Gauze Baby Swaddles: DIY hand printed

-By April

I have a niece on the way and want to make many cute things for her. I also want Mama to have the things she wants not just a ton of quilts from Aunt April. After browsing the gift registry for the baby shower I decided to make one of these swaddle blankets.  We carry this fabric called double bubble gauze that is the perfect fabric for this. 

 

 The lightweight cotton fabric has a nice open weave, making it great for regulating the body temperature while baby is swaddled. The fabric does have a wonderful crinkly texture that gives it some stretch.
It is breathable light and airy, good for summer and just to have for everyday use. Throw this over the stroller during nap time or just to provide some shade for the little ones. A great makeshift nursing cover or burp cloth in a pinch.

  The blanket is about 47” square finished.  The fabric off the bolt is 55” wide.  I first tore my yardage to get it square, including the selvedge edges.  Then I simply ironed the ends hemmed it with a 3/8 ” seam.   I was on the fence about how to hem it, I think a stay stitch could be pretty with the edges left to fray a little.  Also a serged edge or zig zag stitch would work well. 

  We carry fabric paint by Jacquard in a wide variety of colors here at the shop. To get this color I used opaque white and added red.  Here is a bit about my printing adventure. 

 I rolled my paint onto my stamp using a briar.  This technique helps prevent major blobs on your stamp.  A foam brush can also be used to apply paint to your stamp.  I did rinse off the stamp quite a few times during the process, when my stamps started to lose detail. 

To get your paint nice and even take a dollop and work it into a flat spot on your pallet to get even coverage on your briar. My pallet is a large pane of glass with the edges taped off.

A few things to note

  • Cover the area you are going to print on with newspaper as the paint will bleed through this fabric. 
  • Use a surface area that is solid.  I used the island in my kitchen.  I tried this on a card table first and it was way too wonky to get good pressure onto the stamp.
  • Tack down the fabric with some masking tape on the edges.  The stamp will want to stick to the fabric and pull it up off your surface if you do not have it tacked down. 
  • Don’t worry if every stamp is not perfect, learn from each one. If you try to stamp over a funky imprint it almost always ends up looking worse if you try and re-stamp it.  If you square off your fabric you will have some scraps to practice on and get comfortable with the process first.
  • Pre wash your fabric, the paint will set better with a clean slate.
  • iron out the fabric before you start printing, the texture could get in the way of your print otherwise.

Want to learn more about printing at home?  We have a nice variety of books all about creating your own fabrics with paint and other various techniques.  The Lotta Jansdotter stencils book arrived at the shop last week, that would be a great place to start.