One day when my husband was cleaning out his closet, he accumulated a pile of button-down shirts that he no longer wears. They were either really old, out of style, or didn’t fit anymore. It got me thinking of what I could do with all that fabric! I came up with the idea to make a blanket for my son – it would definitely be one of a kind and be extra special…made from daddy’s button-down shirts. Here’s what you need to get started:
Materials: 1) A bunch of daddy’s button-down shirts, low loft batting (you don’t want anything too thick), fabric for the back side (about 1-2 yards depending on the size of your blanket)
1) For each shirt, lay it flat and start cutting out 8″ X 8″ squares (NOTE: you can make the squares any size you want, but the smaller you make them, the longer it will take to sew them back together!). I used all parts of the shirts: the pockets, the cuffs and even the front of the shirt with the buttons fastened. It makes each square unique with the different textures and design.
2) Once you have all the squares cut out (the number of squares depends on how large you want your blanket), start playing around with the color/pattern scheme. My husband had lots of white and blue shirts so that was my foundation and used striped and plaid squares as accents throughout the blanket.
3) Once you have all the squares laid out how you want it (I suggest laying them out on the floor), divide them by row and start sewing the pieces 1/4 inch together. Once you finish all the rows, then it’s time to sew each row together.
4) Next, iron out the seams of each square. You might think this would be tedious (and it is!), but it will be worth it. It will look more professional and the lines cleaner. This will be the top side of the blanket.
5) Now it’s time to put the top side together with the batting and the back side fabric. This can get a little tricky but the key is to baste all three pieces together. Basically, this means hand-stitching all three pieces together using thread and large stitches. This will ensure that the pieces will stay in place as you work.
6) With all the pieces firmly in place, it’s time to finish the edges with bias tape. What I did was cut 1 1/2″ fabic strips with the same fabric as the back side but you can use store-bought bias tape as well.
7) Give the blanket a wash and you’re done!
Bonus idea: Use fabric glue and foam letters to add your child’s name to the top side for that extra personalization!
I have a ton of shirt squares left over so I plan on making my daughter something unique as well that she will cherish for a long time.