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