While anticipating the birth of our oldest, I spent about two weeks making up the sweetest set of white and cream cotton burp flannels. As the oldest of Quite A Few Siblings, I knew exactly how useful a good stack of burp flannels could be, as everything from an actual burp flannel to a Mega Milk Flow pad to a changing surface to a soft sleeping pad on the couch. The stack of perfectly folded doubled-flannel rectangles was just lovely, too.
My husband agreed. Not only would they be great for the baby, they’d go on to be excellent dusting cloths, stain rags, gun-cleaning cloths… very quickly, they were not white and cream. They were grey, and sort of oily to the touch.
I made a second set, also in delightful soft colors.
That second set went the Way of Manly Things, and was likewise grey and oiled.
In desperation, the third set was done in pink princess fairy flannel. Perhaps that would give my darling husband, so wonderfully tall, magnificently dark, and oh-so-slightly Neanderthal as he was, the appropriate visual cue that Pink Princess Fairy Flannel Is Not For Daddy.
And glory, it worked.
Ever since, I’ve made burp flannels with a print on one side, and plain on the other, and it’s my favorite baby gift on the planet. I tend to do a set of 12, as I can get that out of just over two yards of flannel. (I ended up making a set of 48 for our youngest, as she was a bit vomity. Just a bit. We’d go through all 48 in 24 hours, too.)
Basic process: pick flannel that won’t communicate Shop Rags to Daddy. Rip it across the grain into 12″ sections. Rip it in quarters, lengthwise. Stack print to solid, right sides together. Sew with a 1/4″ allowance all the way around, leaving about 2″ open on one side for turning. Trim neatly, and turn. Topstitch, closing the 2″ opening as you go. Fold in quarters and stack. Admire.
I like these so well that when I went on a fabric buying hiatus (with the goal of not have to move my Prodigious Stash ever again), it took me nearly four years and 30-some babies (not all mine, good gravy!) before I had to buy any more.
They’re definitely a Nifty.