Tutorial | Contoured Burp Cloths

My Happy Nursery Burp Cloths

I’ve been planning some baby gifts lately and I must say, My Happy Nursery couldn’t’ve come at a better time! After doing a dry run on this simple and stylishly contoured burp cloth, I thought to share the project with you. I made these 4 in under an hour, so it’s a fast, practical but fun, last minute project, too.

You can get 2 burp cloth faces out of a fat quarter (18″h x 22″w), which makes it economical if you made two of the same print per set- or even two sets of assorted patterns. Each is backed in our organic Cloud white flannel (1/2″ yard needed for 4). The flannel not only makes for a more absorbent mopping-up-side (let’s be honest here, these things are intended to be USED!), but also keeps them from sliding off your shoulder. They could be entirely made of flannel of course, but I was looking for simple and effective ways to use our lush My Happy Nursery sheeting. Plus it’s silky soft for little cheeks to lay against when their bellies are full and they want a cuddle.
My Happy Nursery Burp Cloths
The pattern piece can be downloaded here. Print at 100% scale.

You will need to cut out the spacer piece and tape it to the bottom (straight) edge of the pattern. See details in images below- click on image to enlarge.




89 thoughts on “Tutorial | Contoured Burp Cloths

  1. Thanks so much for this pattern – I have my first grandbaby due the end of October and I have made 5 of these out of flannel with fleece in the middle – so soft. Not sure how you made 4 in an hour – each one took me about an hour but love the pattern. Thanks again.

    • The notching just helps the fabric stretch and contour more smoothly when flipped, just like cutting diagonally on a corner to get a nice point when flipped. Hope that helps!

  2. Just made these today and they are lovely. Just wanted to comment that I actually got 3 clothes out of an 18″ by 21″ fat quarter.

  3. feeling a little dumb, here… but, when I turned mine inside out, all of the stitches were hidden inside the burp cloth. so, the burp cloth doesn’t look like the ones you have pictured (where you can see the stitches). …what did I do wrong?

  4. I’ve been making burp cloths for over 10 years, using a figure 8 pattern. Your pattern covers more area from little spit-ups. I use batting to make it softer, thanks again for the pattern. God Bless

  5. Great pattern!! I just made 5 in a little over an hour for my new grandson. As another poster mentioned it covers more area than the figure eight pattern. Thanks for sharing the pattern.

  6. Great pattern. I made some similar in a rounded oval shape. I was worried that when they were washed they would bubble out and need pressing. So, with my “new” brother sewing machine I monogrammed my grands name in a crisscross pattern to keep the front and back together. very cute but they haven’t been washed yet. Thanks for the pattern, I’ll be sewing soon again. We’ll have many burp pads. lol

  7. Did anyone pre-wash the flannel first, or did you wait until after it was sewn to wash the burp cloth? I seem to remember that flannel might shrink a lot after washed….anyone have experience with making these either way?

  8. Ashley M – I would pre-wash the flannel, yes. Actually for this item I would pre-wash all fabrics because of the different rates of shrinkage between the two fabrications. Plus, it’s nice when the recipient gets something “all ready to go”!

  9. thanks for this pattern, I made some and love the contour, I’ve made other styles but this is my new favorite, my daughter will love getting these at her baby shower!

  10. Can you use terry instead of fleece, and cotton on the other? I am new at this and wanted to see who has tried it out. Thanks!

  11. Thanks for the pattern, these are beautiful! I added one more layer of flannel for extra absorbancy and it turned out great.

  12. I made these last week, with 4 different flannel fabrics (1 yard of each) and 1 1/2 yards of white flannel for filler. I mixed and matched the fabrics to make them all reversible and came out with 16 fully finished burp cloths :) they were so easy to put together, the flannel kind of sticks to itself so i never even pinned anything before sewing. I would recommend not forgetting to clip the curves, as it makes it lay flatter when you turn it right side out. all the fabric was half off at joann’s so for $20 I got 16 custom designer burp cloths for my little angel due next month. I love the fact that the flannel kind of clings to your shirt too, keeps it from sliding off. and they are soooooo soft :) its an easy beginner project, i highly recommend doing them in all flannel :)

  13. This might be a dumb question but im not a seamstress! What is the spacer for? Is it to lengthen the printed pattern?

  14. Thank you so much for a terrific and simple pattern! I like that the cloths have a contour in them. I am looking for items to make for my friend’s first grandson and I will definitely be including several of these, since they’re so quick!

  15. I’ve been making a lot of these lately and I ended up adding an extra layer of quilt batting for more absorbency. They’re awesome! And I’m waiting from a friend how well they work since she’s expecting her little one any day now. ;)

    • I added batting to mine & it did not bunch up when washed. The topstitching after you turn the burp cloth keeps the batting in place. It’s such a small project that the quilting isn’t needed.

    • Extra top stitching in the center & then half way between that & long edge, helps in handling the burp cloth. I also added two short stitches about 5 1/2″ on the curved side, when using the batting. Can’t say, enough how much I love this little pattern !

  16. Wow, I’m a novice seamstress, and this was very easy for me to figure out! I look forward to making these for friends in the future! Thanks!

  17. Anonymous
    I was looking for a pattern for these as I had seen them quite a few years ago. Now that I’m expecting my first grandchild next month and my niece just had a baby boy, I will definitely be making a few of these! Thanks!

  18. Thank you so much for sharing this pattern. Now I don’t have to worry about giving the same gift as someone else at the baby showers.

  19. Wondering if those that added the batting noticed a difference in the absorbency? I’ve cut out front/back in flannel and was thinking of adding some batting to help. Comments? Thanks, Wenonah

  20. I think the pattern needs to be rotated before you print. This makes the pattern go the long way down the paper and you get a much bigger burp cloth. Which is why you have to add the spacer b/c the paper is not big enough then. I have made both sizes and bigger is better!

  21. These were a beautiful gift! I added a layer of fleece I had laying around to make them more absorbent (my boys threw up a lot!) I felt like they were really substantial and fancy!

  22. Make sure your printer is set to “landscape.” For some, the automatic setting will be “portrait,” and that makes for a much smaller burp cloth. It will still work, but your clothes don’t get quite the same coverage.

  23. Just a suggestion, but I have used receiving blankets for the fabric. We got so many of them & can only use them so long, so I was able to get 2 burp cloths out of one receiving blanket.

  24. This is a great pattern. I a m not a great sewer but I have made more than a dozen for a friend of mine and am making more for my friends who are having babies. Thanks for sharing such an easy and great pattern design!

  25. Thank you, thank you for putting this out here, for us to use. I have made so many, for gifts. When making mine, I add an extra layer & use batting for some thickness. Then sew two long lines & two short ones, so it is somewhat like the diapers are done. Thank you so much !!!!!

    • Would you mind posting a photo or a link to a photo of how your finished burp cloth looks with the extra lines? Do you mean that the two short lines run perpendicular to the long lines around the burp cloth?

  26. Totally awesome, I can hardly wait to get some made. I work all year crocheting booties, beanies, and mittens for newborns, and little afghans for the older ones that come in ill for lil snuggies while they are sick for charity at the local hospital and get to be Ms. Santa Clause for a day, no name for I want no fame, and I can add this to the bag. Thank you so very much for sharing such an awesome pattern. May God bless you always!!!!

  27. Made a few of these and received many compliments on them. One Mom I shared some with said she would prefer these over the store bought ones.

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  29. Thank you for posting. I was looking to make some baby items for a nonprofit organization that helps homeless pregnant women. I will be able to make up quite a few of these much needed items! Thanks for sharing!

  30. I have my fat quarters and flannel all set to start cutting out but I don’t have a printer. I think i can draw it freehand. My quarters are 18×21. Not sure which fold to lay the pattern on. What are the actual dimensions of the bib? Width at top and bottom, width at center on fold line and length?

    • I’m sure you’ve already done something with this by now, and I don’t have measurements for you as I haven’t made these in a while, but does your local library have printers? I’ve gone to mine when I’m out of ink & can’t print at home. It comes pretty close to filling the whole page (so probably 10 or 10.5″ across the top) and then it’s a good 9 inches from that edge to the fold to make them about 18″ long. Not sure how far in the indent comes. :/

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