Basic Sewing – Burp Rags

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This week for our class activity the girls learned to sew basic burp-rags (about 1/2 the size of a receiving blanket). I chose this project because it is VERY easy, as far as sewing goes. It also goes along with our theme for the month – Divine Nature – because I gave the girls the option to either give their completed project to someone who is having/has a baby (there are several new moms in our ward) OR they can keep them for their own future family. Developing skills that can help us care for and nurture others is an important part of Divine Nature.

At the beginning of the activity I took them to a fabric store to pick out their own (flannel) fabric. I could have just brought fabric, but I thought it would be good for the girls to see how easy it is to pick out and buy their own fabric – and I thought they’d like the project more if they chose their own print.

At the cutting counter, we had 1/2 yard of each selected fabric cut. My original plan was to have then each make traditional size receiving blankets, but I decided that we should start with something smaller – like burp rags – that would be the same concept, but take less time (and less material).  This turned out to be a good call, because I only had one sewing machine available and it took the entire time for the class to sew their burp rags.

This diagram shows the basic concept of how to sew a burp rap (or blanket).  In the diagram, the 1/2 yard of fabric is folded over (with the fold at the top of the square). Make sure they turn their fabric inside out before they sew (so, right-sides together). I had them pin a few places on each side. I also had them mark the opening with 2 pins close to each other so they wouldn’t accidentally sew over it  (this doesn’t have to be a certain place or even measured, just big enough for their hand to fit in. The opening is there so that when the sewing is done, they can reach inside the blanket and pull it right-side-out).  So basically they just need to sew straight lines all the way around (except for where the opening is).

After the blanket is right-side out, have them pin the opening closed and then sew it up. To make it nicer, they can sew a stitch around the entire edge of the blanket/burp-rag (which hides the stitches where the opening was sewn shut, but also makes a nice, finished look).
Some of the girls in our class had a little experience in sewing, but not much. They were all a little reluctant to use the sewing machine, but I gave them lots of encouragement and was right there to help if something went wrong. If possible, it would be good to have several leaders available to help the girls (and several machines going!). 

PURPOSE: Learning basic sewing skills
COST: 1/2 yard of flannel for each girl (approximately $2 each, unless you get a sale)

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