If you have young children, you know that meal time is a messy affair. Food gets everywhere- on the floor, in every crevice of the high chair, on the fresh t-shirt you just put on your child, and on you. This makes finding a style of bib that works well a big time saver when it comes time to clean up. I have two different brands of bibs, one that works fairly well, but is a bit too big for my son, and one that I just chuck in the garbage sometimes because it is too short, the velcro is weak, it always falls off, and it doesn’t wash well. I am almost through my supply of poorly designed bibs, and while I do re-use bibs for a few meals, I try to change my son’s bib daily. Being handy with a sewing machine, I decided to try my hand at making my own bibs, and customizing the fit of the better bib slightly to better work for us.
It’s no secret that I love Len’s Mill Store. For those unfamiliar, it’s a warehouse style shopping experience that is a crafter’s paradise. They have every crafting doodad, accessory, notion, trim and type of fabric under one roof at good prices. I am always so inspired as I browse the aisles; seeing fabrics and trims I would never have discovered otherwise always sparks my imagination. I usually end up lingering by the collection of laminated cottons, ogling over the colourful designer prints and fantastic prices, but unsure what I would make with my treasure once I got it home. Not last week- I picked two designs that I liked, and got half yard cuts of each; Trade Blanket by Parson Gray, and an oldie but goodie by Anna Maria Horner that is not on her site anymore. This is another thing I love about Len’s Mill, if you’re late to the party on a collection, you can sometimes find bits and pieces there. I used these prints in laminate cotton as well as some pieces of plain quilting cotton from my stash to make these bibs. Follow this easy tutorial to make your own:
- Download the free pdf patterns here: Laminate Pocket Bib p1 and Laminate Pocket Bib p2, print at 100% scale and tape the pieces together.
- Pre-wash, dry and iron the cotton backing pieces to pre-shrink.
- Fold and iron the crease of the cotton backing to fit the bib section of the pattern, then trace and cut out.
- Fold, finger crease and Wonder Clip the cotton laminate to fit the bib and pocket sections of the pattern, then trace and cut out.
- Keeping the fold in the pocket section, wrong sides together, clip it together with Wonder Clips, and topstitch 1/4″ along the fold. I recommend using a walking foot for sewing with laminate.
- Placing the back and front of the bib right sides together, with the pocket in the middle of the sandwich, open edges aligned with the bottom of the bib, clip the three layers together with Wonder Clips, and begin sewing around the perimeter of the bib 1/4″ from the edge, leaving a 3″ gap along a straight edge to turn the bib right side out. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
- Clip the curves of the bib in the seam allowance, being careful not to cut the actual seam, and trim the corners of the pocket to match the contour of the bib.
- Turn the bib right side out, and smooth all the nooks and crannies to get a nice flat result. I use a Martha Stewart Bone Folder, which is a paper crafting tool, but it works very well for this task.
- Fold the edges of the opening left un-sewn for turning the bib under 1/4″, finger press in place, and clip with Wonder Clips. Beginning at the rear of the bib, backstitch and sew a scant 1/4″ topstitch around the perimeter of the bib, taking care when sewing the opening closed. Backstitch at the end of the seam for security. I found that I really
had to slow down over the pocket layers to avoid skipped stitches.
- One of the problems I have with commercially made bibs is that the velcro weakens and they fall off, or my son yanks them off when he feels like he is done with his meal. To solve this problem, I used snaps instead of velcro as my fastening method of choice. Place the snap on the X marked on the pattern. After three days of using these homemade bibs, the snap option is working wonderfully! I made use of the simple Dritz Babyville Boutique Snap Pliers and Snaps for these bibs, and I have a ton of other ideas for incorporating these snaps into other projects.
These bibs are simple and quick to sew, and would make a great practical hand-made baby shower gift as well. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!