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How to Serge Receiving Blankets

You can make receiving blankets quickly and easily with your serger.

Receiving blankets are a must-have for all parents of newborns, and one baby item that you can never have enough of. Whether you are a new parent or are planning a friend's baby shower, you can whip up your own receiving blankets in less than half an hour with some basic sewing supplies and a serger. Even better, you can make custom blankets to match a specific decor without spending a lot of money.

Measure a perfect 31-inch by 31-inch square on your tissue paper to make your pattern. Use a ruler or a long straight edge and make sure each corner is a perfect 90-degree angle. If you want your blanket to have rounded corners, fold your pattern piece into fourths so all the corners meet up on one side. Use the edge of a small plate to trace a curved line underneath the corner. Cut on the line you drew and unfold your pattern piece. All four corners should be rounded and the exact size.

Prewash your flannel fabrics and dry them completely. Trim excess threads and iron both pieces to remove wrinkles. Lay wrong sides together on a hard, flat surface. Flannel tends to move when you work with it, and stripes, dots and other prints or pattern may end up a bit off-center. Make sure the prints on the fabric, if there are any, are straight and lined up the way you want them. Pin the pattern to the fabric and cut out with scissors. Remove the pins from the pattern piece.

Pin the fabric together at 5-inch intervals, wrong sides together. Pick a stitch for the outer edge of your receiving blanket. For a more refined look, use the rolled hem serger stitch, which emulates the look of piping. For a flatter stitch, use a narrow overedge stitch. You can also choose a decorative stitch if your serger has that capability, but remember that whatever stitch you choose, it needs to completely encase the raw edge.

Baste the two layers together either by machine or by hand using a long basting stitch. Use a straight stitch and a ¼-seam allowance. Trim excess threads.

Serge your receiving blanket starting on one edge and continuing around each side, using a ½-inch seam allowance to allow for a nicely-cut edge. If you have standard, and not rounded, corners, serge off the end of each corner about 4 inches and cut your threads. Turn the blanket 90-degrees and serge the next side, repeating for each of the four corners. Trim off all serger thread tails once all sides are serged. If you have rounded corners, pull the fabric straight as you serge each rounded corner.

Wash the blanket once you finish serging all four edges. Make sure to rinse it twice in the wash cycle to remove any residue. Dry your blanket and iron on both sides to remove any wrinkles.

Tip

Set up your serger for the stitch you've selected according to the manufacturer's instructions.

About the Author

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Arin Bodden started writing professionally in 2003. Her writing has been featured in "Northwest Boulevard" and "Mermaids." She received the Huston Medal in English in 2005. Bodden has a Master of Arts in English from Eastern Washington University. She currently teaches English composition and technical writing at the university level.