You know when you can’t find the right fabric you’re looking for?
Or the right “whatever” you need from the store?
And so you just make it?
YES. YES! I’m glad we’re on the same page.
I mean, that’s one of the main reasons I got back into sewing as an adult, and mom.
And when I couldn’t find the right towel fabric for this baby gift, I did what you would have done….DIYed the stripes out of that thing.
Probably my favorite DIY fabric project, is making S T R I P E S.
Easy. Cute. Cabana love forever.
– I’ve shown you how to make knit stripes here on Owen’s Goodnight Moon Jammies (can’t believe how long ago that was. WOW!)
– And there are tons of ideas in this DIY Fabric Prints post.
– And there’s that chevron pillow I made from stripes.
But today I’ll show you how to make giant stripes from two towels, and turn it into a changing pad cover your little babe (or to give away as a gift, which I love to do).
Okay. Let’s get started. If you prefer a live-action version of the project, check out the video HERE. Or, just follow along…
• Grab two bath towels (I got these at Target for about $4 each).
You could also use a few different towels and make colorful stripes! And you don’t have to use towels—you can buy terry cloth fabric (the fabric that a towel is made from) by the yard, at most fabric stores.
For a standard changing pad, you need a finished piece of fabric 30 x 46 inches. So make sure you have towels that are at least 30 inches wide.
• Using a rotary cutter and mat, cut 4-inch wide strips from both towels (or whatever width you’d like).
• Piece the strips together like you’re making a giant terry cloth quilt. If there’s a “right side” to your towel, make sure you sew the strips together with right sides together. So, grab one pink and one white strip, lay them on top of each other, sew down one side using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Then open them up, and sew another pink strip to the white one (which was already sewn in place), etc.
NOTE 1: Terry cloth is a very messy fabric. Resist the urge to clean up your work space till you’re done!…because those pesky bits of cloth will just continue to fall from the cut edge.
NOTE 2: If you would like to minimize the “fraying” edge, sew your pieces together with a zigzag stitch. OR you can use a serger. A serger is not necessary of course. But this is what I did here, because it really seals off the edge. And I thought it would be fun to show you another option since my Changing Pad Cover video uses a standard sewing machine.
• When you’re done sewing enough strips together, trim the large piece of fabric down to 30 x 46 inches.
Your fabric might look a bit wonky and uneven. This is normal since terry cloth has a tendency to stretch and move a bit as you sew. Just trim it down as best as you can.
• Cut away a 7 x7 inch square from each corner. If you’ve made a crib sheet before, this is the exact same concept!
An easy way to do this is to cut a 7″x 7″ square from cardstock (or paper) and use that as your template. I keep this in the drawer with the rest of my patterns; then I’m always ready to make a changing pad cover as a baby gift!
• With right sides of the fabric together, bring the two cut edges (of one of the corners) together and sew them with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. You can sew this with a standard sewing machine or a serger. If you need more info on this step, check out the video here. Do this for all four corners of the fabric. This is what makes the fabric “stand up” a bit, and creates the pockets that fold around the actual changing pad.
Your changing pad cover should look this.
You can see how nice and boxy the ends look:
• Trim off any uneven areas (from sewing the corners together) and then sew a zigzag stitch, or serge, around the entire raw edge of the cover. This step is optional. But it helps minimize the terry cloth mess.
• Final step! Attach the elastic.
You need about 2 yards of 1/2 inch wide (or 3/8 inch wide) elastic.
I prefer KNIT elastic.
Using a zigzag stitch, start with a forward and backstitch to hold the elastic in place. Then with the elastic facing the wrong side of the cover, sew it all the way around, about 1/8 inch away from the edge of the fabric. As you sew, stretch the elastic as much as you can with your right hand. This will make the fabric gather up.
For an extra visual look, watch the video here.
• When you get back around to the beginning of the elastic, cut the elastic, leaving about a 1-inch tail. Overlap the tail of the elastic on the beginning of the elastic and sew it in place. Annnnd…you’re done!
Grab your changing pad, and slide that cover on!
This was part of a baby gift I gave to my cousin Adrian (who had TWIN GIRLS).
So stay tuned next week and I’ll show you the other items that went into the gift!
Oh I love sewing baby stuff.
Have a stripey day!