These are my favorite kinds of blankets, not sure about you. I even have one that is older than I am. My aunt made it for my mom before I was born. Yes, it’s kinda matted. And yes, it has holes in it from our Dachshund who chewed on it before we realized it. Looks like brown swiss cheese 🤣🤣🤣 Whatever your favorite, plush blankets need repairing too sometimes!
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How to tell if there is a hole in your blanket
This should be simple to see where the hole is, it’s either on the seam where the front and back of the plush blankets are sewn together or in the middle of the front or back. But, the way I usually find that there is a hole in the blanket is really funny… It is usually a lump because when washed, little pieces of laundry tend to find their way into the hole. I have no idea how, but it always happens! I really don’t find holes in any other way… In this case when I pulled the blanket out of the dryer, the lump was a washcloth and a sock. This is the same phenomenon of finding things in fitted sheets. I wonder what I could do with all the time, over the course of my life, spent on searching and pulling various items from the corners.
Plush fabric has a ‘pile’, which is the fiber coming off perpendicularly from the fabric. It makes it a 3 dimensional fabric! That pile will likely have directionality to it, meaning it looks and feels different depending on the direction you are looking and touching it. Think about the last time you touched anything velvet or velvety… that is an example of fabric that has pile and nap. I haven’t purposely touched it in years, I HATE IT. Gives me the creeps… blech.
Fabrics that are considered Plush:
Fake (Faux) Fur
Terrycloth (not really blanket material but making a double thick towel would be lovely)
NOTE: Some of these fabrics are stretchy, when pinning, make sure the fabric is note being stretched out of shape.
Get Ready to Fix
Scissors – May need to be sturdy/sharp enough to cut through the fabric if it is frayed, otherwise just needed for thread
Thread – all purpose or heavy/button weight if it’s a super heavy fabric. (If you do not know what thread to use, look inside seam and look at what kind of thread was used to sew it originally)
Hand Needle – the needle should be proportionate to the thickness of the fabric, needle should go through fabric easily, not like pulling teeth…
Blanket with a hole in the seam – plus any laundry stuck in it…
How to start the process:
First, please pull out the laundry or other things stuck inside the blanket. Unless of course you would like to hide something in there, that would be a good place to hide small, soft things like beloved stuffed animals that you want to bring to college but don’t want anyone to know. My mom sewed a favorite plushy into a pillow when my brother went off to college. Thankfully the fabric was breathable 🤣
Mark the hole with a clip of some sort (There is no photo with a clip or anything here, because do as I say, not as I do. I was going to clip but forgot… Yes, it took me a little while extra to do it due to the fact that I forgot the clip) the holes on thick blankets tend to go invisible every time I set it down. Save yourself the time that it takes to look for the hole. To hold the thick fabric together to prep for sewing, you can use clips big enough to hold the pieces together or pin very carefully.
The fabric may automatically fold into place if the hole is smaller, simply by holding the fabric taut between fingers. Like this:
I didn’t pin it at all, simply because I try to cut corners when it will not sacrifice quality. This technique will work better after practice but feel free to do whatever works for you – to pin or not to pin.
Prep your needle
Grab the thread, needle and scissors. We are going to use a needle with doubled thread. If you need to learn or a refresher on threading a needle or tying a good knot for sewing on the thick fabric – check out this post. Depending on the size of your hole, measure out a length of thread double the size of the hole plus a few inches – up to 20-22 inches total (when doubled it would be 20-22 inches so single would be 40-44 inches). When using thread for hand sewing, you don’t want it too long, if it’s too long it will get weak being pulled through the fabric so many times, thank you friction. It is better to do two shorter threads than one longer to close up the hole.
Make a big knot at the end of the thread, make sure that the knot will not pull out of the backside of the fabric. The base fabric for the fake fur will have a very open weave, meaning that a small knot will likely pull out. This needs to be super secure, I for one don’t want to go fishing underwear out of the blankets more than absolutely necessary.
Grab your threaded needle and ‘empty’ blanket. Lay the blanket out completely flat to make sure the sides match up nicely. This is not something you want to do with it dangling in midair. This is mostly what our ping pong table is used for… not so much ping pong happening here…
We will be using the ladder stitch, you can learn how to do it here and here. (two links, one to website, one to youtube for video). This stitch will hide the thread so that the seam looks original and as clean as possible. Plus, sewing in the thick nap of the fake fur naturally hides the thread.
Plush fabric can be a little trickier to sew in the cases of thick pile/nap. Especially with fake fur, you need to make sure the ‘fur’ part is not getting stuck in the seam. It can very easily and it can also get in the way of sewing. You may think that you have secured your stitches properly, but if that knot is caught in the ‘fur’ instead of the base fabric, you will likely have issues later. The knot may feel secure but if it’s only in the fur, it has nothing to hold onto to make it actually secure. Check where your knot lands so that it is snuggled into the base fabric.
Starting on the inside/wrong side of the blanket, insert the needle into the seam line. Make sure the knot is not going through the fabric base. Depending on the fabric, you may not be able to see the seam line easily. So we are going to imagine where the line is in thick fur and keep it in mind and keep checking as you sew along. You may need to trim a little of the fake fur along where the two sides of fabric will touch if you can’t quite see where you’re stitching. Take little cuts so you don’t make the blanket bald… 🤣
I flipped the orientation of the blanket after inserting the needle for the first stitch (shown above). Since I’m right handed, I like to sew towards the left so that I can hold the hole closed with my left hand and sew with my right hand.
After making sure the knot is secure and the thread is coming out the front/right side of the blanket, take the needle directly across hole to the same point on the other side of the hole/seam.
If you find it difficult to pull the needle through the fabric, use a needle gripper thingy, like this or this. Better, yet find a needle that suits the fabric better. Fake fur has a more open weave that you would expect but the fur gets in the way of the thread, sometimes making it harder to pull through.
Continue using the ladder stitch until 1) the hole is closed or 2) the thread is getting short. Stitch only until 3-4 inches remain on the needle if you don’t think you can make it to the end.
Secure the stitches when you reach the end of the hole.
Wouldn’t you know, the day after I finished sewing this blanket, I found another – even heavier fake fur blanket – that needs to be sewn. No laundry inside of it though… not that I can reach anyway seeing as this blanket is HUGE!
Do not iron fake fur – check the care instructions on other plush fabrics – it will melt…
Don’t lose any pins in the plush fabric, ouch…
Don’t forget to set an alarm… these blankets are too cozy!