Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Braided or Crocheted Fleece Blanket DIY

Found an awesome post when I was looking for how much fleece to buy for making tie blankets for my girls.  I was so excited because Hancocks Fabric had fleece on sale for only $3.99 when I went in there on a mission to find it!!!  My oldest wanted to steal a fleece blanket we did the traditional ties around the edges from my Mom, but it's one we made her for Christmas so I had to veto that choice she was making.  Instead I promised to make her one of her own that was bigger since her blanket was from when she was much younger and to small to snuggle under it anymore.

Well, I can't buy fabric for one kid and not the other, so for my almost 8 year old I bought 2 yards of fleece in one print and one solid and bought 1 1/2 for my 3 year old.  The post I found was to make a crocheted/braided edge on the fleece blanket as opposed to the traditional ties most people do.  Still a no-sew technique which is good with how bulky fleece can be, but a much different outcome!

Braided edge on my daughter's fleece blanket!
 I loved this braided look so much I went back to Hancocks  and bought more fleece, which was still on sale, to make blankets for both my nieces for Christmas! One niece is a teen and one is almost there so knowing what to get them is just getting harder and harder! Anyways, apparently summer time is a great time to buy fleece too, I went once a month July, August, and September and all three times most of their fleece was on sale for under $5 a yard! Plus they have great coupons that can be stacked on top of the already great price. This makes it to where if your making a bigger fleece blanket, as I am, your basically only paying for one piece of fleece as opposed to the two layers you need.

Okay, so when making the braided sides to my fleece blankets from the tutorial, I noticed a couple things. The slits need to be cut closer to the edge of the fabric for it to lay good and flat, but I was worried about the fabric breaking. So I had cut mine maybe a half inch in from the edge and with a little wiggling it still laid nicely! Also I noticed it's not easy to get an exact slit cut, but it doesn't matter to much!

I'm sure if you haven't checked out the other post yet you're confused, but I'll post a couple pics of the process in case you don't want to blog hop :)

So just like in a traditional tie blanket your going to cut out a square from all four corners of your fleece. First, of course lay out both pieces of fleece with the wrong sides together, so you have a right side touching the floor and one facing the ceiling.  Then you will cut 2 inch by 2 inch squares out of all the corners, cutting through both pieces of fleece. After that's done you will then cut your strips just like with a tie blanket, but shorter, so these will be 2 inches long by 1-1 1/2 inches wide. Doesn't have to be perfect though you do want them as close to the same as you can.

You can see none of my cuts are perfect, but in the end it really doesn't matter!
 Once all the strips are cut start at one corner and skip the first two strips, then on the 3rd strip your going to need to cut the slits I was talking about. This is where you start doing something different from the original tie blankets. In the post I read she took each pair of strips, (the top and bottom fabric at same time) and folded them in half to cut the strips sort of in the middle.  This works for sure, but I realized I could do the same thing with my rotary cutter!! I did do it by folding over and it works, I just found it more time consuming and it already takes awhile to cut all the fringe. So on my nieces blankets I just used the rotary cutter, setting it down maybe a half inch in from the raw edge and pushing down then cutting towards the center to make about a 1 inch slit in the center of each strip. You will make a slit in ALL the other strips you cut except for those first two you skipped.

If using scissors to cut slits get a good heavy duty pair like these.
This is how I made slits in first blanket by folding strip then cutting it down the middle.

Using a rotary cutter for both cutting my strips and slits made things go a little bit faster and made for neater slits!

Once all the slits are cut you will then start on the blanket working in reverse from where you started. So start on the last slit you cut, assuming you just went around the blanket after skipping the first two. If not just start at the corner next to you two strips that aren't cut and you will take both bottom and top strips and bring the next cut strip through the slit in the one you picked up. You will do this all the way around your blanket until you reach the two strips you didn't cut. When you get there take the first strip without a slit through the last strip with slits and then you tie the last none cut strips to the one you just pulled through. This knots the whole thing together holding all your work in place. I personally double knotted the strips best I could to try and make certain it all stays together!

Sorry I didn't take any pictures of these last steps, but the are shown on the original post that I found!

After tying your knots though you are done and have a super cute fleece blanket to snuggle under!

top view of my daughters blanket

Side view of the braided blanket! This has been washed several times and still looks good, no braids coming undone or anything crazy!

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