Created by: Dot Dot Baby
Hi, I’m Jes from dotdotbaby.com a handmade baby gift shop.
There is nothing sweeter than bringing your new babe home from the hospital to wrap them up in a soft and cozy blanket! And, there is nothing softer than Minky! Shannon Fabrics offers the highest quality Minky material, with endless options like dimple dot, faux fur, patterned, embossed, etc. You can create the cutest gifts for a mom-to-be or yourself!
Minky is a material similar to knit, as it tends to stretch while sewing. If you have never tried sewing with Minky, or past attempts have left you stumped, these tips and tricks will have you mastering projects like a pro. First, I’ll share with you some of the most helpful tips I have learned and then we will create the perfect shower gift together.
Prewash Your Cotton
Minky does not shrink, so if you are pairing it with cotton (like in this tutorial), make sure to pre-wash the cotton first.
Heat and Washing
Minky is heat sensitive and embossed patterns can be ruined if it comes in contact with an iron. You shouldn’t need to iron your minky at all, but since we are pairing it with a cotton we will iron that before we put them together. Keep in mind your heat settings when your drying the finished blanket. Tumble on low heat, or if possible - hang to dry. Avoid using fabric softeners, as they can leave a greasy film and clump the fibers.
Leave Excess Minky Around All Edges
If your Minky has wavy selvage (especially on the Dimple Dot), don’t try to sew over the top- cut those off! Since Minky has the tendency to stretch slightly, I have found if you leave yourself extra Minky around all your edges you’ll have a little extra in case you have any pulling. Just 1/2 - 1 inch is all you need. We will trim the excess off later.
Vacuum Your Edges
Vacuum the edges of your Minky right after cutting, especially the faux fur. It becomes airborne and messy really easy, so vacuuming the edges with the wand makes quick clean-up. It also prevents the fibers from getting stuck in your machine. If you’re sewing near outdoors, you could also take it outside and shake it out or use a lint roller.
Minky on the Bottom
When you are getting ready to pin, always have your cotton on top. You will have less stretching, and since you cut your Minky larger than your cotton you’ll be able to see where you’re sewing.
Pin Like Crazy
Use lots of pins! Seems excessive, but spacing them every 1-2” keeps everything in place and prevents some of the stretching.
Stat Sewing on the Length Side of the Minky
Begin sewing on the length side of your Minky (the side you cut the selvage off). Minky tends to be less stretchy lengthwise and more widthwise. If you’ve forgotten, slightly pull your edges and you will feel the difference.
Wide Seam Allowance
For this project, I recommend using 1/2” seam allowance. Don’t forget your locking stitches.
Control Your Fabric
I am constantly working my left hand, under the Minky and then over the cotton, wherever I feel like the Minky is moving or needs help staying in place. My right hand is holding the project in place from pin to pin as I sew.
Sewing Minky to Minky & Walking Foot
There is only one way to do this! Invest in a walking, or even feed foot. With all my Minky experience, I thought I would be able to sew a double sided minky blanket. It was a nightmare, and did not turn out. The first time sewing with a walking foot, was magical. No stretching. At all. Your bottom feed dogs are guiding the bottom Minky anyway, but with a walking foot, the top Minky is also being fed through the presser foot, feeding both materials at the same rate. If you plan on sewing a lot of Minky projects, you will thank yourself for this purchase. I now sew all of my minky projects with this foot.
Use a Stretch Needle and Longer Stitch Length
Replace your standard sewing machine needle with a New stretch sewing machine needle- ideally use a size 90/14. Sew using at lease a 3mm stitch length. As Minky is a knit, this will help provide a professional sewing results.
Clean Your Machine
Regular cleaning of your machine is a good idea anyway, but when you are sewing with Minky you will find more fuzz than usual. Open your bobbin compartment and brush or vacuum out any buildup.
DIY Baby Shower Gift with Minky
Now that you have all the tips and tricks needed to start your next project with Minky, let's create a baby blanket and burp cloth set that will be perfect as a shower gift! I made a version for a boy and girl to give you inspiration for both.
- 1 yard Shannon Cuddle® Minky (for the boy blanket I used Shannon Minky Luxe Cuddle® Mountain Fox Pewter and for the girl blanket I used Shannon Minky Luxe Cuddle® Hide Ice Pink. I used Shannon Minky Cuddle® Dimple Ivory for the burp cloths, but you could make them from the 1 yard Minky you purchase for your blanket
- 1 yard quilting cotton (For the boy blanket I used Dear Stella Adventure Awaits Animals White and for the girl blanket I used Art Gallery Letters Xoxoxo. I also love Art Gallery, Cotton + Steel, Moda, Michael Miller, Dear Stella
- Mat and rotary cutter - or scissors and ruler
- Sewing thread
- Coordinating topstitching thread
Cutting Your Materials
For the blanket: Cut ONLY the cotton section 32” wide x 36” long
For the burp cloths: Cut your remaining material in 1/2 leaving you with (2) 10” x 18” long panels
If you own a serger, serge edges of blanket now. Lay your cotton blanket panel on your minky right sides together making sure your Minky hangs out around all edges. In case you have any stretching, leaving yourself a little extra Minky is always better than cutting too short. Cut the Minky about 1” away from the edge of your cotton. Vacuum those edges too. You can do the same with your burp cloth panels now.
Pin in place. Place pins about 1-2” apart. Now, you’re ready to sew!
On the length side of you project and with about 1/2” seam allowance add your first locking stitch. No need to rush, sew slow and steady all the way around. Leave about a 6” opening for your blanket, and about 4” for your burp cloths.
Trim off any excess minky and notch your corners so they aren’t bulky when you turn your projects inside out. Make sure to pull your corners out so they look nice and sharp.
Choose a coordinating thread and topstitch your blanket and burp cloths. How amazing do these look?
Now you can choose a lovely ribbon to finish your gift!