Tutorial | Contoured Burp Cloths

We’ve been planning some baby gifts lately and we 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, we thought to share the project with you. These 4 went together 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, too.

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.

183 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!

    • Notching helps when you have rounded corners to allow the fabric to lay flat. If not, it has a tendency to pucker. This eases and allows the fabric to relax and give you a nice rounded corner.

  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?

    • when Mother taught me to sew, She told me to ALWAYS wash fabrics before i cut out patterns… “You don’t want Your project to shrink after You’ve sewn it!”

      burp cloths are great~ will make some for my two nieces! thanx for the pictorial!

  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.

    • I have cut out two today. I used my embroidery machine and personalized them. I used towels and sweatshirt material. Since the baby’s father (my grandson) is a die heart LSU fan, I embroidered Future Tiger with the paw print. Lettering is purple and paw is gold. On the second one, I used deer antler design and then added his monogram to the design. Instead of turning and sewing, I am going to use camouflage bias tape on the one with the monogram and LSU fabric (but in bias strips) for the other. Love the pattern.

  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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  41. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tutorial and your pattern!
    I made 8 last night and have 8 more tops (have to get more flannel). I spent $15 at the fabric store and I’ll get 16 cloths.
    I just wanted to point out that I sewed some with the flannel up (towards the machine foot) and the last few I put the flannel down (and had the cotton against the machine foot). I found that it was easier to sew with the flannel down. Rounding the corners was cleaner, less bunching, and it made for a prettier finished product. Same with the topstitch, after notching and turning. I humbly suggest sewing with flannel down.
    Also, when deciding which way to orient your printed/patterned fabric, which side do right-handed burpers burp their babies? Left? I oriented my one-way patterned fabric so that it would look correct on the left shoulder. In your picture it looks like the pink birds and sweet elephants are oriented for the left shoulder.
    Thanks again and God bless!

  42. I cannot print this burp pattern out. Can you give me the dimensions. Someone wrote to another person it is 10-1/2″ wide and 18″ long. What is the size of the indent?

    thank you for your help.

  43. These were easy to make and I think that I could probably make 3 or 4 an hour. Cutting out the fabric takes the longest part. I used flannel and fleece, I think. I also used contrasting thread for the top stitching. Thanks for the instructions!

  44. This was my first successful sewing project! I am so excited to have made my first burp cloth for baby #1! Yes, it took an hour, but that included setting up the new sewing machine and sewing super slowly. It will be much quicker next time.

  45. I have used this pattern for 3 years and it is definitely a go to for baby gifts. Often instead of sewing and turning inside out I just serge the edges. I also if ten use a middle layer of plain white flannel for extra absorbency.

  46. I am also very new to sewing, and a little confused on the 1″ spacer. Please clarify after taping the 1″spacer to the straight line on the top portion of the pattern where do I line up the bottom portion of the pattern to the spacer in order to connect the 2 together? Do I tape it to the bottom edge of the spacer?

  47. I have seen these many times and never made them thinking they are so simple and left them for others to gift. Well my beautiful, wonderful, well you get the picture, daughter n law is wanting to learn to sew and is so fearful. She is left handed and everything is a challenge for her. I have been showing her the tutorial on quilting with Jenny Doan (a lefty and I love her) that has gotten me to quilt. I learned from Jenny, that, I am a learner from watching, not from following all the books I have bought on quilting. As I taught myself to sew, as well, over 41 plus years ago. I enjoy the simple things in life, like making purses,sewing my clothes including m. clothes, baby clothes, gifting baby crib fitted sheets, kitchen items, stuffed animals, Ginny Lind Rocking Chair Cushions, clothes for kids in daycare, homemade Christmas and birthday gifts,church secret sister gifts, curtains in my new home, the popular pillow cases and recently the MUG RUGS! Thank you so much for the super easy pattern for the burp cloth, it will be of great pleasure to use in teaching a new beginner to sew. Also the burp clothes that my daughter n law will be making will be for her niece and my great grant son due in June. Baby show in May. Thank you for Tutorial

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  49. I volunteer at a baby pantry for needy expectant mothers. A group of us made burp cloths to put in the bottle kits given out at the pantry. Much more cost effective, and nicer than purchased burp cloths. Thanks for the pattern.

  50. I am expecting a grandchild any day now and my daughter wants homemade items for the baby. I came across your pattern for burp cloths and thought I would give them a try. I must say your pattern is excellent – the sizing is perfect. Thank you for sharing your pattern. I am definitely going to make a few more.

  51. I have checked several patterns and yours is the best!! One question: In a test using a piece of flannel, it seems water just rolls off of it – even after pre-washing. Is terry cloth better?? Or what am I doing wrong. Thank you so much for your great pattern.

  52. thanks for sharing this I have a granddaughter coming in January and a great niece coming in March so I will be busy making these…can’t wait to get started…

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  60. Since I ‘found’ this pattern early this year I have made dozens of these burp cloths for new babies. At our annual Christmas Eve family dinner my niece mentioned to me how much she loved this design over her other burp cloths. Made my day.

  61. Love the easy pattern! I just made two using cuddly fabric for the front and a thick towel for the backing! Now, I’m going to try flannel and cuddly fabric. Thanks!

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  65. If I make burp cloths from your “Contoured Burp Cloth” pattern, may I sell them and if so must I put your credit on the label?

  66. Thank you for this pattern! Our church sewing group is making them for a local program that works with women who have high risk pregnancies. One of their big pushes in the community this year is breast feeding, so these are perfect. They are easy enough for all levels of sewist in our group and the new mothers love them! Thank you so much!

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    • Thanks! It’s from one of our suppliers. There are probably a lot of places to have similar made in smaller runs. Check out Etsy for starters!

  69. When you add the spacer, it will essentially look like a half a pattern. After adding spacer, it says “place this edge along fold of fabric” so you will be cutting out a mirror image basically. So when you unfold it, you will have the shape shown here. Hope that helps!

  70. I didn’t see the the seem allowance what is it? And is the pattern supposed to be printed on landscape? Because when I print it it’s rather short even when the spacer is added.

    • I’m sure this reply is probably after the fact. The seam allowance is 1/4 inch. The pattern should be printed on landscape so that it is wide enough, also whenever I tried to print it in portrait format it cut off part of the side and probably wouldn’t be wide enough. If you don’t think it’s long enough you could probably try adding another inch or two where you add the spacer.

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  73. I love this patten have not made it yet but a friend is having twins soon so I am definitely going to make them for her

  74. Thanks for the pattern! I have been making plain rectangle ones for a while but I love the coverage of this shape. I have made a bunch for friends and recently for my own son as well.

    My go to fabrics are patterned flannel and a cut up towel. They are cute and the terry cloth side absorbs really well!

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  78. I just made twelve of these! I was only able to get 3 pieces out of 1/2 a yard because I made the middle section a little longer, so I ended up needing 4 yards total, but for $14 on sale, it wasn’t bad! They turned out wonderfully. After cutting out the fabric, I was able to make all 12 in about 4 hours, with breaks. I made them out of flannel on both sides.

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  88. I used the 100% sizing and landscape layout. When I cut out the burp cloth, it measures 15 3/4 x 10 before any sewing. Someone on here said their finished size was 17 x 8. What is the finished size suppose to be.

    • Ours measure to be around 16 1/4 x 7 1/2″. Did you add the 1″ spacer that is included in the pattern? This makes the burp cloths longer.

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  90. Thank you for this pattern! It was a big surprise for me,when i found it.
    I will sew it for a little boy.

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  92. I just made these. Very easy tutorial. I increased the template size and they came out 10″x17″. For the record, I never wash my flannel. It doesn’t shrink that much and my items are not misshapen . They wash up fine. I do wash cotton fabric prior to sewing but have not seen shrinkage with the flannel.

    • Fabric, including flannel, has many chemicals, including formaldehyde, on them that is used in the manufacturing process of turning fiber into fabric. All fabric should be laundered before sewing, especially fabric that will be used by babies.

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  97. Make sure you flip the pattern over for the back side of the burp cloth, unless your one side is a plain fabric.

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  100. Just made these burp cloths for my first grandchild! I assembled the pattern and then cut it out of cardboard so I can use over and over! I used flannel on one side and terry on the other and they turned out great and are super absorbent. Thank you

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