled hem capabilities. 

            This is the finish used on napkins and tablecloths and can also be used for receiving blankets and lots of other fun things. 

            After you practice switching the machine back and forth to the different settings it gets alot easier.  The same with the stitches.  I would make a little notebook with all your preferred settings for each stitch.  Mary

          8. MaryinColorado | | #14

            If the presser foot is down when you thread the machine sometimes the threads are not seated in the tensions.  When you raise the presser foot, the tensions are released so the threads can go more deeply into the tension crevaces.  Hope this makes sense...Mary

  2. MaryinColorado | | #8

    YLI Success Serging Yarn is acrylic.  It is great for baby items, very soft.  It comes in a spool like the Perle Crown Rayon which I also use in my loopers with great success.  Wooly nylon helps with tighter wrapped threads also.

    Serging For Babies by Kathy McMakin is a wonderful book from http://www.marthapullen.com.  It has patterns and directions for gowns, bibs, bonnets, daydresses and more.  My grand daughter and I made many babydoll clothes from these patterns and they are easy and fun.  I copied the patterns onto shelf paper and put them in zip lock gallon bags. 

    My mother only hand sews, she sent me a couble fabric cotton terrycloth square blanket that she made by hand and used yarn for the edges.  It was wonderful for many years after bath time.

    I also made some lighterweight bath blankies with a triangle at one end for a hood so they wouldn't slip off wet babies as easily.  Later these became "superhero" capes for preschoolers.

    I like terrycloth kitchen towels for bibs.  You fold them in half and cut an opening to insert knit ribbing that easily slips over baby's head.


    1. Kiley | | #9

      Mary how cute, the kids using the bath towel hoodies for Super Hero capes. I have found that the serged items I have made for the DGK's seem to last forever and are also used for their siblings as there seems to be more coming all the time. I don't think the familes have used any of the items I have made for their pets yet LOL!, but I could be wrong.

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