How to Sew very Absorbent Homemade Bibs

My first son never spit up. And I mean never. Before having kids, I always wondered why these moms always made their babies wear such tacky bibs around their neck at almost all times. Even after having my first baby, I still didn’t understand.

Then my dear sweet Cole came along.

Sewing homemade bibs. Very absorbent. How to sew a bib.

He spit up all the time. All the time. I changed his clothes multiple times a day, and I changed my clothes multiple times a day. We were always covered in spit up. I wondered why I ever fed him milk. It all just seemed to come right back out.

I had lots of bibs, and Kristi sent me more bibs. I made some bibs too.

I made some bibs out of the endless supply of adorable cotton fabric found at my local fabric store. There are so many, so very many, adorable fabric patterns just perfect for bibs.Β  I soon realized, though, that some bibs were way more absorbent than others.

Cotton fabric is really not the most absorbent, in my amateur opinion. The bibs that worked the best for us were always a jersey knit type fabric.

These bibs below took a few tries. When you start working with different mediums of fabric, things get a bit tricky. These bibs were no different. The first two I made were not so pretty. But then I think I figured everything out.

These bibs are extra absorbent because the fronts are jersey knit, the middle is micro fiber terry cloth, and the backs are cotton. The jersey is quick to absorb. The thick terry cloth soaks up extra amounts of liquid. The cotton on the back keeps the baby’s shirt dry (for a small time.) The cotton will eventually, though, absorb the liquid and soak through to the baby.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

Jersey Knit fabric for front
Terry cloth for middle
Cotton fabric for back
Basic sewing supplies (sewing machine, pins, cutting mat, rotary cutter, scissors, etc.)

How to sew a homemade (super absorbent) baby’s bib.

1. Find a bib you like and use it to create a template. I traced a bib I liked onto a piece of cardstock paper.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

When you cut your template out, I encourage you to fold your card stock in half. Cut it like you would a snowflake or heart to ensure your template is perfectly symmetrical. This will solve lots of problems if your bib is the same size and has the same curves on both sides.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

2. Next, you will need to cut all three layers of your bib using the template. This can be done a number of ways. I used the template and first cut the cotton backing. Then I used the cotton backing as a template to cut the other layers. It was easier that way because I could pin the backing to the other fabrics.

Here is my cotton backing all cut out. I held the template flat on top and used my rotary cutter. I went slowly carefully around the perimeter of the template.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

Then I stacked the terry cloth and jersey knit fabric together. Both face up. I pinned the cotton backing on top face down. After ensuring there weren’t any creases or ripples, I pinned the cotton backing down. I pinned thoroughly.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

Here is another picture of my stack. Terry cloth face up. Knit face up. Cotton backing face down.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

Using the pinned cotton backing, cut out the terry cloth and knit. I did a rough cut. I will trim the terry cloth and knit more accurately after I have sewn the three layers together. Cutting roughly gives a little extra room if some of the fabrics shift.

Remember, any time you are working with and mixing different mediums of fabric, take your time, go slowly, and leave a little room for error.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

3. Starting at the top of the neck of the bib, begin sewing around the perimeter of your bib. See below where I stopped and started.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

Until you are comfortable with curves, go slow and take your time. Around sharp curves, I tend to sew one or two stitches, raise the presser foot a bit, and rotate the bib ever so slightly. Then sew one or two stitches, raise the presser foot a bit, and rotate just a bit more. This makes for a nice and even round curve.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

4. Trim closely to your stitching. The bib will be reinforced once you flip it right side out. I don’t think you are compromising quality by trimming so closely to the stitching since it will be reinforced on the other side.

I leave a little extra knit near the top there on the left. That’s where the opening has been left for turning the bib right side out. Eventually I will tuck that fabric in to sew it shut. It’s easier for me to get a clean tuck if I have ample fabric for tucking.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

5. Using the small hole you left at the top, turn your bib right side out. This process gets a bit finicky, and it may seem the hole is too small, but it will work. Gently tug and pull the entire bib through the small hole you left.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

Learn from my mistake: I highly recommend leaving the hole at the top of the neck of the bib. On the first two bibs I made, I left the hole at the bottom. Knit fabric is very unforgiving. After turning my bib right side out and sewing around the perimeter, I kept ending up with bunching.

Look at the below picture. I could never get the bib to look perfect when I left the hole at the bottom. Even though it is more difficult to turn it right side out using the neck of the bib, it makes for a cleaner finish.

You can see the imperfections where I had to tuck the fabric. Then when I sewed around the perimeter, I ended up with bunching and gathering that I didn’t like. I think all that was solved when I left the top of the neck open for turning right side out.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

6. Okay, so your bib is right side out now. Tuck the fabric in where you left the hole, and sew slowly around the perimeter of your bib. This will seal up the hole and give your bib a nice finished look.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

I recommend using the same technique I explained above for going around curves. Go slowly. Go one or two stitches, lift your presser foot, and every so slightly rotate the bib.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

7. Add the snaps to the bib. You can also try using velcro if you already have that on hand. We tried two different kinds of snaps when making these bibs. We encountered a few frustrations with the snaps and ended up using some baby boutique snaps and pliers.

Here is the finished bib!

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

Leave me some links to your favorite tutorials for bibs! I am always on the hunt for trying new little projects for the babies in my life.

Click here if you’d like to download a template that I used for this bib!

How to sew very absorbent homemade baby bibs.

(Please note that this post contains affiliate links.)

177 thoughts on “How to Sew very Absorbent Homemade Bibs

  1. thank you Kelli
    I got the pattern and have made… 2 and cut 2 more just need to sew and turn..
    this was the nicest easiest pattern I have ever tried out
    blessing to you and that precious little one…

  2. thank you for this…. I also need the pattern as I am making this for…GREAT GRAND BABIES..
    so I do not have one to print around… great info thank you so much

    1. by the way…. this is the clearest pattern I have found yet…. ya done good my dear…
      blessings… ps..what a beautiful baby… nana knows these things ya know..hehehe

        1. Hi Kelly, could I get a copy of your pattern? I am a first time Grandma to two adorable twin girls and we go through so many bibs. I would love to make some of these. Thank you

          1. Congratulations Donna! Twins! I just emailed you a copy of the template. πŸ™‚ Hopefully the pattern works well for you and your granddaughters!

  3. If you are still willing to share the pattern, I would love to have it; it looks to be a nice generous size. Enjoying my first grandchild and he spits all day long. Thank you!

  4. Your tutorial is very good, Kelli. Since November I’ve been sewing “Adult Dining Covers” for my elderly Mom whose minor stroke makes her hands not as steady for eating. Another option for the backing layer of the bib to help make it more waterproof is to use “Nylon Ripstop” fabric. I’ve been using the type that has the gridded lines that look like Graph Paper lines. The version of Nylon Ripstop in local fabric stores here is waterproof, extremely durable, very lightweight, and comes in some lighter colors as well as all the primary colors. When using Ripstop, be sure to set the stitch length a bit longer.

    1. Hi Dori, I had never heard of the Ripstop fabric. That is so good to know and add to my list of fabric mediums to try. Thanks for your feedback!

  5. Kelli,
    I would love to try and make your bibs. I really like the idea of the absorbent layer in the middle. Can you please send me a copy of your template pattern.

  6. Kelli,
    I would love to try and make your bibs. I really like the idea of the inner layer for absorption. Can you please share you pattern with me.

  7. I would love you pattern I love the arrow material my grandaughter is doing all of this for third boy..Thanks for helping us grandparents out with all the wonderful ideas.

    1. I used a regular needle because it was such a small project. I did not have any trouble with the regular needle, but a lady at our local quilt shop also recommended a ball tip needle for sewing with knits. I don’t really have enough experience with knits to know what’s best…or to know all the pros and cons.

      I know Jen from sews all the time with knits. She may have a lot of tips to offer if you shoot her a comment via Instagram or her blog. πŸ™‚

  8. Kelli, I hope it isn’t too late to request the pattern for the bib… I’ve done lots of sewing over the years & this looks to solve several problems that ‘store bought’ bobs don’t…

    Excited to try,
    Nana Nanny

    1. Actually, Nancy…your email bounced back that you used to leave a comment. You can leave a different email or email me at thewillowmarket @ and I’ll happily send over the template!

    1. I see you have sent the template to several ladies. Any chance you could send it to me as well? I’ve made quite a few but never have used terry cloth for the center – great idea! Thanks mi love your pattern!

  9. Love your tutorial, I have tried making a bib for my granddaughter but they all seem too small. Could I please have a copy of your bib template πŸ™‚

  10. I’m so excited to make a few of these for my new granddaughter, arriving in March. I know you’ve done this so many times, but would you send me your template? Thanks so much!

  11. Hi! I have a shower I’m going to in a couple of weeks. Was going to make some burb clothes, also like you’re bib pattern. I would love a copy of your template, especially since I have no bibs to trace!! Thanks

  12. I, too, would love the pattern. I have been unhappy with store bought bibs. They are not absorbent and the Velcro does not stick after several washings. You had some good ideas. Thanks.

    1. Hi Bonnye! I completely understand about the store bought bibs…mine were less than absorbent too. I hope this pattern works well for you. I just sent you an email with the template!

  13. Hi Kelli, this is a great tutorial, can you send me your pattern/template. I have a new niece coming in April and these would be a lovely gift. I love the colors you’ve chosen as well.

    I was looking through your other tutorials, amazing stuff!

    thanks, Heather

  14. Hi Kelli,

    Love your bib, it’s a better size than the one I have. Would love to have your template if that’s possible.


  15. Hello Kelli, I have been looking for the perfect bib and by reading your tutorial, I believe I have found it. I love the art of sewing and I work in a daycare. The baby room teachers are always dissatisfied with the baby bibs that are purchased with the velcro because when you wash them they are never the same. If you do not mind could you please share your pattern.

    In Kind Regards, Yosa

    1. Hi Yosa! Oh how I hope these can be a great blessing for your daycare! I hope they work well for you. πŸ™‚ I just sent you an email with the template.

  16. This will be my first attempt on making bibs. You make it look so easy, can you please send me your template. Thank you very much my cousin will loves them for his new baby boy.

    1. Sure Liz. I just sent it to you. πŸ™‚ Enjoy your first attempts at sewing bibs…I hope it goes really well and email or comment if you run into any questions!

    1. Hi again Winona. I just got a bounce back from you email address that you submitted when you left your comment. Can you shoot me an email at thewillowmarket@ and I’ll get you another email sent with the template! πŸ™‚

  17. I stand with the others by saying would love this pattern. Would you be so kind to email it to me as well? I have a niece coming on May! Thank you in advance Kelli!

  18. Hello! I love these, great idea:). I would love it make one for a baby shower present. Can you send me the template as well? Thank you so much!!!

    1. Hi Krista, good for you! I’ve made these a few times for shower presents. It’s always fun to choose from all the great new jersey knits available these days.

      I just shot you the template in an email. I hope you find it helpful!

  19. Great tutorial for bibs. Yes they need to be functional – nice if they can look good too! I’m thinking of using some old cotton knit panties for absorbent linings, and make some to have to give as shower gifts. I also might use tie strings (bias tape, twill tape, or wide shoe strings) instead of snaps or velcro. Did it that way for my 2 kids. Alas, I have no grands, and my “baby” is 39 today!

    1. Hi Neva, you have some great ideas to upcycle some different fabric mediums. Always a good thing! Thanks for some inspiration to continue thinking up new ways to use what I already have. πŸ™‚

  20. Yayy! So glad I saw your Pinterest post! My grandson is 6 months old and….well, need I say drooooooolllll ? hahaha I would love the template for the bib.

    1. Hi Jan, congratulations on your little grandson! πŸ™‚ Precious.

      I just sent you an email with the template. Hope your little guy gets lots of use out of some cute bibs!

  21. Tutorial is great (especially directions on leaving top open instead of bottom). My son just had a boy (1 pound 12 ounces – just getting out of the hospital after 3 months and finally at 5 pounds 3 ounces). Could I get the template you showed? I have had plenty of time to make him things, but couldn’t keep up with his growth “spurt.” lol

    1. Hi Terri, congratulations on your new grandson! I’m so sorry he was in the hospital for so long. Were those some hard months?

      I just emailed you the template to your email. Hopefully you find it helpful and can make plenty of bibs for your new little guy!

  22. I love the bib. We are expecting number 8 great grandchild and would like to have the pattern for the bib. Thank you so much.
    Ps your little guy is adorable.

  23. Our twin, boy & girl are needs lot’s of bibs. I’ve been looking for the simple but last long time kind of bibs. May I have pattern so that I could try to saw. Do you have different color of fabrics too? Also, I love quilting. I’m joining your class.

    1. Hi Janet,

      I just sent you the pattern in an email. I hope you find it helpful!

      I also am not sure if you can find that arrow print in a different color. I think it was only printed in the teal color on the jersey. And…I’m not exactly sure what class you are referring to since I don’t offer a class πŸ˜‰ but whatever class it is, I hope you learn lots!

  24. What a great idea with the three layers. Could you kindly email the template as being a Hranny I do not have a bib to hand. Many thanks.

      1. Many thanks indeed. This Granny (as opposed to “Hanny” in my email!) is looking forward to making the bib. I could only find bibs with ties at the back or over the head ones and neither proved very satisfactory so one of your reader’s idea of baby Velcro is a great idea.

  25. Awesome tutorial! Thank you! I’d love it if you could email me some of that gorgeous arrow fabric! πŸ˜‰ if not, a copy of the template will do…pretty please? 😊 my second bundle of joy is due early April and would love to make a couple of practice bibs in the mean time! Thanks again! Xx

    1. Hi Jacqui, I’d love to mail all my readers some of that fun arrow fabric! Ha. πŸ™‚ If only I had an endless stash of fabric! I emailed you the template. I hope you find it useful!

  26. I too would like the template. Love the idea of three layers. Have been trying to figure out what fabric to use for grandsons bibs. So much drool.

    1. Hi Lauri, I just emailed you the template. If you are dealing with lots of drool, I highly recommend the jersey knit fabric for the front! It’s been SO MUCH MORE absorbent for me than standard quilting cotton fabric. Good luck!

  27. Hi Kelli,

    I love the tutorial and the photos – very easy to follow! Can you please send me your template too πŸ™‚

    Thank you so much!!

  28. I’ve been looking for a bib pattern and came across yours and love it! I’d love to have your patter, If you don’t mind?

  29. Hi, such a great idea to make your own bibs! I found your site thru pinterest. I’d also really love to have that pattern. Thanks! Enjoy your babies, they grow up so fast!

    1. Hi Fern, I just sent you the pattern. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the babies…some days are hard and it’s easy to wish for change. Hopefully you enjoy the pattern!

  30. Love your bib tutorial. I would love to have the pattern as well. Hope you don’t mind shooting it to me too in an email. Thanks so much pinned your tutorial and bookmarked your page!

  31. Hi Kelli
    Love the bib. a new grand baby will be coming soon. Would love the pattern to make him a few.
    Thank you

  32. Great tutorial! I too would love your pattern if you still had it, love that shake and size! Fingers crossed. The only other bibs I have made are the bibdana bibs from the same pattern that is in one of the comments below, they are so fun to make and turn out really well!
    Look forward to hearing from you πŸ™‚

  33. Could you please send me your bib template I have a great granddaughter that spits up all the time also would love to make these and can’t get the size right!! Thanks so much!!

      1. Kelli, would you mind sending it to me as well? I’m a first time mom and I don’t have any bibs to make a template from! The others I’ve seen online all seem very small.

  34. Hi Kelli,

    I am so happy to have found your site. I love that you have shared these tips and was wondering if you could possibly email me the digital copy of the bib pattern. I am a Grandma and were expecting a little boy. I thought I would make up some bibs for decorations at the Baby Shower, and would rather put my energy into a better product.
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Janet,
      Hopefully it’s not too late, but I just emailed you a template of the bibs I used for this post. Hopefully you find it helpful and can use it for some decorations for the baby shower! πŸ™‚

  35. I would just suggest that if you use Velcro instead of snaps, look for a SOFT type made for baby. The regular Velcro can be very harsh/abrasive on baby’s soft skin. My niece ripped a bib off her baby boy and the Velcro caught on his neck. Ouch! I know that store bought bibs use a soft Velcro and I was never able to find it at a fabric store. I just used snaps. And I still look for that soft baby Velcro . I’m sure it’s available somewhere- maybe online

  36. I know you said you used a bib you had and traced it, but would happen to have a digital copy of the pattern? I love the shape of this bib and it’s the only one I’ve seen like it so far! Thank you!

    1. Hi Brittany! Let me see if I can find my original pattern I used. Maybe I can get it uploaded this weekend. I will email you if I can get it to work. πŸ™‚

  37. My 1st child was always spitting up. My pediatrician told me the reason was that some babies’ pyloric sphincter valve at the top of their stomach is weak and will mature with time.

  38. Hi Kelli! I’ve lost count of how many bibs I’ve made but since the grandbabies keep on coming I’m happily sewing more. Thank you for sharing your tips with us. It was a lot of trial & error for me in the beginning too. One thing I’ve done on many bibs for our “Master Droolers” is put a layer of PUL (diaper cover material) either as the backing fabric or sandwich it between the front & back. So cute cotton print on front, next a layer of flannel to add some absorbency, then the PUL plastic side facing toward the front of the bib. You can leave it as the back of the bib since the other side of PUL is a smooth knit-like surface, or you can add a coordinating cotton print on the back and have the PUL hidden. My daughters throw them in the washer & drier & they’ve held up great. Recently I tried this bandana bib tutorial: and used cotton print for the front & terrycloth for the back. My product tester is pleased so far. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Linda! You sound way more experienced than me! Thanks so much for leaving your tips! I will have to check out the diaper insert material you mentioned. I have never heard of it before.

      It sounds like you are a busy grandma with lots of precious little grandchildren!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving some great tidbits. πŸ™‚

  39. Good advice about the knit being more absorbent. I also have big spitter uppers. I wanted to suggest an improvement— if you make the back of the bid out of fleece it will block the moisture from seeping through to the baby!

    1. Hi Jane,
      Thanks so much for your tip! I have never sewn with fleece and this is fantastic to know! Thanks for stopping by and leaving some of your expertise for the rest of us to use. πŸ™‚

  40. I loved your tutorial. I think it’s one of the best I ever read and the pictures and sewing tips were a big help. Thank you!

    1. Cindy, I’m so thankful you found this tutorial helpful! I appreciate you letting me know, and I hope the bibs you sewed turned out really great. πŸ™‚

  41. I was “lucky” it was my first that wouldn’t stop spitting up so I was well ready with my massive supply of bibs for 2 and 3!
    I saw some lovely patterns for the cute bandanna style bids the other day and was thinking to make some for a new baby in the family but wasn’t sure what fabric to choose. I might make a selection, of styles for them, can’t have too many. Thanks for the tips. I’ve pinned for now.

    1. Hi Julie! My first never spit up. Seriously, I really did not understand why these little babies always had bibs on. Then with number 2, he was a fountain.

      Yes! I have seen those bandanna bibs! They are adorable! I haven’t tried making them yet. If you find a great tutorial or end up posting some pictures of ones you made, be sure to leave a link.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  42. Super cute! Pinned and tweeted! Thank you so much for sharing this with us at our linky party. We hope to see you next Monday @ 7 because we can’t wait to see your new creations! Happy Wednesday! Lou Lou Girls

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