I have tutorials for two different types of birth cloths here. You can learn the first method by watching this 3 part series of videos and the second from written instructions. Please let me know if you have any questions, and subscribe to my YouTube channel for weekly tutorial video updates!
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Materials and Supplies
2 yards diaper cloth/huckeye (makes approximately 6 burp cloths, depending on the size)
scrap fabric (flannel or broadcloth)
Burp cloths can be any size you want. I used the size of my fabric to determine the size of my burp cloths so I could get the most out of my fabric. This burp cloth will end up being about 12″w x 16″h.
1. a. Cut fabric 24.5″w x 16.5″h. Fold fabric in half lengthwise and sew into a tube, right sides together, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. After this step your fabric should measure 12″w x 16.5″h.
Lay your fabric flat on the table so that the seam is about 4″ from the edge.
1. b. If you are working with scraps and don’t have enough fabric to cut a piece 24.5″ wide, cut two pieces 12.5″w x 16.5″h and sew the two edges together (1/4″ seam allowance again) to make a tube.
Lay your fabric flat on the table so that the two seams divide the surface into three parts. I used this second method when constructing the burp cloth in the picture because I didn’t have enough fabric to do it the other way. The seams should create your center section where you’re going to sew the fabric scrap.
2. Cut a 4.5″w x 16.5″h piece from your scrap fabric to go down the center section. I cut my scrap fabric a little longer so I could make sure things were even at the end.
3. Press under 1/4″ the long edges of the scrap piece.
4. Pin one long edge of the scrap fabric along the seam on the diaper cloth. Start pinning 3/8″ from the ends.
5. Using your blind hem foot, edgestitch the scrap piece to the diaper cloth. Start and stop sewing 3/8″ in from the ends.
6. a. Now one edge of the scrap fabric is sewn to the diaper cloth. Smooth out the scrap piece and pin the other long edge to the diaper cloth. Edgestitch the other side – start and stop sewing 3/8″ from the ends.
6. b. If you cut the fabric using the second method (2 – 12.5″w x 16.5″h pieces) you have two seams on the front of the diaper cloth, dividing it into three sections. After you sew one edge of the scrap fabric along one seam on the diaper cloth, align the opposite edge of the scrap fabric with the other seam on the diaper cloth.
7. Press burp cloth to make sure everything lies flat and is even.
Finishing the Ends
8. Turn ends under 1/4″, press and/or pin. This is why you started and stopped your sewing 3/8″ from the ends, so you would be able to turn under 1/4″.
If you feel like you don’t have enough room to turn under 1/4″, undo the last few stitches on both sides.
9. Cut a piece of 3/8″ ribbon about 2″ longer than the width of the burp cloth. The diaper cloth might stretch and the ribbon will not, so you don’t want to fall short at the end.
10. Fold the end of the ribbon under 1/4″ and align with the bottom edge of the burp cloth. Pin in place.
11. Holding the ribbon so the edge aligns perfectly with the edge of the burp cloth, edgestitch using the blind hem foot. You can pin, but it’s not really necessary. Just sew slowly and make sure that the burp cloth fabric is laying flat on both the top and the underside.
12. Stop sewing with the needle down in the fabric about 1″ from the end. Lift up the presser foot and tuck the ribbon end under 1/4″. You might need to trim off any excess before doing that so only 1/4″ is being folded under.
13. Finish sewing, along the short end and back up the opposite side. Back stitch or reduce stitch length to 1mm when you get back to the end you started from.
Finished! Get creative with your burp cloth designs – experiment with different ribbon placements, monogramming, quilting the fabric scraps, etc. You can make burp cloths of any size and with any additional decoration with the basic knowledge you have gotten from this tutorial. Enjoy!
Alternative Finishing Technique
If you don’t want to mess with tucking the ends under 1/4″ or ribbon, serge the ends. If you don’t have a serger, do a zigzag stitch (short stitch length but wide stitch width) 3 or 4 times along that bottom edge.