Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pattern Review: Snuggie Baby Wrap Blanket

My former supervisor and friend had her baby shower today. Not too long ago, I used one of my 20% off coupons at Border's to purchase Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones. This book has been reviewed by others and I have to say, believe the hype! The patterns are adorable and witty, smart and sophisticated yet incredibly charming. For my first Amy Butler pattern and first baby shower (yes, it's true! I'd never been to a baby shower before!) I decided Shawnna would be the lucky recipient of a new swaddling blanket. She had two on her registry, but they were sad imitations of the Snuggie Wrap Blanket indeed. Read on for more info...

Pattern Description: A swaddling blanket that wraps around your baby, with a nifty hood and tie to keep him/her nice and warm.

Pattern Sizing: 0-3 months (approx 28" square) and 3-6 months (approx 33" square). I made the larger of the two since babies grow so fast!

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? One thing about this particular patterns is that the book didn't include clear visuals of the wrap blanket. All you could really see were the upper half of the infant in the photos - very cute, yes I relied on the line drawing mostly. It did resemble the line drawing.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they spelled out every step very clearly, with a single exception. There was only one snafoo - I had issues with the hood. The instructions tell you fleece sides together, but it wasn't 100% clear how the layers went together so the hood ended up on the exterior. For future reference - you make the blanket sandwich as follows: cotton right side to fleece right side with the hood between, hood fleece to blanket fleece, hood cotton to blanket cotton. It could be that I was tired during this phase of construction or perhaps spatially challenged. Or, that particular direction sucked like Burda World of Fashion usually does. Either way, the fix inv0lved getting nice and personal with my BFF, the seam ripper. It took me a few tries, but I finally got it right and it looked wonderful - just like the pictures!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the hood on this blanket. The inclusion of the hood takes the design to a whole other level, in my opinion. Sure a blanket is functional, but the hood makes it truly snuggle worthy.

Fabric Used: After searching the local Joann's for suitable fleece, I decided what they offered was just too scratchy to use against the tender skin of a newborn. I left the store disappointed but decided to shop the stash instead! Lo and behold, but didn't I have just the perfect fleece already? Last year, I had purchased a few yards of Malden Mills Polartec Classic 100 microvelour in chocolate brown. Perfect! This fleece feels like silk velvet against the skin and was the perfect weight for winter here in the Phoenix desert. The exterior is a Moda quilting cotton picked up a local quilt shop that matched my fleece perfectly.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: No changes - how can you mess with blanket perfection?

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I plan on making this again, most likely for myself when the time comes. Also, there are many other babies on the way and this one received quite the reception at the baby shower, so I'll probably make it again. It's going to be hard to find something equivalent to the Polartec Fleece, but flannel would probably make a good substitute.

Conclusion: A great baby blanket all around. I highly recommend. Plus, I can imagine the possibilities as the baby grows into childhood and decides his favorite blanket must also double as a cape, which handily has a hood! Hopefully, it will last that long!