Call me ambitious… call me crazy… call me pregnant. Â I added yet ANOTHER crafted item to my list of things to do or make before Baby comes. Â Since Ryder is no longer sleeping in a crib, I wanted to give him a cozy place to lay his little head when we travel. Â A quick online search brought me to this beautiful tutorial by Jenny Garland. Â And true to form, I just couldn’t follow it step-by-step… so the following instructions are a hybrid of Jenny’s suggestions and what I actually did:
~ 1 2/3 yards cotton fabric… this will cover the front, back, and pillow portions of the mat. Â I happened to find two coordinating fabrics that couldn’t live without each other. Â I got two yards of each because I wanted extra for other projects.
~ 2 yards minky dot (or some other cozy fabric) to make the attached blanket
~ 25″ cotton or nylon belt webbing (like the strap on a backpack)… Jenny calls for elastic, it doesn’t make sense to me to have the carrying handle stretch out.
~ approx. 55″ velcro (I prefer the kind that is NOT self-adhesive because the glue gums up my machine)… Jenny suggests only 40″ of velcro, but I added some to the pillow portion, and substituted button closures for velcro.
~ 1 small pillow form (mine was 12 x 16″)… Jenny simply sewed a “pocket” for the pillow and stuffed it with fiberfill. Â I wanted to be able to remove the pillow for washing.
~ 1 piece of 1″ thick foam… Jenny suggests 20 x 40″ but I ended up having to cut mine down to about 19 x 37″ to get it into the cover.
Now the fun begins…
First, cut twoÂ 36â€ squares from the minky fabric. Sew right sides together, leaving an opening to turn. Â Turn right side out. Â Topstitch around the blanket… I usually use a zig zag when I topstitch. Â (I LOVE blankets, and wanted mine to be a bit bigger. Â I added two inches, making it 38″ square. Â This got me into a bit of trouble because I ran out of fabric. Â Never fear! Â I simply cut a small strip to make up the difference, and sewed it on. Â Definitely recommend following the 36″ suggestion.) Â 🙂
For the front and back of the nap mat:
Cut two 22 x 52â€ rectangles from your other fabric for the front and back of the mat… I cut one rectangle from each fabric pattern.
Cut four 4 x 6â€ rectangles from the same fabric for the button tabs… again, I cut two from each fabric pattern.
Cut two 13 1/2 x 17 1/2″ rectangles for the pillow (one rectangle from each fabric pattern if you’re using two)
For the pillow:
With right sides together, sew one short side, and one long side of the 13 1/2 x 17 1/2″ rectangles together. Â Turn in the raw edge of the other short side (approx. 1/4″), press, then stitch. Â Sew velcro around inside of the short side you’ve just finished the edges on. Â Put aside.
For the strap:
Make a tube for your strap by sewing two pieces of fabric right sides together. Turn. Â Insert strap… I decided which fabric the strap would be attached to, and chose the opposite pattern.
Attach the strap by laying one 22 x 52â€ rectangle right side up. Â (If you’re using two different fabrics, choose the one that will be the BACK of the mat for this step.)Â Â Measure up 10â€ from the bottom left and right corners and mark. Â Sew the ends of the fabric covered strap to the back of the mat with a 1/4â€ seam allowance on each mark.
Make Closure Tabs:
Get your 4 x 6â€ rectangles out. Â Stitch two of the 4 x 6â€ rectangles right sides together along both long sides and one short side, using a 1/4â€ seam allowance. Clip corners. Turn right side out. Press. Topstitch around the three edges you just stitched. Â (I used one piece of each fabric pattern… and I forgot to topstitch, but that would’ve been cute! Â lol) Â Repeat with the other set of rectangles. Â Pin the open end of the closure tabs to the bottom of the right side of the 22 x 52â€ rectangle you already sewed the elastic on. PLEASE make sure you point the closure tabs upward toward the top of the mat! Â Stitch the tabs in place with a 1/4â€ seam allowance.
Attach the blanket:
Get your other 22 x 52â€ rectangle out (the one you havenâ€™t sewn anything to”). Â With right sides together, line up an edge of the square blanket along the length of the 22 x 52â€ rectangle, leaving a 4â€ gap on the lower edge of the 22 x 52â€ rectangle. Â (Since I made my blanket bigger, my gap was only about @ 1/2″… I just kinda eyeballed it.) Â Pin. Â Stitch blanket edge to rectangle with 1/2â€ seam allowance. Fold excess blanket toward the center of the mat.
Attach the pillow:
Using the same rectangle you’ve just attached the blanket to, right side up, pin the open long side of the pillowcase to the “head” end of the rectangle, in the center. Â Sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Leave the 22 x 52â€ rectangle you just stitched the blanket and pillow to, right side up. Â On top of this, place the other large rectangle right side down… make sure the carrying strap, closure tabs and pillow case are tucked inside. Â Pin the two pieces together. Â Stitch the top, bottom, and ONLY the length with the blanket attached together using 1/2″ seam allowance. Leave the other length open… you will attach velcro to this edge later.
Weâ€™re putting velcro on this baby to make washing easy.
You have one open length on your nap mat cover. Â Turn under the raw edges approx. 1/4″ and stitch. Â Then sew the hook part of the velcro to the front of the cover, and the loop part to the back.
Now we just have to add the velcro to the closures, and we’re finished! Â I sewed approximately 3″ of velcro onto each tab (placed vertically near each end). Â To figure out where to put the velcro on the mat itself, I had to insert the pillow and the foam into the cover, and roll it up. Â I marked the edges of the closure tabs with a washable fabric marker and removed the pillow and foam. Â Then I eyeballed (of course) the place where the tabs would end up when the mat was rolled, pinned (well, ok, I didn’t really pin, but you should!), and sewed on the corresponding pieces of velcro.
Seriously, thatâ€™s it. Â Put your foam in (this was actually quite a feat!). Â Velcro closed.
Fold up your nap mat, rolling the pillow down first, and press the closure tabs down. Â Voila!
(I realize this is probably confusing, and I didn’t think about taking pictures along the way, so please feel free to ask questions!)
Here’s my finished product:
Rolled up and ready to go!
Now Rydie has a cute place to sleep in hotels, or at his grandparents’ houses… and he’ll be all set when he starts preschool (someday!). Â 🙂
Super cute! The tutorial you linked to used the same fabric for the nap mat as I used for my diaper bag. 🙂
I am not an avid sewer and was wondering how hard miky dot fabric is to deal with 🙂
I don’t find it very difficult to work with… very similar to working with fleece. It’s thicker than cotton, and sometimes the dots make it bunch slightly. But if don’t go too fast, and just keep an eye on it, you should be just fine.