On Tuesday, my best friend and former roommate turns 23. We celebrated this weekend with some delicious food, a trip to the lake for some swimming, and some quality kitty time. She is moving far, far away soon, so I wanted my gift to her to be something special and handmade. Since I do not yet have a sewing machine and knitting projects take a long time, I decided to make a no-sew fleece blanket…with some sewn-on decoration.
Alexis and I are both big fans of Doctor Who, so I decided to make a Tardis (police box) blanket. If you have a Whovian friend and basic sewing skills, I would highly recommend this project. It is easily modified and does not follow a specific pattern, but I will show you my step-by-step for those of you interested in making one yourself. I will apologize in advance for the fact that my cats are in nearly every picture — I couldn’t get them to go away. I will also apologize for the darkness of the pictures, since I did all of this at night.
Tardis Fleece Blanket
-2 1/4 yards white fleece
-2 yards dark blue fleece
-1/4 yard lighter blue fleece
-White fabric paint (I used puff paint)
-White thread to match white fleece
-Blue thread to match either of the blue fleeces
-Pins (I used safety pins because I couldn’t find my regular ones)
-Large working space
Step One: Trim
Line up the dark blue and white fleece. It is OK if they are not the same width and if they have ugly selvedges. The edges will become the blanket fringe, and do not need to be trimmed. However, trim off the excess white fabric. This will become your Police Box windows.
Step Two: Make Pattern
Set aside the white fleece and fold the blue piece “hotdog” style (lengthwise). Using a piece of string or rope or whatever else you have on hand, map out the edges of the blanket. Your fringe will be 3-4 inch strips cut out of the edge of the blanket, so you want to make sure you have room for both your windows and your “Police Box” writing. I used two different 8.5×11 pieces of paper to make my window and indent templates, folding them into sizes that looked good and then carefully cutting them out to make sure they had straight edges. I had six windows and three indents on each “door” of the police box.
Step Three: Cut Out Windows & Indents
For the windows: Using the remaining white fleece that you trimmed off before, lay it out lengthwise. Fold your pattern in half and fold one edge of the fleece up (again, lengthwise) until the folded part is the same width as the folded pattern. Pin the pattern onto the fleece and cut around the pattern. Repeat until you have twelve windows.
For the indents: Use the same fold-and-pin process and cut until you have six windows.
Step Four: Lay Out and Pin
Unfold your blue fabric and, using the fold line as a guide, pin your windows and indents in the pattern shown above.
Step Five: Sew
Using the white thread for the windows and the blue thread for the indents, sew each piece on. I entered the fabric from the back to hide the knots and then used a whip stitch. This could easily be done on a sewing machine or with a different (and no doubt neater) stitch. I recommend having something to watch or someone to distract you during this part. It can be frustrating and tedious, particularly with cats who want to eat your thread.
Step Six: Pin Edges
After you have sewn on all of the pieces, match up the white back with the blue front again. Then, measure or eyeball 3-4 inches in all around the edge, pinning every foot or so.
Step 7: Cut and Tie Fringe
Using your pins as a guideline, cut strips 3-4 inches long and 1 inch wide. You will have to cut 3-4 inch squares out of the corners of the blanket. I like to tie as I go when I make these blankets so that they don’t get messy; I advise tying square knots because they will hold best. In order to make the white end up on top every time, I followed the tying pattern of over-with-white, under-with-white. Continue until the entire blanket is fringed.
Step 8: Writing
Using stencils or a steady hand, write POLICE BOX on the top of the blanket, following an image of a police box for reference.
Let dry, and you’re done!
…well, maybe after some lint rolling.