November 18, 2019

DIY: Multi Purpose Blanket with Pockets

As part of my research studies and sleeping woes, I decided to run sleep-inducing experiments. I created this multi-purpose blanket as a base to test out different sensory attachments and find out the effectiveness of each. I documented the making of the blanket as part of my school work, but I thought of sharing with anyone who would like to try this out too. I am also testing the feasibility of each add-on before sharing with you guys on how to convert your existing blanket with the different attachments.

WHAT YOU NEED:
  • 10 metres of Tencel cotton / Egyptian cotton for single size blanket
  • Polyester fibrefill (2kg)
  • Ribbons
  • Embroidery thread and needle
  • Snap buttons
  • Matching thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Clipper
  • Fabric scissors
DIY challenge level: 8/10 
I strongly encourage beginners to work on more sewing projects before tackling this. 

PREPARATION:
Download the pattern [click]
PDF size is A2, pattern is 1/4 scale.
Pattern is for single size blanket, it includes 1cm seam allowances all around unless otherwise stated.

STEPS TO SEW:
  1. First, work on the upper section by sewing the pocket at the back. The chalk marks are drawn on the wrong side of fabric
  2. Flip lower pocket piece and fold 1cm from the edge and stitch it down
  3. Fold another 1cm and stitch again. You can also fold two times and stitch once
  4. Place lower pocket back on the middle piece. Flip the top pocket flap to the right side and put it in place 
  5. Sew 5mm from edge all around to secure the pieces
  6. Attach the two side pieces to the the middle piece. Sew 1cm down for both sides
  7. Sew a line down the pocket to have 2 compartments
  8. Still working on the upper section, place both pieces together, right sides facing each other, sew along these lines, from this point to here. Turn it out and put it aside
  9. Now, work on the main blanket part, Starting with each column and their individual pocket section
  10. Take the smaller pocket flap, fold 1cm from the bottom edge, fold another 1cm and stitch it down. Place it back on the pocket base
  11. Attach ribbons inside the lower corners of pocket to tie and secure the sensory add-ons later.  Burn ribbons edges to prevent fraying. Stitch them down at the corners
  12. Place the larger pocket flap over pocket base, sandwiching the ribbons and smaller pocket flap. Pin to secure
  13. The flap is longer than the base, leave about 1cm distance from the base and fold it inside, It is about 2cm seam allowance
  14. Fold 1cm from edge, fold another 1cm and stitch it down. 
  15. Sew along these lines to secure the pieces, from this point to here. The ribbon is secured inside
  16. Do the same for other pocket sections x 2 
  17. Repeat the same steps for the side overlaps x 6 
  18. Going back to the centre overlap, attach the four parts 1, 2, 3, 4 to form the column (as seen in video tutorial)
  19. Working on the wrong sides, pin the bottom of 1 and top edge of 2 together
  20. Flip to the right side and to make sure I do not accidentally sew the pocket, I fold the flap down and pin to secure. 
  21. Attach 1 & 2 by stitching 1cm from edge 
  22. Do the same for 3 & 4. 4 does not have any pocket and it looks like that (as seen in video tutorial)
  23. Next, take the back piece of centre column 
  24. Placing the right sides together, attach both front and back by sewing 1cm down from both sides
  25. Turn it out and the centre column is done. Repeat the same process for all columns
  26. Once done, overlap the columns and secure them at the top by running a stitch across
  27. Take the upper section, the one i sewed at the beginning and attach its front to the front side of columns
  28. Stitch 1cm from edge,  one end to the other
  29. This is how it looks when done, make sure not to sew the pockets into the seam line
  30. Iron press the edge of the back before attaching so that its easier to manage. 
  31. Tuck the raw seams into the upper section and cover, make sure to catch the back piece when pin to secure
  32. Sew right in between and down on the right side, this method is call stitch in the ditch, i’ll stitch till here and leave about 12 cm to insert the stuffing 
  33. Stuff the polyester fill and stitch to close the gap. Run a stitch down the columns to have more compartments
  34. Attach a ribbon at the bottom of each pocket in case the need to secure an attachment later
  35. Place the centre part of ribbon at the stitch line. Pin to secure the ribbon, including the ends
  36. Do the same for all pockets
  37. Run the stitch down for all columns 
  38. Insert poly fill for all columns
  39. Once stuffing is done, run a stitch down each column hem to prevent the poly fill from spilling out
  40. Run stitch lines across the columns to make sure the poly fill don’t move about
  41. For the feet warmer pocket, overlap the columns at the bottom and run a stitch across the hem to secure 
  42. Stitch both sides of feet warmer pocket on the wrong side, 1cm from edge down and turn it out
  43. Attach the front of feet warmer pocket to the front side of columns 
  44. Stitch 1cm from edge from one end to the other
  45. Iron press the edge of the back before so it is easier to manage. 
  46. Tuck the raw seams into the feet warmer pocket and cover, make sure to catch the back piece when stitching. Sew right in between and down on the right side
  47. Flip the feet warmer pocket to the back and finish the edges by handstitching 
  48. Using embroidery thread and needle, sew the edges with the ladder stitch method
  49. Lastly, attach snap button fasteners at the overlap areas so that the blanket will not be too flimsy and there is flexibility to choose which one to unfasten at night



This blanket is useful to attach fidget play components which helps to minimise screen usage before bed by keeping hands busy.

Few ways to use the blanket:
Use the pockets to put in aroma sachets, weighted packets and there is a feet warmer pocket too.
Use the columns as bolsters or tuck out your legs when it gets a little warm a night.
Customise this blanket accordingly to your preferences to get the quality sleep we all need in this fast paced world.

It can be used as a regular blanket as well, don't forget to remove all attachments when washing. :D

Read the documentation of my research and studies here.
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