Tips for Sewing An AnyTime Topper from a Blanket

In an hour or two you can upcycle a blanket in to a amazing Topper. This AnyTime Topper Pattern will be your new favorite fashion. Perfect for sharing your sports team colors (Go Chiefs!) or creating a cozy DIY gift!

Hi fellow vintage textile lovers! Thanks for hopping over to read more about my viral sensation – the upcycled blanket AnyTime Topper! If you haven’t seen the posts – be sure to check out my Instagram. I can’t wait to answer your questions and give you my best tips on how to make your own Team Spirit Topper, but first, how about a brief history of the American Milling Industry? 

A few years ago, while at Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon, I had the amazing opportunity to visit and tour the Pendleton Woolen Mill with my Mom and Rhonda Pierce of Schmetz Needle. It was truly awe inspiring. Let me tell you a little bit about this amazing 234 year history….

Photo of Pendleton Mill and photo of Amy, Donna and Rhonda from Schmetz Needle
L: Rhonda, my Mom, Donna and me on the Pendleton Tour R: Some of the oldest buildings on the Pendleton property
Once upon a time, America was the true leader in the global textile industry. The first water-powered spinning textile mill was built in 1790, but things really took off a few years later in 1793 when Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. This revolutionized (and sped up) the process of sorting the cotton seed from cotton fiber and by 1870, there were over 2,000 woolen and cotton mills weaving textiles throughout the United States. When the Pendleton Woolen Mill opened in 1909, it was still one of more than 1,000 mills in the US.
Photo of vintage labels on wool blankets Faribo, Amana, Pendleton
Milled in the USA Vintage labels (L-R) Pendleton Woolen Mill/Oregon, Faribault Woolen Mill/Minnesota, Amana Woolen Mill/Iowa

Things progressed successfully for decades. Even in the 1960s, American textile companies were still producing 95% of bedding and clothing in the United States. 

But the American textile industry began to slow down in the late 1990s and the bulk of textile factories were closed by 2009. 

With the American textile industry now focused primarily on advanced, technical materials – only a few traditional textile mills still operate within the United States today, primarily the Amana Mills in Iowa and the Pendleton Mill in Oregon. Pendleton still operates two of the few remaining woolen mills in the country and it is a true history lesson if you get to experience a visit yourself. I really hope you do!


Pendleton Mill Store Portland and Pendleton vintage reversible skirt
The Pendleton Mill Store had some great vintage advertisements!

Before we jump to the Q&A – I wanted to show you a few of the blankets I have thrifted recently. I tend to look for blankets in my favorite team colors but you can find them in a rainbow of options to suit your own taste or team. I can’t wait to see what you find in your hometown!

Vintage Wool Blankets examples for AnyTime Topper

Now, let’s get to the AnyTime Topper blanket Q&A!

Red Wool Blanket AnyTime Topper

How big does my blanket need to be?

The minimum size you should use is approximately 36” x 44”.  If you are a smaller person you may get by with a smaller blanket and likewise a larger person may require a larger blanket.  This is such a simple design that it is easy to adjust the pattern instructions to your particular blanket. Keep in mind, you can make the length of the topper any measurement you prefer. It can be shorter or longer depending on the size of your blanket.

I would suggest making a test in a muslin fabric to work through your adjustments before you cut into your blanket.

Red Wool VIntage Blanket

My blanket is very “vintage” – meaning a little beat up, can I still use it?

Don’t worry if your blanket has a few holes, we can patch them up with matching thread! If your blanket has a nice finished edge, make those the center fronts of your topper – with the cut edges on the sides of the topper. If you have a rotary cutter, that will give you a smooth cut, but of course scissors will work as well.

AnyTime Topper

What do I need to know about a heavier or lighter weight blanket?

If you have a lightweight blanket, you may want to fold back and hem the edges as the pattern requires. A heavier wool blanket is usually of the felted variety and does not require the edges to be turned back and stitched or hemmed.

AnyTime Topper Fringe

What do I do with this fringe??

If your blanket has fringe, it can be used around the bottom of your topper or down the center front of your topper. If your fringe is a bit tattered, keep in mind, you can cut it off and hem that edge.

Plaid Pattern

How do I deal with the plaid pattern?

When it comes to Plaids, as many vintage blankets are plaid blankets, my suggestion is to match your plaid in the front, but don’t worry about the plaid matching on the sides – no one will see it! If possible, it’s a nice touch to center your plaid down the middle of the back.

I hope this has helped answer some of your questions! Come back next week to see a fun, and very “on trend” add-on to the AnyTime Topper!

Be sure to tag your projects with #anytimetopper and #amybarickmanstudio on social media! I can’t wait to see what you create! Go Team!

AnyTime Topper

This is an Instant PDF Download. A wrap, shrug, robe, or beach cover-up. This loose fitting, versatile style can go from casual to a cocktail party depending on fabric choice. The quick and easy construction make it as fun to make, as it is to wear.


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