Make a Tardis Blanket




Introduction: Make a Tardis Blanket

Make a Tardis that’s really truly bigger on the inside! And it’s comfy too.
When I thought of the idea I knew I had to make it. I made it as a gift for my friend that introduced me to Doctor Who. I've only seen around 12 episodes but I already love it!
This type of thing is often called a “quillow” it is a blanket that folds into a pocket and becomes a pillow.

You don’t have to use my exact methods and measurements and what not but I’ve tried my best to share what I did and how I did it so you can reproduce it or use it as a base to figure out your own. I consider myself a high level seamstress since I mostly create my own patterns but that being said, I feel this project can be accomplished by a medium level sewer. You need to know how to use a sewing machine and an iron but you shouldn’t have to be an expert and have sewn complicated things like wedding dresses, it’s almost entirely straight lines and I’ve done the math and measurements all ready which for me was one of the bigger challenges.  The video shows how it unfolds. Hope you like it!

Step 1: Materials

(“denotes inches)

Blue fleece large piece, 60 “x 40 “plus small piece 12”x 12 “

Black fleece 60 “x 40 “

Dark Blue fleece 60 “x 60 “

White fleece 60 “x 60 “

White fabric with high polyester content 2 pieces 8 “x 7 “

Sewing scissors

White, black and blue thread

Measuring tape or stick

T square or straight edge

Marking chalk

Tacky fabric glue

Fabric iron on crayons


Sewing machine

Inside and Outside measurement diagram

White letters template

Door sign template

Sticky lint roller

Step 2: To Adjust to Make a Queen Size Blanket

I had someone send me a message asking how to make this into a queen size blanket. The blanket I made would fit a single bed - to make it fit a queen bed you would probably have to sew fleece together to make it wide enough - I would suggest sewing three pieces of blue together so you don't have a seam down the middle - the standard size of a queen blanket is 90 by 90 to 100 inches. So if you took a piece that was 60 inches wide by 90 inches long (2 1/2 yards) and sew two 15 inch wide by 90 inch long strips to each side then you would have your back. For the inside, you can sew two black fleece pieces that are 60 by 90 inches together and have a seam in the middle since the seam wont show as much. Then you just have to adjust all the other pieces and make them bigger so they will look right. Your Tardis would have a larger boarder since it's not an even expansion (90x90 is wider than my blanket of 60x48, so you would want to make the boarder bigger if that makes sense) I made a new pdf showing the difference. To make the Tardis bigger, I would suggest taking the original measurements, divide them in half and add that number to the original measurement. I hope that helps/makes sense!

Step 3: Layout and Cut

Cut the selvedge edges off of the large blue fleece and the large black fleece. The selvedge edge on fleece is a bit curled and it’s a lot easier to sew and work with if you cut it off. It was easiest to buy a really large piece of blue fleece and then cut it so lay the black fleece on top of the blue fleece and cut so they are the same size.

Now take the marking chalk and mark out the outside of the Tardis on the black fleece – be sure to wrap chalk in a paper towel to keep your fingers clean. Use the T square or straight edge to make sure your lines are straight so your Tardis doesn’t look lopsided. After I had the outline drawn, I used paper patterns to figure out the size of the squares, I laid them out to make sure it all looked right.

Cut out the Tardis outline from the black fleece. Take the black fleece you just cut out, and cut a strip that is 3” x 30” to be the sign where the “Police Public Call Box” goes.

Step 4: More Cutting

Cut out 12 rectangles that measure 4.5” x 3” from the white fleece. You need two handles, kind of a rounded rectangle shape with two bumps on each end, and a circle for a lock and a rectangle with a pointed top that’s 3” across and 3.5” tall for the light on the top of the Tardis light all cut out of the white fleece. Take the white letters template and cut the letters out from the white fleece. At first I tried to pin the paper on and then cut but I found it was easier to just hold a small square of fleece with one letter cut out of the paper and then cut around the paper while holding it onto the fabric. There’s a quilters trick of ironing on freezer paper with the template drawn on but I’m not sure if that would work with fleece. Lay all your pieces out to see if it looks right. (Note: fleece sticks to each other nicely so at this point you can lay everything on and roll it up together to put away for a bit if you need to hide it from the person you’re making it for or you need to get it out of the reach of kids and cats and other various small things that would love to pull it all apart)

Step 5: Start Glueing and Sewing

You can pin fleece but due to it sticking together nicely I found it easiest to not pin the majority of the sewing. For most of the blanket, I used tacky fabric glue to glue the pieces on, but for some areas, such as the outer edge, I simply held the fabric together. (Note: fleece picks up everything so use a clean floor and use a sticky lint roller to get off any fuzzies, stray threads, etc. before you stick pieces together)

Lay the large piece of black fleece on top of the blue fleece and using black thread, sew all along the edge using a straight stitch that’s a 2.5 to a 3 stitch length. Check on the blue side to make sure you didn’t miss any spots and if you did then sew over them. Clip the corners and flip the black to the other side – the entire outside edge should be bound now with the seam on the inside. Now sew all around the edge, about an inch in to give a nice finish. Lay out the blanket on a table so you can work flat – it’s ok if some of the blanket hangs of the table. Using the tacky fabric glue, glue the inside edge of the black fleece down.Now glue the white letters onto the black strip.Then glue the dark blue boxes (except for the one with the door sign) and the white window pieces all into place (using the glue is much easier than trying to pin all the little pieces on and making sure they stay where you want them too) at this point I let the glue dry overnight since it was bedtime anyway but you can let it dry while you watch a couple of episodes of Doctor Who or while you make the door sign.

Step 6: Door Sign

To make the door sign, printout the door sign template and lay behind one square of the polyester fabric. (Note: I used a piece of cotton fabric I had and it worked out ok but the fabric crayon instructions mentioned that the higher the polyester content the better the crayons will iron into the fabric. Mine smudged a bit due to it being cotton) If you can’t see the words behind the fabric you can use a light box or tape it onto a window. I taped both the template and the fabric into a shoe box lid to hold it steady and give me a nice surface to work on. Trace the letters from the template with a black fabric crayon. I found I couldn’t get all the small letters to come out clear so I skipped some of the words and lined the other stuff up such that it looked nice.

Once you have gotten all the words traced nice and dark it’s time to set it with the iron. You want to put a cloth under the fabric to catch any that might seep through and according to the directions for the fabric crayons you put a piece of white paper on top and then you iron on top of that. Once your sign is ironed and set, you can place the other piece of white fabric on top, right sides together, and sew all around the edge except leave a little opening. Clip the corners and turn it right side out through the little opening you left. Now you can glue the sign on top of the top left dark blue square (which you should still have separate and not glued to the Tardis). Since the sign fabric isn’t fleece, I found it looked a lot better to go around the edge with a tight zigzag stitch. I went over it twice to give it a better look. To be honest, the zigzag look would have looked nice for the whole blanket but it takes a lot more time and a whole lot more thread and it didn’t work very well around the letters. Speaking of letters, you need to sew the letters to the black strip (go slow and take your time as they can be a bit tricky) and then you can glue the black strip where it goes as well as the blue square with the door sign.

Step 7: Sew All Pieces On

Now you can stitch all around all the different pieces, I did a straight stitch. I found it easiest to sew all the white parts down and then all the dark blue so I could use the same color of thread for a long time. It can be a bit tricky getting all that bulky blanket through the sewing machine. A trick that helped me was to roll up the end I wasn’t sewing and then it would fit through the machine a little easier.At times it was like playing twister with the sewing machine but I got through it. Once you’ve sewn around everything, make sure to clip all the loose threads and some of the pieces may need to be trimmed slightly if you don’t sew totally straight or if you didn’t cut them straight, which I had a bit but you just trim a tiny bit so it looks even and it’ll look fine.

Step 8: Make Pillow Pocket

At this point, fold the blanket long ways into three sections and then fold that two times to figure out the measurements for the pillow. You can fold it a couple of different ways and if you look up “quillow” on the internet there’s a lot of great tutorials out there, but I found that if I folded it this way it gave me the shape I wanted which was a smaller version of the big Tardis design on the blanket. The size of the finished pillow I made was about 12” x 24” so the beginning fabric was cut a little bigger than that. Cut a rectangle of black fleece that will fit slightly bigger than your folded blanket. Fold one of the edges of one of the short ends over and sew it down to so it will have a nice finish.

Now cut out a mini Tardis from the small piece of blue fleece and little windows and dark blue squares. I don’t have measurements because I just went off of what looked nice. For the door sign on the mini Tardis I just drew a few lines with the fabric crayon since from a distance words look like lines. Just like the large Tardis, I glued the different sections on and then I sewed them down. One difference is I used a quilting trick where you cut away a bit of the back fabric to reduce the bulk, I did this by cutting a bit of the blue fabric away that was behind the dark blue squares. This is a little tricky because you want to only cut the blue fabric and not the dark blue.When it’s all sewn together you can sew it onto the black pillow pocket, make sure the top is the edge you folded over and sewed down.

Step 9: Sew on Pocket

Now position the black pillow pocket on the WRONG side of your blanket with the mine Tardis facing the blanket. It will look like a black rectangle on top of the big blue rectangle. This was the one time I used pins when I sewed this and I pinned it in place, right in the center bottom of the back of the blanket. Sew around the sides and the bottom (this is why you folded down the other edge which you leave open). I ran into a bit of trouble at this point as my pillow pocket overlapped some of the dark blue squares and the blue background. I didn’t want the thread to show so I switched colors as I went. I also didn’t back stitch but instead pulled my stitching to the back and tied a knot so it wouldn’t show on the front. I couldn’t figure out any way around this but thankfully the stitching doesn’t show too much and since it’s at the bottom of the blanket it didn’t matter plus it was necessary in order to achieve the pillow and thus the “bigger on the inside” effect.Now all you have to do is lay the blanket face up, fold in thirds, flip the pillow pocket right side out, and fold the blanket in thirds into the pillow pocket.

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    7 years ago

    be careful with this one. material size of the black and blue needs to be at least 60" x 48" if you buy 40" as the materials list says you will have to make a pretty small blanket. other wise a good idea.


    9 years ago on Step 9

    I REALLY LOVE this blanket. I'm planning on making it soon, but would change the lettering.. I would use waste cloth for the lettering, and cross stitch/embroider the lettering. it would look really clean. will post a pic of it when i am done. Thank you so much for the tutorial, I am making this for a friend and I know he will love it.

    Someone wrote to me asking how to adjust it to be a queen size so I put in another step with the results of that - glad everyone is liking the Tardis blanket/pillow :D

    Dusk Shadows
    Dusk Shadows

    9 years ago on Introduction

    well I would love to travel in something like that only my mind would go like captain jacks after i while since it has no lid i will try and fix that... (rambles on about boring stuff)

    pie popper
    pie popper

    9 years ago on Introduction

    So brilliant. I love the whole bigger on the inside concept with the pillow. ;) I have to go get some fleece now!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    <3 this is amazing! I love everything doctor who related :)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    LOLOLOL it is bigger on teh inside ^_^
    i must learn to sew so i can make this.