Sweet Dreams :: a banner made from baby clothes

Finally finished today, my freshly six year old daughter will sleep under a banner made from her baby clothes. We started this project sitting on a blanket in the shade one late summer day, each of us with a pair of scissors cutting and snipping her little dresses and tops.  I looked at each garment and remembered her in it, where we had been together and that it was often just that, her and I.  As I cut out the letters, I tried to include as many buttons, seams, pockets and bows that describe all that baby girl cuteness.  We talked about how small she was.  I mostly thought about how similiar she was to who she is now.  Sweet dreams, my love, sweet dreams. 
Following is an easy beginner project tutorial for you to make your own!

Sweet Dreams ~ a banner made from baby clothes
Approximate Time: 5 hours (taking it slow, one nap at a time)

  • baby clothing, fabric scraps or other colorful remnants from which to cut 5-10 letters about 5 x 7" each.
  • patterned background fabrics for each letter in your phrase 7.5 x 9.5"
  • backing fabric for each letter panel (I used muslin, anything light weight will do.) 
  • 2 long strips of fabric (can be strips sewn together) You'll need about 9 inches per letter: 4" x 54" for a six letter word.
Sewing the Banner:
  1. Decide on a phrase for your banner, sweet dreams, goodnight love, sleepy head, dream land...
  2. Choose the size of your letters.  If you need a guide, cut the letters from paper. I recommend 5 x 7" and from this point on, I will give measurements for letters this size, but approximate measurements according to your needs.
  3. Use pinking sheers to cut each letter from the clothing. As mentioned above, I tried to include as many details from the clothing as possible in each letter (buttons, seams, pockets and bows.)
  4. Choose the size for your patterned background fabrics and backing fabric. 
  5. Cut a peice of background fabric and backing fabric to the size needed for each letter: 7.5 x 9.5
  6. Sew each letter onto it's background peice using a small zigzag stitch.  See detail photos above 

7. Add a little embroidered note on the back, I reused one I had left over from before she was born (I love that she was just called "baby".)


Sew right side of letters to backing fabric using a 1/4" wide seam allowance. Starting sewing on the top of one length side, continue to the bottom and finishing at the top on the other length side.

8. Cut raw edges with pinking sheers and reinforce with a zigzag stitch any stitching that got too close to the edge.

9. Turn right side out and press with an iron.  Align all your letters, spelling your phrase correctly ;)
10. Place one long fabric strip right side facing your letters leaving 3" at both ends and sew in place. 

11. Open and press along your seam.  Turn the entire piece over and fold in top of fabric strip 1/4" from the edge and press.   Pin strip into place along the back of your letters. Top stitch this edge on the back of your banner, be sure you have matching thread in your bobbin as it will show on the front.

13. Clean finish the edges of your strip following this illustration from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross.

14.  Hang and remember when they were babies!


  1. What a great promise! Very cute banner. You are so creative. Keep up the good work!

  2. This is such a wonderful project...I can't wait to make one many years from now. Remind me, would you?? Love the blog!! Keep posting!! xo