Thursday, September 22, 2005

Instant baby bibs!

Well, practically instant, anyway, and depending on the materials you use, they may even be free!








It's true that you really cannot have too many baby bibs while you are in the really messy stages of feeding a baby. And through trial and error, I figured out that the best bib (for me) has a few important features.
It involves no velcro -- velcro inevitably opens up and snags something in the laundry, plus Emily can pull them off pretty easily.
No plastic -- I know people like those Baby Bjorn-type vinyl bibs but Emily hates them, and they look uncomfortable to me.
A textured surface -- those bibs you can wipe off sound great -- until you realize that the smooth, wipeable surface means that everything that hits the bib will slide off into baby's lap!
And preferably, it will be made of something soft and absorbent so it can pull double duty and be used for clean-up afterwards.
So what's the best bib, then? A simple bib of cotton terrycloth with good coverage and comfortable neckties. And how can you get one? Like this!
photo 1: All you need (besides the obvious scissors, thread and sewing machine) is a washcloth and a 32" length of some sort of folded (or foldable) binding. The washcloth I'm using here is from a pack of a dozen I bought for maybe $5 at Costco, but was technically free for this project since it's about two years old and I just went and got it our of the bathroom. I would say you need a washcloth that's around 11"x11" or 12"x12". Any bigger and it'll be covering up baby's arms. Any smaller and it won't be covering much of baby! The binding is also technically free as it was leftover from another project. This is definitely one of those projects where you can spend anywhere from nothing to a lot, depending on what you decide to use -- free leftover as I've done here, or super-plush new washcloths and pretty ribbons!
photo 2: fold the washcloth in half down the center, and choose which edge will be the top (my washcloth only had one band woven in, so I put that at the bottom). Measure 3" down the fold from the top, and 2" across the edge from the center. You might want to use a washable marker for this, but I was lazy and used a sharpie.
photo 3: draw a curve between your two marks.
photo 4: cut along the curve to make the neck opening. Take your binding and fold it in half, lining the center of the binding up with the center of the neck opening.
photo 5: enclose the cut edge of the washcloth inside the folded binding and line up the centers, pin in place. You may want to pin the binding closed around the neck opening to the edges to be on the safe side. Me, I like to live dangerously. (Okay, I'm lazy.) Starting from either end of the binding, sew the open edges of the binding together to make the ties. As you approach the neck opening, slow down and make sure the cut edge of the washcloth is well enclosed. Sew around the neck opening, then sew closed the rest of the length of binding. Trim threads and...
photo 6: ta-da!! Instant bib!! And perfect for my needs -- no plastic, no velcro, a surface that'll catch those slimy bits of banana and spilled yogurt; and best of all, when she's done eating, I can run it under a little warm water and wash that kid down!
photo 7: here's an optional step -- binding the outside edge of the washcloth as well. This will give the bib a little more stability and it looks darn cute. Although, I have to confess, that isn't really a washcloth there. It's an 11"x11" piece of hemp/cotton brushed terry I had left over from another project. Using a square scrap of something works great (remember to round off the corners!) but you will have to bind the raw edges by either serging them or using binding like I did here. It really is quite the swanky bib though!
I can think of lots of alternatives for this bib -- big satin ribbon ties; adding appliques or trim; using something that will function as well as the terry but look nicer, like a soft cotton velour; using washcloths with embroidery, texture, stripes , prints or patterns; the possibilities are endless! This kid's going to end up in bib heaven....


  1. That is lovely and practical! I used to make something similar when my babies were little, but I folded up the bottom and stitched the sides. It made a good pocket for the "droppies". Your blog is so cute!

  2. thanks, and thanks!! Pockets are a great idea for when she's feeding herself more. (Right now it's mostly mushy stuff so it all sticks to the terry really well.) I wonder if there's a way to make a soft pocket gap out a bit to catch things better?

  3. Well thank you very much. I'm a mom of a 34 year old who is having her first baby. I'm making somethings and wondered about bibs. I can do this. Sewings not my thing. How thoughtful of you to give us help and instruction. Thank you!!
    Claudia - Utah


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