Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Best Bibs (Apparently)

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend of Bill's who has an 18-month-old daughter. We got on the subject of sewing, and I mentioned that I had a whole storm of babies to make things for right now. She immediately whipped a handmade bib out of her bag and said "A friend made us several of these, and it was the single best baby gift we were given.We use them every day." That's pretty good advertising! The bib was fairly basic, so I decided to try my hand at replicating it. From what I could see, the main features were:

a. It's a pretty big bib compared to most that you see sold in stores.
b. It's reversible
c. The edges were overlocked using a serger
d. It fastened with a simple snap

I don't have a serger, so I modified the design to have pinked edges and be sewn up with a zigzag stitch. I made a simple pattern cut out of cardboard, that I can trace around. I traced around a large mixing bowl to create the round shape, and then free-handed the strap parts, trying to replicate the bib I had been shown. My pattern is 11 inches across.

 Once the pattern was made, the rest was really easy:

1. Pick out two complementary fabrics (I used basic 100% cotton/calico, but thicker fabrics or flannel could be nice too). All the ones I used came from my existing stash, pre-washed and ironed.
2. Trace the pattern onto the back of each fabric, and cut out using pinking shears. (Note: If, like me, you freehand part of the pattern, you have to flip the cardboard pattern over to trace onto one of the fabrics--because the pattern is not completely symmetrical and if you trace the same side of the cardboard for both fabrics you will end up with not-quite matching bits when you put them back-to-back. But you can always trim the edges to match once the two pieces are sewn together!)
3. Pin the two pieces back-to-back.
4. Sew around the edges using zig-zag stitch, using a complementary color (I used the same color on both needle and bobbin).

 5. Use a snap tool to place a snap near the ends of the neck straps. Done!

I gave sets of two bibs each to my expecting friends in Seattle, and will whip up a few more for my niece/nephew. It's such fun coming up with pretty and practical things to make for the wee ones, and feeling more and more confident in my sewing skills as a result. I love the way these bibs came out (picking out the fabric pairs was really fun), but the true verdict, of course, will come from the parents who use them.

1 comment:

Rob O'Neill said...

Wonderful, colorful and awesome baby bibs! I am very amazed by this post of yours and I noticed that you love flowers that much because of the design of your bibs. It is very nice to know that these baby bibs are bigger than those many people who see in stores and they are also reversible. You did a very great job! Congratulations and thank you.