Saturday, January 15, 2011

Baby Bibs!

Nearly seven years ago now when my oldest son was born, we received two baby bibs as a gift. They were beautifully handmade, very practical and I truly appreciated how thoughtful the person was who took the time to make them for us. There was only one thing, while one was blue with trains on it, the other...

...well, here it is.
Pink on one side with ballet hippos on the other side. It was cute and color coordinated, but in case you missed it in the first sentence, we had a boy. I can only imagine that the woman who made these didn't know what we were having and sent one for each gender just to be on the safe side. But the point is that we loved these bibs so much that my sweet little rough and tumble boy wore a pink ballet hippo bib because they were the most practical bib that we were given. It was large enough that nothing spilled down past the bottom and because of the button he couldn't pull it off like the velcro ones that we also owned. He wore it until his little brother came along and it was passed to the next rough and tumble boy in line. It wasn't until nearly five years had passed that the pink ballet bib was finally able to be worn by our little girl, and after almost seven years and I can't imagine how many washings, it is still going strong. Since we loved those bibs so much and since they weren't able to be purchased in stores, I decided to draft a simple pattern from the original so that I could make some of my own for baby gifts. Even though you may not have this bib in your home, you could make one similar using a large bib from the store as a jumping off point.

Project: Baby Bibs
Time: 1-2 hours
Skill Level: Easy Peasy!

Lay your bib out on top of some tracing paper.
Using a seam gauge, make small marks around the edge of the bib to add a seam allowance. I used 1/2 inch.
Make more marks around corners to keep the shape of the bib even.
After making marks around the edge, use a straight edge to 'connect the dots.'
One finished pattern.
Mark an approximate placing for the button hole.
Cut it out! Congratulations on making your first pattern!
Make sure to mark what the pattern is, and record the seam allowance that you used.
I like to use two coordinating prints, one for the front and one for the back. This bib will be for a boy, I chose not to use the pink hippos. Only a small percentage of boys can actually pull off that look...
Pin your pattern to the fabric and cut out a front, a back, and one out of batting. I like to use Warm and Natural, just be sure to preshrink that stuff otherwise the first washing of your new bib will end badly. I promise you.
Now you have three bib pieces cut out.
Layer your Warm and Natural first, your back, (right side up) second, and your front (wrong side up) third. Pin around the edges.
Mark a start and stop at the bottom, this is where you will leave open to turn the bib right sides out.
Now I have to apologize. I was making this for a shower gift and was about 20 minutes from departure time so my pictures are a little sparse. I still think I got all the important stuff though!

Stitch around the outside of the bib, leaving the opening at the bottom. Clip your curves using a pair of pinking shears so that your seams will lay straight.
When all your curves are clipped, you are ready to turn it right side out.
Ta-da! Now give it a good press with your iron.
Pin the bottom shut neatly where your opening is.
Topstitch around the edge. I like a contrasting stitch, so I used a taupe in my top thread and a cream color in the bobbin thread.
Add a coordinating button and button hole. You could use velcro if you want, but I like the button because baby can't pull it off. Make sure to sew the button on tightly, you don't want it to come off because it could pose a choking hazard.
And voila! One finished baby bib! I'm sure I'll be making a lot of these, they are quick and easy and parents really do appreciate them. I think I'll keep the pink ballet hippo one for the future though. After all, someday I might have a grandson.


  1. Love that fabric! I also wound up making some large bibs for my son... gotta make some girly ones now. :) I use a snap instead of a button because I hate making button holes... I have a question, though: so if I put a color that matches the underside of the material in the bobbin, and a color that coordinates/contrasts with the surface through the needle, it will work no matter the brand of machine? I've never done that before, but I have some baby blankets with contrasting sides I thought I could try it out on!

  2. Thanks so much! Yes, you should be able to use different colors of thread no matter what machine. Whatever color you put in the top thread will come out on top and the color of thread you put in the bobbin will show up on the bottom. On this bib since I had taupe in the top thread it came out on the truck side with cream on the taupe fabric underneath. I mismatch my top and bobbin threads all the time to either match different fabrics or create contrasting stitching. Good luck and thanks for reading!

  3. I never knew that was an option! I'm so going to try that with this next blanket!

  4. Ok. Me again. :) Will you be posting tutorials for how you did the cloth food for your daughter on your other blog? And where did you find the patterns to make the doll? This was all before Christmas and I can't find any of my bookmarks, so I guess I have to ask. I'm wanting to make some dolls for my daughter's nursery... I was thinking of simple 2-d type jungle animals namely giraffe and have been searching for patterns to no avail. Do you have any ideas for this?

  5. I am planning to do some posts on the felt food and the dolls, I actually have the dolls/stuffed animals planned for next week. I'll include the link for the pattern websites in any posts that use them, and I'll also be adding a list of my favorite pattern sites to this blog for easy reference. Hopefully I'll be able to get the link list up tonight, it's football today after all so I won't be watching TV! :)

  6. Just found your blog where you commented on MADE about the fabric store in Gastonia. I live in Charlotte and have been looking for a fabric store other than Hancocks so thank you for the suggestion! This is such a cute bib! I recently got a sewing machine and can't wait to make things like this. Do you have the approximate dimensions of the bib? I found some free patterns online but most of them look quite small compared to yours.

  7. They are about 16" long and 11-12" wide, that does include the part that goes around the neck. Check for patterns, they might have some that you can use. Thanks for reading my blog and good luck with your new machine!

  8. This is great. My daughter is expecting a BOY so I am going to make some bibs for him. This is large and practical and it looks easy enough. THanks for the tutorial. Linda

  9. Your Bib turned out so great! Thanks for the tutoriaThanks for linking to Your so Very Creative! I featured it today at Featuring You Friday! Go check it out and grab a button!!