Free Baby Swaddle Pattern Easy Tutorial

baby swaddle patternThis baby swaddle pattern and tutorial has been requested by many of our readers over the past few months.  I have tried to make the baby swaddle pattern both easy to adjust and to sew. Hope you enjoy it and put it to good use either with your own family or as a gift for a friend.

I credit many more hours of sleep to the baby swaddle, a humble practice dating back to the discovery of linen –I am sure somewhere around 4000 to 4500 years ago.   You can read more about why we use the baby swaddle by reviewing the article.  Please have a look through and contribute to the many reader comments which are very informative.

baby swaddle

My own earliest recollection of the swaddling practice was when I was very young.  My mother was swaddling my baby brother using a very thin blanket.  It looked to me at the time like she was wrapping up a birthday present.  Surprised at what she was doing, I asked if she have had enough of him and was she giving the baby away?   She quietly replied, “I'm only doing this so he can stop hitting himself and stop crying.”   I could sense the edge in my mom's tone indicating that she was tired and needed to be left alone at that point.

baby swaddle pattern

A couple of decades later and I had my own baby.  The first one could only be swaddled for about 6 weeks, after that he would become irritated and cry as loud as he could, so I stopped.  When the weather got cold I got him to sleep in a sleeping bag with no arms and he loved that.

baby swaddle patternMy second child was swaddled for about four months since she was premature and needed a lot more wrapping.  The neonatal nurses at the hospital in Sydney highly recommended swaddling.  Also, my mother, who had come to give a hand with the baby, reminded me that this simple practice would give me extra hours of much-needed sleep.  Unfortunately, the commercial swaddles available then (15 years ago) were much too big, so I could only use a blanket.  It did not help that my daughter was born in Australia and the babies there are usually pretty big.  Once she was born, I simply didn't have the time to make a baby swaddle myself, but this is your opportunity to do it now!

baby swaddle pattern

In this design, I have tried to take into consideration that most babies roll at different stages and it is hard to make a one-size-fits-all.  To try to address this, I have graded the pattern in two sizes.   The smallest should fit a newborn and the larger size for bigger babies.  You can also adjust the pattern yourself if you want. I hope you enjoy the project.

baby swaddle pattern

Key Features:

  • Easy to make
  • Graded in two sizes for newborns and larger babies
  • Optional zippered bottom for easy diaper changing

Materials

  • 1 yard of the softest Jersey you can possibly find, bamboo fabric or organic cotton combed jersey.  I have included some suggested fabrics below.
  • Jersey bias tape or make your own with this kit and our tutorial Make continuous bias binding tape.
  • thread to match
  • velcro
  • 16″ invisible zipper
  • ball point needle

Suggested Fabric Options

 

Download the Free Pattern

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Download the Free Pattern

You can download the pattern for this Baby Swaddle from our account at Craftsy.

For help downloading and printing PDF patterns, please CLICK HERE.

Printing the baby swaddle pattern and cutting the fabric

Print the baby swaddle pattern in landscape.  Use Adobe Reader and print using actual size.  Do not scale.

Mark all the notches on the pouch.  You will need them.

Take note:   This baby swaddle pattern has the arms of different lengths for better wrapping.  The left side is longer than the right.baby swaddle pattern

Baby Swaddle Pattern Finished Measurements

The length measurement is without the head and width is arm span.

  • Small:       length 19″ x width 25″
  • Medium: length 21″x  width 27″

Step One: Attaching the invisible zipper to make the gusset

Both sizes use the same size zipper.  The gusset size changes to accommodate.

Small  

  1.   Two strips of Jersey fabric 15″ x  1 1/2″
  2.   Two rectangles 6 1/2″ x 2″
  3.   Two strips 15″ x  1″ stay knit tape

Medium 

  •   Two strips of Jersey fabric 18″ in length and 1 1/2″ width
  •   Two strips 8″ x and 2″ in width
  •   Two strips 18″ x  1″ stay knit tape

This is a very easy way to attach the zipper.  Just align the edge of the zipper tape with the fabric and use your invisible zipper foot.  Just remember to pin the zipper to the sides that have the knit tape. baby swaddle patternbaby swaddle pattern

After you have sewn the zipper, cut the zipper to 15  1/2″.  Do include the ends of the zipper.end of zipperUntitled design(12)

We will add the rectangles to finish the gusset. 15 1_2_(1)Place the gusset (zipper) print side up and pin the rectangles to the gusset (zipper) print side down and sew at 1/2″.  The length of your zipper should now be 14  1/2″ after sewing with the two seam allowances.   baby swaddle pattern

The length of your gusset with the zipper should be 27″ for medium and 25″ for the small.baby swaddle pattern

Hide the zipper seam allowance with bias tape. Fold the other end of the gusset 1/2″ then another 1/2″and iron.  There is no need to sew because the edge will be hidden.

This is how it will look from the inside.Untitled design(13)

Step Two: Attaching the gusset to the pouch

Lay the pouch piece print facing up.  With wrong side together, align the center of the gusset with the lower center notch of the main body.  Refer to the pattern.

Pin all around and sew at 3/8″.  The seams will show on the right side, this is correct.

Apply bias tape so the seam edges will not be shown.  Start on the side by pinning your bias tape on the front side of the pouch to 3/8″.Untitled design(10)Trim the seam allowance without the bias tape by half to reduce the bulk when sewing the bias tape the second time.  Catch the back of the bias tape very close to the edge for best results.

Untitled design(5)

IMG_1927

Step Three: Applying bias tape before assembly

Apply bias tape to the arms and the neck.  We will start with the arms.  If you need a review on applying bias tape around curves, please review our tutorial called Use bias tape for a neckline or armhole facing, which illustrates the same process.

Place the arm wrap print side up.

Untitled design(7)

Open the tape and pin the short side of the tape.  Start on the left-hand side corner.  Pin the tape all around it and sew at 3/8″.  Remember: Right side of the fabric, place the tape facing down. Do not stretch the tape, it will cause the fabric to roll. right side of fabricBefore you fold the tape to sew again, make a few nicks about every inch apart.  This will help both the fabric and the tape lay flat. Untitled design(8)Fold the tape and sew.

Pin the tape on the right side of the fabric of the neck and sew.  Fold the tape and sew again very close to the edge.  Be careful your stitch will show on both sides, but the most important one is one the outside. Untitled design(2)

This baby swaddle pattern has a back seam for the shoulders.  We can either apply bias tape there or use the serger to make the seam look good.  For those of you without a serger, use zigzag.

Step Four: Sewing the arms and pouch to the body

In order to have a clean finish, it is important to pin both arms and pouch before sewing.  Place the body of the baby swaddle print side down

Start with the arms and pin the longer arm to the left.  This is the one that will wrap the baby first and have the Velcro outside.  The shorter arm goes on the right and is the arm that wraps on top and closes the swaddle.  Do not sew yet.

IMG_1949baby swaddle pattern

Pin the pouch to the main body, print side out.  We will attach bias tape from the shoulder seams around the end of the pouch back up to the shoulder.  Pin the tape right side down on the left side of the seam allowance.  Continue around and to the other shoulder pinning continuous bias tape.

We still are not sewing as we're going to be joining the four pieces (two arms, pouch, and body) all at once.IMG_1954 Now that everything is pinned together, sew the three layers together at 3/8″.  Trim the seam allowance by half.  IMG_1956Fold the tape back and sew from the front making sure you catch the other side.

baby swadle pattern

Step Five: Adding the velcro referring to the baby swaddle pattern

We're going to be sewing Velcro in three places as shown on the pattern.

(As an alternative, if you could get hoop and loop fabric –it is a knitted fabric, rather hard to find and a bit expensive– you will be able to give this swaddle a softer look.  It works well with the Velcro and I would use the hook and loop fabric instead of the loop part of the Velcro.)

Use a medium zigzag to sew the velcro.Untitled design(14)

This is the hook side of the Velcro is the scratchy side.

This is the loop side or soft side of the Velcro.Untitled design(15)

This baby swaddle pattern can be easily adjusted to the size of your bundle of joy.  You may even choose not to use the zipper option if you want to make the project simpler.  However, I found with my experience of two kids, that newborns hate diaper changes because of the drastic change in temperature on their body.  Completely un-swaddling them to do the diaper change makes the already cumbersome task into an unpleasant one.

No one can tell you to use a swaddle.  Only you can make that decision.  For my experience, less crying and more uninterrupted sleep was enough to make me listen to my mother and nurse and use the swaddle.

I do not know if I ever said thank you to the Australian nurse that taught me how to swaddle my son, but I will now.  If you, worked at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney in February 1999 and gave a hand with my baby, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I had a great time working on this baby swaddle pattern.  As usual, I will look forward to your comments and ideas.  That is what makes the pattern better and gives other points of view to the project.  The hardest bit about it was to do the photoshoot with the baby…

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baby swaddle pattern

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36 Responses to Free Baby Swaddle Pattern Easy Tutorial

  1. J. Merza says:

    I love the swaddle concept and found the open bottom option interesting, Thank you for the creative push and the wonderful master pattern!

  2. Penni says:

    I am trying to print the directions but I am not able. Please help

  3. Lydia says:

    I am making my own Jersey bias tape; but I can’t find anywhere how much is needed for the Baby Swaddle. Can anyone tell me?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      You need to measure every single piece of the pattern to get to the exact amount. As you can see it is a lot. I made 6 yards for this pattern but not used them all, Sadly, i did not measure the amount I used and gave the swaddle away.

  4. oma duhon says:

    Where do you use the stay knit tape? I read the instructions more than once and cannot find where to use it.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I have taken it out, not important and not needed. I used it to sew the zipper but if you cut the fabric on a straight grain line you will not need it.

  5. Debra says:

    Instead of a zipper can you use Velcro?

  6. Cheri says:

    I’m a visual type of learner… and your video tutorials are great, but when I went to look up the baby swaddle tutorial, all I got was the pdf file.

  7. Kathleen Vondra says:

    I can’t find the pattern!! It says it’s on page 2 but I can’t seem to find page 2.

  8. Joan Jacobs says:

    Hi Mayra, Thank you for your help. I’m happy to say I have now found the directions and also the layout of the pattern pieces. It kinda stretched my brain cells but I did it. Thanks so much and will enjoy seeing what else you post.
    Thanks again. Joan Jacobs

  9. I have tried to print out the pattern but i am not sure what i am doing wrong… all I can find is pattern to print to A4 which doesn’t measure anywhere near what finished measurements say? please help

  10. Rosann says:

    On step 2 where it says “trim the seam allowance without the bias tape” – if we are putting the bias tape all the way around which part doesn’t have the bias tape?

    Another question – On the picture with the arms it looks like you have some sort of liner and I don’t see any reference about it. Am I seeing it correctly?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hello Rosan, do not cut the bias tape, just the fabric. This is to reduce the bulk so you can turn the tape neatly and it looks good on both sides. As for the other question, there in no liner, the fabric is printed so one side is white the other the green with the stars.

      • Joan Jacobs says:

        Are there directions someplace on how to assemble the swaddle? I haven’t found them Joan Jacobs

        • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

          Hi Joan, the instructions are in the blog article with a step by step instructions.

          • Joan Jacobs says:

            I guess I’m the only one that doesn’t know how to access the blog Please let me know. Sorry to be so dumb. Joan

          • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

            Hi Joan, not at all, not at all. Sorry for any confusion and thanks for asking. We don’t always publish the instructions as a separate .pdf and we ask readers to just go through the instructions directly on the website. Sometimes we’re able to put videos there that help the readers so it is easier for them, although I don’t think we have a video yet for this pattern. Not sure if that makes sense?

  11. Rosann says:

    Is there a tutorial video for the Baby Swaddle? I am in the midst of making this but want a little clarification before going forward. Thanks

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Rosann, there’s no tutorial at the moment. Please feel free to ask your question here so everyone can read the answer. Others may have similar questions.

  12. Pat says:

    I swaddled my daughter when she was a baby. My Mom had told me it was important for the baby as it felt like it was in the womb. She did not like the idea of blankets on babies too young to turn it’s head to smother and breath in the fluff from blankets. My daughter swaddled my three Grandchildren. Thank you for the pattern. I have a niece who expecting and look forward to make her some.

  13. tea robroson says:

    Love the swaddle. And I agree with R de Ayala. The optional zipper bottom designed to change diapers is brilliant. Thanks for all your creativity

  14. Mary says:

    Thank you for baby swaddle pattern just love it and easy to make since my skills with sewing are easy and simple. I made a practice one first before I make it for my good friend and it was fantastic again thank you loved the video also

  15. Sharron Farnell says:

    hi Mayra, I am looking forward to making a swaddle for my soon to be born great grand daughter. However I am having trouble downloading the pattern and printing it out. Could you please help? many thanks
    SharronF

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Sharon, In order to print the pattern from Craftsy, you need to use preferably a computer, use adobe reader to print the pattern. Please use actual size and do it on Landscape.
      If you are still stuck here is a comprehensive article on how to go about it. Any further help, please drop me a line any time.

  16. pattym7@comcast.net says:

    This is a terrific idea!! Want to make one right away. Could you possibly email me the instructions for sewing up this adorable pattern? I’ve printed the pattern pieces out & can’t wait to make one. Thanks so very much. Warmest regards, patty

  17. R de Ayala says:

    Mayra, Thank your for sharing your ideas, I have 3 babies coming and this will be the perfect gift.

  18. SonjaW says:

    Thank you for the baby swaddle pattern. It came at the perfect time, I’m in the process of making a few things for my nephew and this has been added to the list. The zippered bottom for easy diaper changing is brilliant!!

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