- Arts and Design
Quick, Simple Fleece Projects: Ponchos and More!
• ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~☃ Warm the Chill ☃~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ •
Wondering About Using Those Fleece Blankets? Think Ponchos and More!
☃ You may ask, “Who doesn't know what to do with blankets?” However, those flimsy pieces of fabric that we see so many of during the winter months are a different bird. It's time to think "poncho!"
Some of those blankets have a nice, neat blanket stitch around the edge, some are printed with seasonal designs--Thanksgiving wreaths, harvest scenes, Christmas trees, snowflakes, and more. Some have fringes, and some are quite plain in design.
Made of some sort of fleece fabric these blankets are lightweight, and sometimes they're referred to as lap warmers. They are actually child-sized blankets, and not very helpful on a cold night, but there do seem to be a lot of them floating around.
Even drug stores have center aisles with piles of these fleece products in them. Visit a nursing home and there will be plenty for everyone. Some are wrapped and tucked under Christmas trees. Using them as blankets, however, seems to be problematic.
They generally stay in their wrapper piled up in a closet, or they find their way to the trunk of a car to have on hand “just in case.” People at nursing homes generally try to send them away with a relative, although homeless shelters might want them.
So, what’s a person to do with their collection of these fleece blankets that do not seem to know what to do with themselves? From ponchos to stuffed pillows and toys, there are many uses for these modern phenomena.
Here’s One Project that will Answer the Question, “How to Use Those Fleece Blankets?”
☃ After finishing my final clean-up of holiday stuff and such around the house, there sat the collection. Folded up fleece blankets of the season were still on the couch. Old ones and new ones waiting my decision for their future. There were a couple really nice ones that I would hold on to, but the others needed a destiny, a chance to do or be something productive.
A few days brought a change of weather and the house was cooler than usual. I couldn’t sit by the fireplace with my Mactop all of the time, and found myself in another room at the desktop. A chill kept creeping in, but I was resisting a yet heavier layer of clothing, and I did not want to turn the thermostat up.
• ~~~~~~~~~~~☃~~~~~~~~~~~ •
Bright ideas sometimes come at the least expected moments. This one was mentally formed in the back of my mind while I concentrated on email. Out the idea popped--it wouldn’t be contained! Such a simple idea for a cozy, lightweight bit of extra warmth that allowed me to be busy around the house with ease.
It's so comfortable that if my grandchildren were here we would float around the house together like flutterbys busily doing this and that together, or I would wrap them in my lap by the fire and read to them, or rock them into their nap times. As it is, I decided to write this hub so you could have a chance to give your unused fleece blankets a new direction in life.
Now that I've used it for a couple of days, I'm beginning to think of my newest creation as a warm apron to wear around the house in the winter. The sides could be tacked our stitched up a few inches, but I like the unencumbered structure for working between the computer and other areas of the house, as well as for easy on/off.
This fleece poncho is now my winter apron design! I'm taller than many women so the "sleeves" are 3/4 length for me, making it easy to stay busy when wearing it. Shorter people might want to cut or fold back and stitch the sleeve area if they want to use this to work in.
☃ Follow These Instructions to Make Your Own Fleece Blanket Poncho/Apron for Chilly Mornings:
• Spread your fleece blanket out and look at its shape and pattern design if it has one.
• Fold in half lengthwise, keeping in mind which side you would like to use for the front.
• With sharp scissors, cut a 1” nick across the center of the fold.
• Cut about 4” down the front side. Do not cut more of the back at this point.
• Next, cut on the fold approximately 4” across each side.
• Check to see whether any of the cuts need to be longer. Do not stretch the cuts while trying the poncho on. It should easily slide over your head.
• If any of the cuts need to be longer, start with the front slit and try the poncho on with each cut. Cut only an inch at the time until the poncho slides easily on and off your head. Be careful not to make cuts so long that the poncho is too open around your neck and shoulders, defeating the purpose of the project.
• You might like to round the corners of the cuts off somewhat, but they can be left as is so they can fold down sort of like a collar cozying up to your neck area
Think Outside the Box and Use Fleece Blankets for Other Purposes
☃ When the first idea for making something with these mysterious fleece blankets dawned on me, my mind began roaming around for more projects to use them in. The web is full of ideas, tutorials, and patterns. Here are a few that make great springboards for new projects:
• This is a sewing tutorial for making fleece socks--a great project for using patterned blankets.
• Here are some sewing patterns for making puppets--a great project for those solid colored blankets.
• This is a sewing pattern for making fleece hats--use solid or patterned blankets. One blanket could make a family batch of warm hats!
• This is a sewing pattern for making vests. I want to try this with a fleece blanket!
• This fleece baby toy tutorial makes a soft tag toy that would make a neat gift bow.
• Here is a nifty fleece dog bed project to use at home or give away to a lucky dog friend.
If you want to buy fleece fabric to use for specific sewing projects be sure to look for high quality grades that are anti-pill. The red advertised at Amazon is a great choice throughout winter, not just the holidays, because a pop of red in any season adds zip to a winter day!
More ideas for using up your stash include designing seasonal throw pillow slipcovers, slipcovers for pet beds, pet jackets and booties, doll clothes, and who knows what else!
If you come up with new ideas please share them with us in the comments section below. If you write a hub on a fleece project please let me know so I can link it to this one.
Most of all, have fun creating something useful out of at least one of those fleece blankets!
☃ Be Sure to Check out Readers' Ideas for Using Fleece Blankets
Don't miss readers' ideas on how to use fleece blankets in the comments section below, and please add your own idea if you have one to share with us.
(Follow the ☃ to the last section of this hub!)
Easy Fleece Mittens
Curved Edge Fleece Blankets
Super Easy Fleece Hat
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