Rather than buying new bibs, making your own can be really quick and easy. It took me just over 2 hours to trace a pattern and make 14 bibs, I think it worked out as 10 minutes a bib. They are great stash busters and if you make a set and package them beautifully, a lovely gift to give to new parents. And if you don’t have a sewing machine, you can still easily make them by finishing the edges by hand.
I had some old plain bibs from when Leon was small but we’ve not used them with Edith because they are too big around the neck to be effective and the velcro no longer sticks. They’ve been sat at the back of the drawer for ages so I thought as Edith is soooo dribbly and needs some more bibs, I would use them to make some pretty bibs.
Creating a pattern that works
I used an existing bib which I know fits well and traced a pattern from it. The old bibs are a straight across the top triangle so they don’t actually fit the neck and we always found didn’t stop the liquid from dribbling down the neck. So in my opinion, a better shape needs a gentle curve to make it sit better on shoulders and neck.
If you don’t have a bib to copy, you can easily freestyle it. My bib is 15cm down the centre front and 27cm between the poppers. If you look at photo above, you can easily copy my pattern. There is 2.5cm (or an inch) between each dot and cross.
The front of the bibs could be made from anything. You could use jersey, cotton lawn, cotton poplin, fine denim, quilting cottons, etc. I wouldn’t use anything too heavy, it needs to feel comfy against soft baby skin.
After a rummage through my scrap bin, I decided upon the more geometric patterns. Edith has ALOT of floral bibs and it’s nice to have lots of choice for outfits.
For the backing, I’m using the old bibs which are made from two thin layers of absorbent jersey. You could use French terry or microfibre fleece, you need something that will absorb liquid and not soak the clothes underneath.
Cutting out and putting together
Before cutting out make sure all the fabrics have been through the wash. You don’t want a layer to shrink after first wash, it will look ridiculous. Also there may be residual dye and you don’t know what the fabrics have been treated with. Edith has had reactions to new clothes/fabrics so we wash everything before she wears it.
Once you’ve cut out your fabrics you need to pin the layers flat together. I used my cut out backing which I laid onto my top fabric and pinned it on before cutting to make sure they were exactly the same size.
Once the pieces are thoroughly pinned together, I overlocked around the edge. I started at the middle bottom point. Going around the tight curves at the ends are a little tricky, so there was alot of lifting and shifting the overlocker foot over the fabric.
Instead of overlocking you could bag out the bib, use bias binding by sewing machine or by hand. You could even use a feature blanket stitch.
Once the pieces are overlocked, the bibs were quite wobbly so I gave them a good press to restore their shapes.
I used some plastic coloured poppers to fasten my bibs. I used these because unlike the metal ones which need hammering in, the plastic ones can be inserted with a special tool. I just wanted to get them done without waking children by hammering after their bedtime or lose my hammer because Leon wanted a go. I also liked the bright colours.
You can pick up large sets like this one below for under a tenner from Ebay and Amazon. You just use the awl to make a hole, then insert a spiky piece one side and either a male or female piece on the other. Once you squeeze them between the pliers, the poppers are fixed. Easy peezy.
But you could also use metal poppers, sew on poppers, velcro, buttons, etc.
Finished, what does her ladyship think?
Well I think this happy face approves. If you have a dog, maybe you could do a smaller version for an easy bandana?
Even if your skills are very basic, I hope this has inspired you to give them a go. Hope you enjoyed reading.