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Super Fast & Super Cute: Fashionista Baby Burp Cloths

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Drool. Spit up. Food smears. There's a lot of stuff that comes out of babies' mouths. It's a darn good thing a sweet little coo or heart-melting smile comes out once in awhile too. That makes it all worthwhile. But... a burp cloth is still a must! Ours are so quick and easy to make, you can whip out of slew of them in an afternoon. Absorbent terry cloth on the back makes them functional. Sassy print fabric on the front makes them fabulous.

We originally used a trio of prints by Pretty Bird from Pillow & Maxfield. The eyepoping colors and designs are perfect for these fashionista cloths. However, Pretty Bird is an older, out-of-stock collection, so we picked out a few new favorites from four of our Marketplace vendors. Check out these beauties:

Powerpop by Jenean Morrison for FreeSpirit Fabrics, available now at The Ribbon Retreat + Fabric

So Happy Together by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake Designs, available now at Fashionable Fabrics

Happy Tones Basics by Michael Miller Fabrics, available now at Fat Quarter Shop

Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey for FreeSpirit Fabrics, available now at Fabric.com

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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Supplies listed below are for ONE cloth, but you know how much babies drool... you should really make more than one. We made three.

  • ⅓ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for front of cloth
  • ⅓ yard of 44-45" wide terry cloth for back of cloth: Fabric.com has a nice selection of Organic Cotton French Terry
  • ½ yard of ½" coordinating grosgrain ribbon
  • All-purpose sewing thread in colors to match fabric and ribbon
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • See-through ruler
  • Straight pins
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board

Getting Started

  1. From the front fabric, cut ONE piece 11" wide x 19" high.
    NOTE: If using a directional pattern, remember to make sure your pattern is running lengthwise, centered nicely, and straight.
  2. From the back fabric, cut ONE piece 11" x 19".
  3. Cut the ribbon to 11".

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Pin the top edge of the ribbon 4½" from the unfinished bottom edge of the front fabric.
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  2. Thread your sewing machine with a color to match the ribbon in the top and a color to match the back fabric in the bobbin.
  3. Topstitch very close to the edge along both sides of the ribbon.
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  4. Pin the back fabric piece and the front fabric piece right sides together, matching all raw edges.
    NOTE: Terry cloth is quite stretchy so use plenty of pins to hold it in place. And, whenever you have dissimilar fabrics being sewn together, it is best to stitch with the more difficult one (in this case the terry) down in order to let the feed dogs (those little grippy teeth in the plate below your presser foot) move it through the machine for you. Keep an even tension on the layers as they go through the machine.
  5. Re-thread your machine with thread to match your fabric in the top and bobbin.
  6. Using a ½" seam allowance, sew the two pieces together on all four sides, leaving an approximate 3" opening along one long side for turning.
  7. Trim the corners.
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    NOTE: There's no need to trim the seam allowances as they will give the finished cloth more body after they are topstitched in place.
  8. Turn the cloth right side out and carefully press all the seams nice and flat. You want your seam to be exactly on the edge - not rolled to the front or back.
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  9. Pin the opening closed.
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  10. If necessary, re-thread your machine with contrasting thread in the top and bobbin for topstitching. We left our thread the same as above, opting to use matching thread to the front fabric, which would then be highlighted on the back.
  11. Topstitch approximately ¼" from finished edge around all four sides, pivoting at each corner. This will close the opening left for turning.
    NOTE: We used a simple straight stitch, but you could also use a decorative stitch.
    Click to Enlarge
  12. We added one of our Sew4Home labels as a finishing touch.


Project Design: Alicia Thommas 
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Julia Chapman


Comments (18)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Marjean - yes, you could use flannel, however, it would be quite a bit thinner. You might want to look for a very think flannel or consider using two layers. With three layers instead of two, you may also want to consider adding quilting stitching through all the layers to hold them together through repeated washings.

Laurie Schwartz said:
Laurie Schwartz's picture

I have made these for a number of baby gifts but it looks like fabric.com no longer carries it in white.   What would you suggest using instead?

Xiomara said:
Xiomara's picture

How about using a baby towel? Would that be cheaper than the terry cloth and easier to use than a regular towel?

Peggy Finch said:
Peggy Finch's picture

Baby Towels or even regular towels work fine.  The burp cloth pattern I'm currently using calls for a "light weight bath towel," but I use either a towel or purchased terrycloth.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Xiomara - Terry cloth is inexpensive and available as an organic cotton, which is why it was our choice. But yes, a baby towel would work. As you would with regular fabric, wsh the towel before your start.

Nina Daub said:
Nina Daub's picture

I made these for baby shower gifts.  They were a hit.  I was wondering, could you cut up a new bathroom towel instead of using purchased terry cloth?  I think the towel is better quality than what I could buy retail.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Nina Daub - You could certainly give that a try - we haven't tested it so I can't tell you exactly what would happen. A purchased towel will be much heavier, so you might have to mess with the side seams just a bit and grade the seams so the edge isn't too bulky. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Judy Urband - the ribbon is simply a pretty accent. 

Katie G. said:
Katie G.'s picture

Super Easy!  I will be making a few to have handy for Baby Shower gifts...Thanks!

Katie G. said:
Katie G.'s picture

Super Easy!!  I will be making a few to have handy for Baby Shower gifts...thanks!

Alison Boyette said:
Alison  Boyette's picture

I'm just curious why not just call for a fat quarter for the front?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Alison Boyette - no reason - of course you could use a fat quarter if you have one or want to buy one. 

Debbie Pruitt said:
Debbie Pruitt's picture

Very useful must have for those new mommies and would make great baby gifts.