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I love to give homemade bibs as a gift to new parents. Even though my son is six now, I remember how many bibs I would go through each day while trying to keep his clothes clean. I much preferred getting formula and food on the bibs rather than his clothes. After all, the bibs were cheaper than the clothes. When my son was little, we were stationed at a small town in Oklahoma. Walmart was just about the only place I could buy bibs (and truthfully, about the only place I could afford to buy them). I was not very happy with the selection I had to choose from, and I hated how rough they felt.
Making your own bibs gives you the option to personalize them however you want. You can make them reversible, add minky or chenille to the back, add a monogram, piece scraps together for a quilted bib, and the list goes on. I like to use my imagination and make each one a little different.
Getting started on the Basic Bib Tutorial you will need the following items.
Acrylic Ruler (Shape Cut is preferred)
Water soluble pen
Babyville Boutique Snap Pliers
Babyville Boutique sz 20 Snaps
Sharp scissors or pinking shears
Regular bib- 1 piece 10″x12″ for front, 1 piece flannel 10″x12″ for back
Newborn bib- 1 piece 7.5″x11.5″ for front, 1 piece flannel 7.5″x11.5″ for back
Basic bib instructions:
1. Print the bib template out for the size bib that you’d like to make, either regular size or newborn. Cut out the template and trace it onto freezer paper, chipboard (an old cereal box), or stencil material. Using stencil material or freezer paper will allow you to see the fabric patterns underneath the template, which is helpful with images on the fabric that need to be kept straight. Cut the new template out.
2. Cut your front and back fabric pieces to size using your cutting mat, rotary cutter, and acrylic ruler.
3. Place your flannel on your work surface. Place your front fabric on top, right side down.
4. Set your bib template on top of the fabric. Ensure the template is straight and that it is .25″-.5″ away from all edges. Trace around the bib template with your water soluble pen. Draw a rectangle opening on one side of the bib that is approx 2″ tall and .5″ wide.
5. Carefully pin the layers together, placing a pin every few inches.
6. At your sewing machine, you will start sewing at the bottom of the opening you drew. If you have a fix button on your machine, select that so that the thread sews in the same place for several stitches. If you do not have that feature, you will want to sew forward, back-stitch until the opening line, then sew forward again. Stop sewing at the top of the opening and fix/back-stitch again.
7. Cut approximately .25″ away from where you sewed. Be careful not to cut through your stitching. Cut on the outside of rectangle line that you drew earlier.
8. Slowly flip the bib right side out through the opening. Use a pointy object such as a bone folder (scrapbooking tool), that purple thang (sewing tool), or an unsharpened pencil to help around the curves.
9. Iron the bib flat. Fold the rectangle to the inside of the bib and iron it.
10. Top stitch all the way around the bib, close to the edge. I use my zipper foot to sew about 1/8″ away from the edge. Be sure to go slow, as this is the hardest part of making the bib. You can skip this step and hand-sew the opening shut if you’d like but it really gives the bib a profession look.
11. Tie the thread in a knot on the front and back of the bib where you started and stopped sewing.
12. Using the shank tool that comes with the Babyville kit, poke a hole through the fabric on both sides where the snap will go.
13. Insert the base of the snap into the back of the left hole and place the female part of the snap on the front side.
14. Use the snap tool to clamp the snap. To keep the snap from breaking, first squeeze the snap tool half way down, then all the way.
15. Repeat with the male side of the snap on the right side of the bib. Make sure you put the base of the snap on the front side this time.
Easy, right?! Once you have mastered this basic bib, try out other variations.
1. Cut a front, back, and flannel lining piece to size using your cutting mat, rotary cutter, and acrylic ruler.
2. Place your flannel on your work surface. Place your back fabric on top of the flannel, right side up. Now place your front fabric on top, right side down.
3. Follow steps 4-15 above.
Add an applique:
Adding an applique looks best on a bib that is not meant to be reversible. I like to use letters, the number 1, a mustache, anchor, or any cute silhouette that I can find in my fonts. You can also do an Internet search for a silhouette image. Iron fusible interfacing, such as Wonder Under, to the back side of fabric for the applique. Peel the paper layer off. Trace the image onto the interfacing and cut it out with sharp scissors. Place the applique where you would like it to be and press with the iron. Top stitch with a blanket stitch, satin stitch, or 1/8″ away from the edge for raw edge applique.
I used Andrea Victoria Aqua Flowers for my newborn bib and Fox Trails for my reversible regular sized bib. The navy chevron bib has solid pepper for the one and backing. My Superhero Words bib is a newborn size and is reversible with navy chevrons on the back. All fabrics used are from Riley Blake. Some bibs are available for purchase in my Etsy store.
I hope you enjoy this project. Each bib will take approx. 30 minutes to one hour to make. Not bad for a cute, custom baby gift!
PS- If you want to add a binky holder to the bib, check out this tutorial.