Our house is a split-level house. We have actually been pleasantly surprised how much we like this layout…except for one small problem: temperature control. More often than not this winter, I have sat shivering at my computer trying to get work done! But no more! Thanks to a thrifty find at the fabric store, I’ve remedied my temperature control issues and made a fabulous accessory for my office! Take a look:
On my 6-months in home tour, I mentioned I had a few projects in mind to help tie the pink side of my office to to the blue side. The first project was this pretty papered stool that I am still so smitten with…
And another was to transform some clearance hot pink minky into a comfy throw!
Simply hemming the edges felt a little too boring for me, so I added some royal blue tassels all the way around. The result is fun and fresh and oh-so-toasty!
So when you read my blog posts, know that they are all written right here…and most often, I am huddled underneath this happy blanket! It’s even become a favorite for movie watching and book reading… #keepsdissapearingfrommyoffice
I know I have a habit of saying “quick and easy” when it comes to projects (and quite a few of you called me out on it in the reader survey!), so I will be completely honest with you. I THOUGHT this one would be quick and easy, but alas it was not. I am not the most experienced seamstress, and I have absolutely NO experience sewing on minky fabric. I tried several different methods to get this project to turn out the way I envisioned it…and while I ultimately got there…it certainly wasn’t quick or easy. That said, if you have a sewing machine and some patience, you can do this! I did a lot of the trial and error for you, so hopefully yours’ WILL be quick and easy! Let’s get to it!
What You Need:
- Minky fabric – I used 2.5 yards of 60″ wide minky
- Tassel trim – I used just under 10 yards of tassel trim
- Tools: scissors, sewing machine, matching thread, walking foot for your sewing machine, pins (and lots of them), patience
A few notes about my supplies! I found this hot pink minky fabric in the Red Tag section at JoAnns. I fell in love with the colors and pattern (hello stripes), but it was $17/yard, and that was marked down. So I passed. A few weeks later, I went back and all Red Tags were marked down 50%…so I was able to get 2.5 yards for about $25! Score! Lesson here: minky can be expensive so watch for sales and use coupons. About the trim…my original plan was to use pom-pom trim, but I couldn’t find any I really loved and boy is it expensive! Then I got hooked on the idea of tassels and went in search of affordable trim. Friends…if you are ever in need of affordable trims for projects, look no further than Ebay! I ordered 10 yards of tassel trim for $8, and it arrived in 3 days. Yes, you read that right!
Minky appears to be completely reversible, but when you start to work with it, you’ll realize that it’s not. To figure out the right/wrong sides, smooth your hand with and against the grain. You’ll notice the wrong side doesn’t lay as flat and smooth in all directions and starts to show some of the underlying fabric. If it helps you, mark the wrong side with a few pins so you can keep track as you go!
As you can see above, the edge of the minky doesn’t fray at all. As such, I could have completely gotten away without hemming or edging it and just used the cut of fabric as a blanket. However, it looked and felt unfinished to me…plus I wanted to add my fancy trim. I experimented with A LOT of different ways to hem and add the trim to my blanket. What I’m going to show you today was most likely not the correct or easiest way to do it, but I ultimately achieved the look I wanted, so we’ll call it a success!
To hem the blanket and nestle in the trim so that the tassels face out, the two pictures below show what you are ultimately going for:
It may be hard to understand what you’re looking at and figure out how to get there, so let me walk you through it. Essentially, you want to create a pocket for the trim to sit into. To do so, start by lining up the trim on the RIGHT side of your fabric with the tassels facing AWAY from the blanket. Don’t pin your trim down. I know there are pins there…just ignore them. #toldyouItriedeverything
Holding onto the edge of the fabric AND the trim, fold toward you so that the trim is encased in a channel on the right side of the fabric.
Then flip the entire channel back on itself and align the outer edges. When you do this, the right/top side of the fabric will be folded over, then the blue trim will be in the middle, the bottom layer is the raw edge of the fabric facing out. Have I totally lost you? Play with it, and you’ll see how it comes together!
Once you get your channel made and the blue trim tucked in, pin abundantly and frequently down the length of the blanket (on the wrong side) to secure the folds and trim.
Next, you will want to stitch the hem in place (about 1″ in from the side) as well as stitch the opening shut (right along the edge). After experimenting a lot, I found that a zig-zag stitch worked the best. It conceals any erratic sewing AND blends in nicely with the fibers of the minky.
Here’s a look at the finished edge with all my cute tassels hanging out.
Because of the somewhat complicated folding at the edge, I chose to do one side at a time rather than try and work my way around the corners. This did make for some slightly bulky corners, but not anything my machine couldn’t sew through!
I love that the tassels are tucked into the hem (rather than just being sewn along the backside, making it truly is reversible! It took a bit of effort and trial and error to get it this way, but I’m quite happy with the final result!
Tips for Sewing on Minky
As I said, I am by no means an expert sewer. In fact, I’m completely (mostly) self taught, and I tend to take the “just get it done” approach rather than the “do it properly” approach. Still, during this project I learned a few things about working with minky that I thought would be helpful to share. I’ve mentioned them already, but just to re-iterate:
- Minky will appear reversible, but it’s not. Spend some time playing with the grain to figure out which one is the right side and mark it with pins.
- Use LOTS of pins. Pin, pin, and pin some more. I tried many times to just hold things in place and feed it through my machine and it never, ever worked. I ended up pinning every single inch of this blanket to hold everything in place.
- Use a walking foot (if you have one). I was really having a tough time controlling the minky on my machine. Once I switched to my walking foot, my stitches were more straight and even, and I felt more in control of the fabric. If you have one, it’s worth taking the time to put it on.
- Practice. Cut off an inch or two of fabric from your project to practice on. It took me a little while to learn how hard to press my pedal, how much I needed to pin, which stitches worked better, etc. Before sewing on your actual project, practice!
20 inches into this project, I almost quit. I said to myself “It doesn’t fray, so do I really need to hem it? And do I really need this trim?” Yes, friends. There are times when projects are not at all simple or easy…and even I want to throw in the towel. But I’m glad I persevered with this one. It’s not perfect, but I DO love the tassel detail along the edges, and I learned a bit more about sewing on fabrics I’m unfamiliar with. AND…I have a pretty darn cute blanket to keep me toasty warm as I work at the computer…so while not quick or easy, I’d call it a success!
What says you? Have you ever made a throw blanket from scratch? Have you ever worked with minky? Do you have any tips/tricks to share? What do you think of my bold color match? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.
I hope you guys have a great rest of the week! I’ll be taking Saturday off from the blog, but will be sending out some Valentine’s Day projects and blog updates in my monthly newsletter. Look for it in your inbox on Saturday morning…and if you’re not already on my list, subscribe below! See you back here on Tuesday, friends!!