How to Make a Franken-Blanket

21 Feb 2011

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I swear, this is one of the least-attractive things I've ever made, but it's also proven to be one of the most useful, so I decided to share.

But before the tutorial, a little background: I am always cold. Even in 80-degree weather, I can find a way to need a sweater. Heck, I'm a little chilly right now.

Katin, on the other hand, carries his own internal tropical vacation paradise around with him all the time. So we've always had trouble finding an optimal Winter blanket configuration for sleeping. I needs me some layers of fleece, but that's like a visit to the sauna for him.

So finally, I came up with The Franken-Blanket. Here's how it works:

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To show you the process, I created a small blanket-analog. The green piece represents a fleece or wool blanket, and the blue one represents a cotton blanket.

Lay your blankets flat on the floor and place them one on top of the other. If your blankets are the same size, that's awesome. If they aren't, then line them up along the top edge and let the bottom edges be uneven.

(If the bottom edges are uneven, you may be able to trim them, if your blankets will take that. My cotton blanket is a loosely-woven thing, so there's no cutting it. The bottom of my blanket is extra Frankenstein-y, and I just tuck it in.

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Next, mark a line down the center of the top blanket. This involves some measuring! I used a retractable measuring tape on my full-size blanket, measured in from the side, and marked my sewing line with tailor's chalk.

With the line marked, I added two rows of safety pins, about 3" away from either side. These pins will stabilize the blankets in this mission-critical zone.

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So let's talk blanket-wrangling. I think it's helpful to get a buddy to help you with the next step of this project, because your blankets will be heavy and floppy and large.

I rolled up the right side of my blankets, so they'd fit more easily through my sewing machine. Then, as I was sewing, I had Katin help me manage the left side of the blanket, moving its bulk around as I made my way down the seam. This really helped keep the blankets from pulling out of alignment.

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Anyway. Then I sewed a seam along my marked line, and removed all the safety pins.

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…Then I re-oriented my blankets so I had a double thickness of fleece on one side and a double thickness of cotton on the other. Franken-Blanket!

Now, because the blankets are heavy, that center seam can be a rather weak point in your blanket. So you may want to put the safety pins back along that seam and then sew close to either side, as I've done here.

If you were feeling fancy, you might even quilt the blanket layers together. Or, if you're freezing and just want to get to sleep already, pop this on your bed and enjoy the equitable comfort.

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Comments

I love the idea, he's a furnace and I'm an icebox!


That's so funny! Good to see lots of others have the same temperature mismatch that we do too!


"small blanket analog" has me in stitches! I doubt I will ever read that phrase anywhere else.

Great solution, too. I usually go for the "steal the covers" route. I'm like that, too. I've noticed that the better I control my hypoglycemia the warmer I am.


That's a great idea, Georgene - those wool blankets could be trimmed to any size and snapped right on.


Being from a cold climate, this is a fantastic idea.


Heh! My cat has proven unreliable as a heat source - he says he has a lot of things to take care of at night and can't join me as often as he'd like. :-)


I have been wanting to do this for years, but we've ended up with a multi-blanket solution. We have a sheet, cotton blanket, and two half-sized fleece blankets. Depending on how we feel, we each may have a different sandwiching of blankets over us. In the summer, we each have our own sheet or blanket. I was worried that separate blankets would inhibit cuddling, but that is not the case. :) And, honestly, I prefer the separate blanket thing because my sleeping partner spins toward the outside all night and window-shades the blankets around himself.


Love the name! Too funny!


OMG, this is HILARIOUS! (and practical)


So funny! Thanks for sharing!


Thank you for sharing! And poor Diane... perhaps the German (or maybe middle European) way would be more suitable for you. We both have our own pillow and blanket - for a good sleep perfect (here it is unusual to have one big blanket for two).


Really, Bianca? That's a great system! I'm such a big fan of good sleep. :-)


It is a great system, have used it for years. I'm a big fan of decent sleeping, too. And huge beds, too, lots of room. Men and women should not share bathrooms, closets, or blankets!


First, the bed with different firmness settings and now this! Great idea! Must have one ...


Totally cool! And warm! I've thought about doing something similar, but never though of just folding the blankets in half and leaving them that way after stitching.


After making it, why not put it into a duvet to hide the frankenstein-y-ness? Best of both worlds...
http://www.allfreecrafts.com/sewing/duvet-cover.shtml


GENIUS! This would end so many bed wars in my house. Then we could move on to our next sleep enemy: entitled kitties. =) Thanks so much for the details, I'll be linking.


Brilliant! :D


OMG, what a great idea!


OMG, what a great idea!


OMG, what a great idea!


OMG, what a great idea!


Can I just name my next child Frankenblanket? Marvelous! Everyone would warm up to him!


Hi, Kelli - Thanks so much! You know, at this time I don't have plans to make a franken-sheets tutorial, but the process for making the flat sheet could be exactly the same as making the blanket. (Or, you could cut each of the sheets in half down the center and sew them together, creating two franken-sheets.)

For the fitted sheet, you're into something quite a bit more complicated, as I suspect you'd want to take out the elastic and then re-install it after you joined the sheets, and that would involve opening up the casing at both ends and then re-sewing it. But you might try this: how about getting a piece of flannel that measures the same as half of the top of your bed, and then spreading this out on the mattress pad before you put your regular fitted sheet down? That way, you have the extra insulation with much less sewing!


Thank you for the instructions, which I may very well try.

Just wanted to add a comment about you being always cold.
I was like that too - until I got my thyroid checked and straightened out.
Many women have an under-active thyroid which can make them feel chilled all the time. And make their voice hoarse, cause weight gain I think ... and probably a hot of other things I cannot think of at them moment.)


Hi there! I love this idea and it would be perfect for my husband and I. I was wondering if you could post a tutorial on how to make "Franken-sheets as well...the fitted kind that is. Our temperatures vary so differently from each other that we need a whole bed spread!! Thanks


Oh my -- had a good laugh at this, love the name and gave me pause...Perfect creation for the cold/not cold couple!


I didn't understand at first,but then I looked again at the real blanket. It's perfect for hot flash ladies! One min. ur too hot,throw the top layer off cause u still want coverage. Cold right afterwards? Grab the flap and cover up more. Love it!


This is perfect!! I am in the same situation, always cold, but married to my own personal heating element. I can't wait to try this! Thank you for posting it!


So I'm a little late to the comment party, but I had to throw my two cents in :). My husband is nearly always so hot that all he sleeps with is a sheet so even the double thickness of the cotton blanket (or the duvet as someone already suggested) would probably be too hot for him...and honestly a double thickness of fleece would probably be too hot for me too, even though I'm usually freezing. My suggestion (and keep in mind I have not tried it yet) is to get a cotton blanket that fits your bed, and a twin-sized fleece blanket. Lay the fleece blanket over half of the cotton blanket, matching up edges, and sew all the way around. Alternatively, so that you wouldn't risk the two layers bunching up and so that you wouldn't have to navigate the corners, you could sew a series of parallel lines down the length of the two blankets.

This would have the added benefit that as long as you put the blanket on the bed with the fleece side down, you wouldn't have quite so much of a frankenstein look...and if the parallel lines down only have of the blanket looked just horrible, you could simply sew more parallel lines down just the cotton half of the blanket...


I solved this problem with a twin-sized electric blanket on just my size on our King sized bed. That way I can crank up the heat to any temperature I want while hubby sleeps with the sheet and sometimes in very cold weather, he will pull up the light comforter.


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