Monday, July 26, 2010

The Bib You Never Knew You Already Had!

Because I am terrible at getting stains out of clothing, I have finally given into the fact that bibs are not just for drool and have taken up the challenge of keeping one on my son while he eats. Wish me luck with that! But just after I strapped one on him for breakfast, I noticed that our bib collection is severely limited. So, off to work I went!

I cannot stress enough that there are 1000 ways to construct a bib, 1000 different materials you can use, and lots of ways to close it. Here I'll share how I made a completely free, lined/reversible, embellished baby bib using only items that I had at home already, which cost me little or nothing in the first place. To make 2 bibs took about an hour, give or take a wet diaper, a couple of boo-boo kisses, and a "No, no! We don't push!" or two. This is the kind of project that leads me to believe that I'd have made a good homemaker during the Great Depression, when you had to make do with what you had! :D
TIP: If you're reading this with the intention of making your own, first go take a look in your crafting stash and linen closet. Who knows what adorable, free thing you can put together!

To make the bib, I used an old bath towel and a flannel pillowcase. You'll need one bib-shaped piece of each (while you're cutting, you might as well make 2 pieces of each fabric and make 2 bibs--just a thought). One pillowcase and one regular bath towel will make about 4 bibs, in case you were wondering.

First, I traced the bib that I had on hand which fit the baby in question, and extended the length a bit. I used only half the pattern and folded the fabric into 2 layers to help with symmetry. To do this, fold your fabric in half the width of the finished piece and lay the pattern edge that would be the middle of the bib along the fold of your fabric (the zig-zag edge of the pattern in the pic, if you can see it). Cutting out two layers at once, rather than individually, will help both sides of the bib match.

You'll have identically shaped pieces of each fabric (sorry--this pic's a little wonky, but they did match!).

With right sides facing, line up all the edges and pin the pieces together.

Sew around the edges. The trick for a bib that doesn't bunch up around the seams when it's finished is making sure that your pieces are lined up flat together, and that starts at this step. Sew within 1/4 inch of the edge, leaving a few inches at the bottom of the bib open so that you can turn it.

Trim off the excess material around your stitches. Make sure all your edges of each piece are within your stitches.

Turn right side out and press if you're not too lazy (I am). Straighten out your edges so that it all lays nice and flat together, and pin around all the edges (this is important; don't topstitch without pinning it all down first).
Topstitch around all the edges of the bib. Try to stay about 1/4 inch away from the edge all the way around.
Be sure that you turn your open area under and catch all folds of material in your stitch. You don't want any raw edges sticking out.
Look what I found! In this collection: 2 patches sent to me from my lovely online buddy ConnieJ6; velcro pieces that were attached to a ribbon that wrapped up a baby blanket that was a gift; plastic snaps from a cotton bag that a store-bought sheet came in; and the metal snaps from a onesie that I turned into shirt for Little Miss. All completely functional, all completely (well, basically, to me) free! Hmm, decisions, decisions...

For the closures on my 2 bibs, I went with the snap from the sheet bag and the velcro, which I trimmed down a little. And here's where I got REALLY lazy. I hot-glued them all into place!! :D
And while I had the hot glue gun out, I attached the patches to the "front" of the bibs. I mean, you can't iron patches onto terrycloth, right?? That's what I told myself as I took the easy way out. :) I use the towel side as the front of the bib because that's the side that'll soak up more spills, but, as Little Miss pointed out when she had to match her brother at lunch, you can use the other side, too.

I've never asked this before (mainly because I don't really believe anybody reads what I write!!), but if you make a project based off of something you saw in my blog, I'd be so tickled to see it. There are just SO MANY different ways you can get creative with this particular project, I'd love to see what happens when you shop at home first!
Leave me a link! It'll make my day.


AmberRay said...

Very cute idea!

Robin said...

Great way to recycle (or upcycle as I like to call it.) I love it and would love to see you post this at my linky party Upcycled Awesome!

Robin said...

Cute! Cute! These will make great baby gifts. Thank you for linking up.