It’s Almost Enough To Get You Excited About Spit-Up

I have been itching for a good sewing project lately.  Positively itching.

It seems that half of my friends are pregnant right now, and baby sewing is my favorite sewing.  The times was right to hole up with my sewing machine and temporarily let the housework go to the dogs. 

I sewed up seven–SEVEN!–batches of burp cloths.  I never get tired of making these things!  I remember, with my own baby daughter, how handy they were.  And the fun fabric combinations keep me from getting burned out on each project.  Here are the finished products–click on any one of them for a larger look (each set is either five or six cloths, folded and tied together with a tulle bow):



These next ones are my favorite.  Gingham and strawberries–yum!


(This is the point where you say, "MY WORD, is she actually going to make us look at ALL of them?"  And the answer would be, "Yes.")





Every time I’ve posted about making burp cloths, I get requests for the pattern and instructions.  I don’t have a great track record with tutorials, but I’ll give it a try.

1.  Each burp cloth set makes 5-6 burp cloths, depending on how your flannel washes up (and how accurately the lady in the fabric store does the cutting!)

2.  You’ll need 1 yard each of two coordinating pieces of flannel.  I usually pick a pattern with a coordinating gingham or stripe.  Watch your fabric stores for half-off sales and stock up!

3.  First, make your pattern.  Use whatever paper you’d like to make a 11×17 rectangle.  Using a plastic cup, trace rounded corners onto your pattern. 

4.  Wash and iron your flannel. 

5.  Place your two pieces of flannel, RIGHT SIDES FACING EACH OTHER, together.  Lay it out on your cutting surface.

6.  For speed, I prefer tracing my pattern onto the flannel, instead of messing with pins. 

7.  Cut!  You should have five or six double-thickness flannel rectangles now–RIGHT SIDES STILL FACING EACH OTHER.  It will look like this (click on any of these pictures to enlarge):


8.  Sew it together (pin together in a few places first).  I use just over a 1/4-inch seam. Leave a 4-5 inch opening, so you can turn it right-side out:


9.  Next are two very awkward photos of me trying to turn it right-side out with only one-hand.  Um, please use two hands.



10.  Flatten the seams.  You can either do this very quickly and neatly with an iron, or you can do it SLOWLY using your fingers and pins while sitting on the couch watching American Idol (guess which one I chose?):


Be sure you pin up that 4-5 inch opening especially securely.

11.  Now, back to your sewing machine.  Using just under a 1/4" seam, sew all around the edge, including the opening.  If you’re using that tiny seam, it will close the opening up for you–no hand work!


12.  Your finished seam is going to look something like this:


14.  Here’s each side of a finished pair:


13.  Fold them up all pretty, alternating between which patterns are on the outside (see pictures at beginning of this post), and tie them up with a bow. 

I’ve learned this project seems to go a LOT faster when you sew several sets at once.  And it feels good being set for baby gifts for a while!


99 thoughts on “It’s Almost Enough To Get You Excited About Spit-Up

  1. Kisha says:

    These are so cute. I wish I had a sewing machine so I could make these for all the moms in my group that are pregnant right now, lol.

  2. Nic says:

    There are girls having babies all around me at the moment. I think these make a really original gift, I’ll have to try making them!

  3. Anna says:

    Thanks for posting this! I’m in the same position, 3 friends had babies in the last 2 weeks and I have 4 more due in the next 6 weeks!! I love making presents as opposed to buying them, this is a great project.

  4. Jenn says:

    those are great! you should have a giveaway for all us preggos out there or those with babies…I want those…and I don’t sew. at all. ever.

  5. michelle says:

    Oh wow! Those are so cute! I am putting a link to this in my blog to share with my friends. This weekend I am totally going out to make new burp cloths for our baby! Super fun and thanks for the break down of steps!!

  6. Tina says:

    Love, love, love them! I would’ve LOVED that as a gift!!
    Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to make those…….

  7. Debbie says:

    Okay, I want to go buy a sewing machine right now. Then I remembered that there’s a reason I don’t sew or do other crafts. Well, a few reasons. No time, no creativity and no crafting ability. I’m the anal type that would get pissy b/c mine would be a mess, not that cuteness. Give away time!

  8. Tara says:

    Okay those are darling! A year ago 4 of us mommies with a total of 10 boys between us all found out that we were having baby girls. I made 4 matching quilts and with the leftovers made some matching burp cloths. One thing I did was to use a fancy stitch to trim and close the opening. A zig zag makes a fun trim stitch! I’ll be making more of these than I could probably count. Thanks for the reminder on a fun and easy project!

  9. Sheila says:

    Those are so cute!
    I’m really into flannel prints right now, too, though for a different stage in life. I’m making cloth menstrual pads that are really cute and funky for my daughters and some of their friends.
    I know you’re all thinking–EEEEWWWWWW!! But they’re actually really comfortable and really easy to clean. And they’re so darn cute. You feel like it’s a part of your wardrobe–which one will I wear today? But they’re really easy to sew, too.
    Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

  10. La says:

    oh, so sweet….I love them!!! So, what’s your price? I have an old machine that needs work and a 3 year old who wouldn’t give me the time I needed to do this. Would love to buy some from you. So, what do you say?

  11. Jenni says:

    Too pretty for puke!!
    Seriously, those are the cutest things, and absolutely perfect as gifts.
    Half your friends are pregnant, huh? Can’t you see the writing on the wall? It says “jooooiiiinnnn usssssss! joooooiiin ussss!!!”

  12. Terry says:

    Those are so cute and such a good idea. Thanks for the instructions. I have a last minute(I’ve only known about it for 6 days) surprise baby shower to go to tomorrow and now I would LOVE to add a set of these to my gift. You may be responsible for me sitting up all night sewing.

  13. Jamie says:

    Oh goodness – thank you! Just about everyone I know is pregnant right now, so this was just what I needed. Now I just get to hunt for some sales on flannel! 🙂

  14. Stacu says:

    I always try to get 2 yards of fabric and with one yard, make a matching blanket. I did this with my daughter and I loved having matching blankets and burp rags to take out and about. Thanks for showing others how to make these.

  15. Jenni says:

    I have been doing burp cloths as baby gifts for a while now, but yours are so much easier! Mine are fabric stiched down the center of a pre-folded cloth diaper. I might have to adopt your way for some of mine!!

  16. kristena says:

    Did I tell you we’re expecting? A little boy any day now… (Actually, he’s due on April 27th, but I hope he comes early!) I really need to make him some stuff…
    The gingham and berries set is especially cute!

  17. T with Honey says:

    Do you think I could recycle my old flannel sheets that need to be retired for this project? I have a really cute set in light blue with Hostess cupcakes that I can’t bring myself to throw away and think they would be adorable as burp cloths.

  18. Bonnie says:

    Thanks for sharing the instructions! Those are great. Maybe I’ll make some up for some of my friends… next time I have some time to sit at my sewing machine! 🙂 Oh, and yours are very pretty, by the way!

  19. Cheri says:

    Completely off topic-it was funny to be in Vegas and think of you when I’d seen a Barry poster/billboard/bus sign. 😉

  20. Allison says:

    i read your blog daily and this is my first time to leave you a comment. thanks for all your funny posts, i really enjoy reading them. this is a bit crazy but i am new to sewing and i was wanting a sewing project for the weekend and now i have one. THANKS!!

  21. Kim Priestap says:

    Hey, do you sell those? I have a four month old, and he’s my third child, so I don’t have any time to learn how to sew. I don’t even have a sewing machine! Anyway, I’d buy a batch of little boy burp cloths if you’re interested in selling me a set. Or how about two sets because my sister-in-law just had her third baby, a boy as well, at the end of January. I’d love to give these to her as a gift.
    What do you think?

  22. Phyllis@Aimless Conversation says:

    Shannon, you are an amazing woman…I want to grow up and be just like you. (We are actually probably close to the same age)
    Witty, crafty~in many different ways (hairbows, sewing projects, crafting), organized enough to blog AND read the news, missionary to Africa, super mom to four kids, wonderful wife to Mr. Dryer, Christian… I’m sure I am missing something due to the elevated noise level in my home right now (5 boys and the sound effects they emit while playing w/ Bionicles)…
    Just thought I would send you a note and let you know, if we ever meet in person (I am pining away for a chance to go to She Speaks) I might just hug you.
    Evidently, your burp cloths moved me deeply.

  23. Amy loves Bud says:

    Shannon, this is great! YOu can also make bibs this way. I just cut out the bib shape instead of the burpcloth shape and then sew it just like you did. Then I add ribbon for ties. I stitch the ribbon on and then tie it in a bow to cover where it is stitched – I hope that makes sense.
    You have lucky friends!

  24. Jada says:

    Very cute! I mentioned in a comment to Barb at A Chelsea Morning that when she has her new etsy site up (or whatever she decides to do), that even though I don’t need or have a use for them, I plan to buy two sets of her burp cloths just to sit around my house because they’re so pretty and cute! Are you selling any of yours? LOL

  25. Christine says:

    I so love doing flannel burp cloths as baby gifts! It doesn’t get any easier or inexpensive as a baby gift and I’ve never given them when they weren’t totally adored and appreciated by the Mommy b/c they were homemade! I have a good friend who was invited to a baby shower for a Very Famous Rock Star and his wife. How she was invited isn’t important, but she got this invitation and was absolutely perplexed about what to get them. What could they possibly need or want that she, with a much smaller bank account, could give them. I suggested the burp cloths and bibs we did some really cute personalized ones. They were absolutely delighted with them! They gushed over her all night! They are my absolute favorite go-to baby gift! So versatile!

  26. ellen stevens says:

    Wow. I think this is something that even I can handle!
    I’m waiting to adopt two sibs from Ethiopia this summer… maybe one will be young enough to need burp cloths!

  27. Bowden McElroy says:

    Judging from your comments, I am one of your few (maybe only?) male readers.
    On behalf of all my gender… NO! it doesn’t even come close to getting my excited about spit-up.

  28. Jana (sidetrack'd) says:

    Absolutely adorable! We are in need of blue burp cloths these days; I might have to try these out (although, as a beginner, some parts of sewing still make my brain feel like it will explode).

  29. Judy says:

    Oh my goodness – how AWESOME! I am putting together a new baby gift for the wife of one of my husband’s coworkers – guess what she’s getting????

  30. Stacey says:

    Oh my…..
    you Rock … girl !
    I haven’t been on-line for a while and– I check back to see you have answered a prayer!
    My sister-in-law just had a baby boy March 7th and he will be getting baptized (sp?) soon— this will be just the thing for a quick and easy present!
    Thank you Thank you

  31. Sharon says:

    Thanks for this! I’ve tried coming up with a similar version on my own, but didn’t quite like how they turned out (I used a narrow binding for the edge–a pain!!!). Your method looks much better–think I’ll give it a try! (I’m pregnant, and yes, itching to do baby sewing!)

  32. Blue Hare Mom says:

    Thank you SO much! The instructions are very appreciated. Who knew it was that easy? :o) Next time our JoAnn’s has flannel on sale for $2/yard, I’m so there!
    BTW, I had a barfing baby boy too. I thought for sure I’d be carrying a burp cloth with me to his high school graduation LOL! (Take heart new mommies, he did actually outgrow it :o)

  33. Pink Enabler says:

    Thanks for your tutorial! The pattern that you had in the background of your last pictures is such a fun and easy pattern. I made it two years ago for my daughter in a seersucker Strawberry shortcake fabric, it was worn and washed, worn and washed so much that it was no longer seersucker. I made her another one last year and she REFUSED to wear it! Stinker. We were at a fabric store the other day and there as a tinkerbell fabric (gag me) that she asked if I could make for her.

  34. Lori says:

    so… how does a girl get on your list ?! 🙂
    these are absolutely adorable Shannon, so clever! This is actually simple enough that I may have to give it a go myself.

  35. lori says:

    Those are really cute…you could sell them to those of us that don’t sew…I had a girlfriend make me some with the flannel on the outside and terrycloth on the other. They were so handy and absorbed well.

  36. Aunt LoLo says:

    Sweet! I like the rounded corners. My sister and I make baby blankets, doing the same basic thing…they’re GREAT for babies that spit up a LOT (like my nice)…think a burp cloth bigger than the baby! We love mixing up fabrics. Jo-Anns has a sale twice a year where “snuggly flannel” is $.99 a yard. That’s when we buy 30 yards and go to town!

  37. Faith says:

    Thanks for the pattern. With so many friends getting knocked up, I haven’t ever been so excited about someone else’s spit up!! We are off today to get the supplies to make them. Piles and piles so that the next time someone has a baby I can just grab a stack and be good to go.

  38. Jenni says:

    Thanks for the idea! I went out the next day and bought fabric to make some for a gift. With a little leftover material, I’m going to make a matching one for the 2yo big sister!

  39. Scratchin' the Surface says:

    Lovely gift idea, but since our house is busy, busy I think I’ll just take the easy way out and buy them from Barb at Chelsea Morning – she can whip them up faster than I can buy the fabric and they turn out about 100% better than my efforts anyway. Never can have too many burp cloths!

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