Snuggly Valentine Project: A Cuddle Bug Built for Two
January 26, 2014
Valentine's Day is approaching, but because this winter has been ridiculously cold, all I can think of are projects to keep me warm. Even so, I have to give credit for this one to my dear friend Phred, who, when I said, "What's a romantic stitching project?" immediately came up with a sleeved blanket for two people. Hilarious and genius! I will totally make these for couples I know. They'll either love the idea or laugh at it, but both are wins in my book.
When I first made a Cuddle Bug several years ago, I wasn't sure how I felt about this craze. I am now a convert. I LOVE being able to use the remote while curled up in my little cocoon without having to send my poor arm away from the comfort a cozy blanket. I can also administer scritches to the cats while keeping totally toasty. What's not to love? Add my beloved to the equation, and it only gets better.
This project takes a little less than 5 yards of fleece. If you're making it for tall people, you might want to cut it a little longer.
-Cut two pieces 1 2/3 yards each for the Cuddle Bug body. You'll basically be assembling two blankets and then joining them.
-About 15 inches down from the top of each body piece, cut 2 circles 10 inches in diameter. See the diagram above for placement. The sleeve holes are skewed off center because you'll eventually join the pair of blanket pieces together along the edge 7 inches away from each hole. This way, two people can sit side by side and still have plenty on each side to tuck around them.
-Cut two 25-inch long pieces along the grain.
-Cut the 25-inch in half lengthwise, so you have four sleeve pieces which are each 25" by approx. 30"
-Finally, cut two rectangles 8.5 by 11 inches. These will be made into pockets for the front of the Cuddle Bug for stashing remotes, smartphones or even snacks (I'm not going to judge).
Most fleece has a funky distorted selvage edge -- just trim that right off. I tie mine into little bundles for the cats to play with:
-With the right side up, fold down about 1 inch at the top of the pocket. Sew along all edges 3/8 inch from the edge, leaving the folded edge unstitched.
-Flip your fold to tuck in the seam allowance and stitch close to the raw edge to form the top of the pocket. The stitching around the edges of the sides and bottom of the pocket will help you turn the raw edges under without entering the danger zone of pressing fleece -- the stitching sits at the fold line.
- Center the pocket piece between the two arm holes and stitch around the sides and bottom. I set mine about 10 inches down from the arm holes, but if you want your pocket to sit further up the chest rather than in the lap, you can of course move it. I stitched first at 1/8 inch from the folded edge, and then a second time at 1/4 inch from the edge. Then I added a vertical stitch to break the big pocket into two smaller sections.
-Fold each sleeve in half lengthwise, and stitch closed along long edge.
-Sew the sleeves into the sleeve holes, orienting the seam towards the bottom and easing in as necessary.
(Since fleece is so easy to work with, I don't even bother with pins or clips on this step - just go for it!)
-Once your sleeves are in place, it's time to join the two sections at the center. I like to stitch mine with one side overhanging the other a little, then I fold it flat and stitch the seam allowance down.
-If desired, finish the edges of the blanket body. I hemmed mine, but you can leave them unfinished, serge them, or fringe them.
I'm short (5'3") and my husband is 5'10" -- so you can see that this length won't fully cover his feet if we're stretched out, though it also won't trip us up when we stand. If you want a longer blanket for more coverage, be sure to factor that into your fabric allowance.
And now it's TV time!
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