Way to Sew a Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets come in a variety of sizes and contain a filler that makes them several pounds heavier than a regular blanket. They can help calm people who have trouble sleeping, including people with special needs. The weight feels like a tight hug, which can be soothing. Professional therapists often recommend them to people with sensory processing disorders, and those who suffer from insomnia also use them. These blankets can be quite expensive, but you can sew them yourself from dense fabric and weighted filler. Despite the fact that the sewing process itself consists of only simple straight lines and will take you only a few hours, this project is best suited for intermediate seams, since the weighting of the blanket requires special attention.
In this method of making a weighted blanket with their own hands, small balls are used for stuffing, which are not recommended for children under the age of 3 years. Even if you are doing this for an mature, check the seams regularly so that the beads do not fall out.
What you will need
Equipment / Tools
Tailor’s chalk or your favorite marking tool
Durable fabric front and back
Plastic filler balls (so that the blanket can be washed)
Determine the size and weight of your blanket
A weighted blanket does not have to be as big as a quilt or a quilted pillow. It just has to cover the person who will use it. You will sew squares into the fabric that will hold the weighted filler. They can range from 3 to 5 square inches. This means that the overall fabric dimensions should be a multiple of your square size plus 4 inches for the edges. For example, the blanket in the photos has squares measuring 3 square inches. Its width is 37 inches (3×11 +4=37) and its height is 61 inches (3×19+4=57).
As a rule, weighted blankets should be about 10% of a person’s body weight. If you are sewing a weighted blanket for specific needs, an occupational therapist can help you determine the optimal weight. Once you know what the total weight should be, convert it to ounces and subtract the weight of the fabric. Divide the result by the number of squares in the blanket. This is how much weight you need for each square. The blanket in the photos consists of 209 squares, each of which contains about 1 ounce of plastic filler balls.
Sew the front and back together
Mark 2 inches away from each edge of the fabric. Then mark up a grid of squares depending on the size of the square you choose. (In the example with the blanket, the marking was a checkered fabric.)
Sew the front and back with the right sides (the sides that will eventually face outward) together with a 3/8-inch seam allowance. Sew two long sides and one short side. Leave the lid open.
Then turn the blanket right side out and loosen the seams. Starting and finishing a short distance from the open side, stitch the top line 1/4 inch from the edge. Then, starting from 2 inches from the open side, sew along the marked lines that were 2 inches from the edge of the fabric. Sew two long sides and a bottom. Stitch the back at the beginning and at the end. This inner top stitch will contain a grid of weighted squares.
Sew vertical channels in the blanket
Next, sew all the vertical seams along the marked lines. Starting from the closed bottom edge, start stitching just above the stitching line, which is almost 2 inches from the inner top stitch. Finish the line just above the top 2-inch mark and be sure to make a reverse line at the beginning and at the end.
When stitching these lines, it is useful to start from the center, and then stitch the next lines closer to the center of these slices, and so on. Working in this way helps to prevent sewing from going off the intended path and knocking the fabric into a ball.
Fill the Vertical Channel With Weighted Filling Balls
Place a measured measuring spoon of filler granules in the vertical channel. Remember that the scoop must support the correct weight, based on the number of squares that will be in this channel.
Shake the balls so that their number is uniform throughout the channel. Depending on the fabric, some beads may get stuck in the grooves (flannel tends to stick a lot), but don’t worry about it too much.
Sew horizontally across the filled channel
Use the pins to form a line holding the filler balls in place and away from the marked horizontal line for your squares. You don’t want to accidentally sew one of the beads, as it can break your needle.
Stitch the marked horizontal line. Start just above the stitching line, which is almost 2 inches from the inner top stitch. Finish the line immediately above the inner line from the top on the other side and be sure to make the reverse line at the beginning and at the end.
While sewing, support the weight of the blanket so that it does not stretch the seams. As you move, feel the marked line and push aside all extraneous beads. If you experience any resistance when sewing, most likely, a bead prevented you.
Then repeat the process of adding filler to the vertical channel and stitching horizontally to close the row of filled squares until all the stitches are stitched.
Stitch the open end of the blanket on top
When you reach the top of the blanket, sew the last row of squares closed. This stitch should coincide with the line of the inner upper stitch, slightly overlapping each other.
Fold the edges of the open side about 1/2 inch. Starting and ending where the top stitch on the sides ended, make the top stitch 1/4 inch away from the edge.
Usually all the top lines are executed at the end of the project. But since this project turns out to be quite heavy, it’s much easier to do most of the stitching on top before adding filler, and then finish the top part at the end.
Weighted tips for blankets
Instead of marking squares on a large piece of fabric for the front of the blanket, you can sew squares to make a patchwork weighted blanket. Then sew the channels and rows along the seams.
Sew a small length stitch so that the filler balls remain in place.
Use a strong, thick needle, for example, designed for sewing denim, to reduce the likelihood of needle breakage.
Do not pull or push the blanket while stitching rows. Support the weight and let the sewing machine guides do their job of stretching the fabric.
If possible, move the sewing machine away from the edge of the sewing table. The presence of additional space on the table helps to support the weight of the blanket while sewing.
First of all, sew safely. Pay attention to the location of the pins, make sure that the needles do not break, and keep your fingers away