DIY: Simple Spring Throw

February 15, 2012

I saw Elisabeth Irwin’s gorgeous wintery wool throws and asked her to design a simple version for Spring. I adore what she came up with — that yellow velvet ribbon! Do you do any sewing? Would you tackle a project like this? — Gabrielle


My family loves having cozy throws around the house to snuggle up in, but as the weather warms up, it’s too mild for a thick wool blanket. I made this simple, ribbon-edged throw to toss over the end of our bed through the spring, and I think that it adds the perfect punch of geometry and color to the room. Plus, it makes a great hiding place for little boys! Isn’t it fun how something quick and handmade can make such a big improvement? Happy sewing!


-To make a 4 x 6 throw, you’ll need two yards each of two coordinating fabrics. I used this Lotta Jansdotter cotton print and a medium-weight linen. If you expect to machine wash the throw, fabrics should be made from the same or similar materials.
-Approximately 7 yds. of ribbon (you’ll need a length equal to the entire perimeter of your throw, plus about 10 inches for overhang). I used 1-inch velvet ribbon, though grosgrain is a more washable choice and comes in tons of colors.
-Thread to match fabric and ribbon
-Basic sewing supplies

Lay pressed fabrics on top of one another, wrong sides facing. Smooth out air bubbles and creases, and cut away any areas where the two fabrics are dramatically different in size (we’ll cut them to match precisely later).

Measure to find the center-width of the stacked fabric, then place pins along this center line down the entire length of the throw.

Stitch together your fabrics along this center line.

Lay your throw on a flat surface and use two hands to smooth the fabrics, beginning at the seam you just created and moving toward the raw edges. Now find the center point of the throw’s width on either side of the seam (these points, together with the seam you already stitched, will divide the throw into fourths) and pin to approximate two more lines running the length of the throw. Stitch along these lines.

Repeat the smoothing process once more, then pin two more lines roughly 1.5 inches from the long edges of the throw and stitch. You should now have five seams total. Press the entire throw.

Now that your front and back fabrics are firmly attached to one another, cut the edges  to your desired final throw size. Make sure that you cut away any selvedge that might peek out from under the edging.

Cut ribbon into four pieces equal to the lengths of each side plus at least 2 inches per side.

Beginning with the short sides of the throw, wrap ribbon around the throw’s raw edges, sandwiching the fabric stack. Work from each side’s center point and move toward the corners.

At ends, fold the ribbon under to the exact length of the side and then sandwich the corner and pin.

Use matching thread to sew down the ribbon to the fabric, stitching as close to the ribbon’s inner edge as possible.

Repeat on the long edges of the throw, treating corners the same way.

Hand stitch the folded ends of your ribbon together to enclose corners, and admire your completed spring throw!

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jillian in Italy February 15, 2012 at 5:09 am

The fabrics and colour combination are beautiful!


2 Ana February 15, 2012 at 5:42 am

Such a wonderful D.I.Y. – I’ve been wanting to buy a sewing machine for years but the truth of the matter is I don’t even know how to sew.


3 my honest answer February 15, 2012 at 6:22 am

I love this – the fabrics and the contrast ribbon look so great together!


4 Jenni Bailey February 15, 2012 at 6:43 am

I love this – Lotta Jansdotter is one of my faves. And I like having sewn but I don’t like sewing much. I might be willing to attempt something like this, though, as I never seem to find lightweight throws that I love.


5 Danielle February 15, 2012 at 7:02 am

So pretty – and so easy! I made something somewhat similiar years ago – a tablemat that covered the top of our dining room table (vs a tablecloth that hangs over the edges), via Martha Stewart. All was great until I washed it and it became lopsided/uneven looking and would never iron flat again. I think the 5 seams in this throw should help keep everything flat – and together!

One question, tho – should I pre-wash the fabrics before sewing?



6 Nicola February 15, 2012 at 8:49 am

You should definitely pre-wash your fabrics, dry and iron them before starting the project. If you didn’t pre-wash your table mat that is probably why it wrinkled up.


7 Christa the BabbyMama February 15, 2012 at 8:14 am

Love the fabric and color choices!


8 Alyson Boehr February 15, 2012 at 9:10 am

too beautiful!!! gotta try this one :)


9 Maribel February 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

Love the colors and the ribbon, fantastic choices!


10 Karen February 15, 2012 at 9:47 am

I can think of places to have these all over my home. And the directions are very clear, thanks! Love the pops of Yellow. The best though is the picture of your little boy at the end. Thanks for sharing, pinning next!


11 Stephanie February 15, 2012 at 10:48 am

Oh, I just love the simplicity of these throws. And her use of ribbon instead of binding tape (which totally intimidates me) is genius! Now…I must hit the fabric store…thanks for sharing, Gabrielle!


12 Sharon @ Discovering February 15, 2012 at 10:50 am

My FAVORITE color combo! I’ve started making baby blankets, mostly to get familiar with my sewing machine, but soon I may feel ready to tackle this.

I love the fact that it will give such a pop of color to a room!


13 hillary February 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I think the instructions should call for 7 yards of ribbon rather than 7 feet. :-) It’s a beautiful project!


14 Sinead Kenny February 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Can you help? I Read somewhere that the worst thing you can say to a blogger or on the internet is “how do I make that”, or something to that affect. So what is the etiquette? If someone posts a tutorial is it OK to copy it? Is it OK to pin it with the plan to copy it? I understand that you can’t copy it and claim it as your own, but can say you made it? If you like the look of something but there is no tutorial is it wrong to try and figure out how its made? I don’t have a blog but I love to pin and don’t want to upset anyone but I do have a board called “what I’d like to make”?

Thank you for you help with this!


Am i breaking any unwritten rules,


15 Elisabeth February 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Oh, Hillary, you’re exactly right! Thank you so much for that catch! It should, indeed, be 7 yards of ribbon. – Elisabeth


16 Design Mom February 16, 2012 at 4:24 am

I just made the correction on the post. : )


17 able mabel February 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Oh how pretty! Love the fabric combo!


18 Emily {The Best of this Life} February 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm

This looks actually do-able, for a race car sewer like myself, yay!
Love the colours and pattern choice here, definitely a perfect Spring throw.
Thanks for sharing :)


19 bettijo @ February 15, 2012 at 9:13 pm

That seems like just my kind of sewing project — something I could finish in one afternoon.


20 Tran Thu Hang February 16, 2012 at 4:11 am

So lovely!


21 Emma July 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I have a question where did you get that yellow velvet ribbon, i cant seem to find any


22 Jayne September 15, 2015 at 7:32 am

So total Newbie sewer. I’ve made a few things but I’ve been winging everything. This is a very great tutorial, so thank you! I do have a question/request. One direction that I thought could be a little unclear: You mentioned finding the center and sewing. Would it be possible to show the finished blanket laid out and possibly (in paint) draw over to show where the stitches are? I’m assuming it makes a quilt like pattern of little boxes but visually seeing that pattern may help. :)


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