how to make sew and no-sew bibs

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the center bib! Your chances are uh…crazy good.

Sometimes I get completely freaked about how quickly time flies. Apparently it’s been nearly five months since I sewed these reversible bibs. Huh!?! And apparently I haven’t touched my sewing machine in two months before today. Anyway.

Sewing reversible baby bibs is a super easy, quick project that is perfect for new sewers or otherwise. I promise you: you can do this! And if you feel that you cannot, or don’t want to, first I’ll show you my no-sew version.

“Kimberly – did you just tie a British flag around Baby’s neck and call it good?” Um yeah. Pretty much. I actually tie all sorts of cloth around his neck as a make-shift bib: tea towels are my favorite, followed my large napkins (I think that’s what the flag is – I found it at ReRun for $1) and finally hand towels. Towels are awesome up to a certain point and then you’ll need to use a clothespin or clip to make it fit. Free and easy!

The next version I’ll show you is the simple sewn version, which is reversible! My mom actually drafted this pattern and sewed up several for her home. We started using them at six months and they still fit at 20 months; Kendra’s son is over three and it fits! So if you make this bib, you won’t need any other bib. Sweet.

Materials:

  • Large paper or newsprint (for pattern)
  • Fabric (an old bath towel and/or flannel cloth from pajamas or sheets works great)
  • Thread to match, or contrast if you’re confident
  • Hook and loop tape (Velcro)
  • Chopstick or point turner
  • Pins

1. Draw the bib shape on your large paper or newsprint and cut out (see note at bottom of post for dimensions). Fold over fabric and lay the pattern over it, with the straight edge on the fold. Pin the pattern in place and cut. I think I was able to get seven bibs out of a single bath towel!

2. I like to sew-on the Velcro next, though you could do this last instead. I eyeball the placement; it’s about 1/2″ from the tab end, centered. Sew very close to the edge of the Velcro, all the way around, and then zig-zag the heck out of it down the center using a wider stitch width. Repeat on reverse side of bib back.

3. With right sides together, sew 1/2″ from the edge all around, leaving a 3″ opening on one side. Press to meld the stitches.

4. Trim the seam allowance to 3/8″ around the inside and outside edges. Now clip the inside curved edges.

5. Notch the outside curves.

6. Press the 3″ opening to the outside, flush with the sewn seam allowance.

7. Turn the bib right side out and using a chopstick or point turner, push out the corners and flatten the notches. Press.

8. Topstitch (sew 1/8″ from edge) all the way around the bib. Press.

Now mangia in that new bib!

I would be so happy to know if you make these. Again, you could simply win a finished one here! And if you’ve made bibs before, we’d love to read any tips or tricks you might have; be sure to read mine below. Happy Sewing!

Notes:

Bib Pattern Dimensions  – important – the pattern is a half-bib shape as it is cut on the fold! (refer to step #1 above for visual)

  • Length: 14 7/8″
  • Width: 6 3/8″
  • Tab Ends: 1 3/8″
  • Widest Point of Tabs: 2 1/2″
  • From center of neck hole to outside edge: 4 3/8″

If you’d like me to make this pattern downloadable, please leave me a comment.

Fabric Prep – if you’ll be washing and/or drying your bibs on hot, be sure to prep the fabric this way. Otherwise they will bunch and shrink.

Velcro vs. Snaps – I use Velcro so the bib is easily adjustable which is paramount to making this bib last from baby to toddlerhood. Alternatively, you could use snaps, but you’ll need a row of several snaps to keep it adjustable. Remember to stick the Velcro together before tossing the bib in the wash; this will prevent it from snagging on things.

Fabric – This bib is reversible, so go nuts! Personally, I like using an old towel for the backing as it’s super absorbent and doubles as a towel for meal clean-up. I use flannel for the front because it’s soft, absorbent and a food magnet. The printed flannels used for this post are from Joann’s.

Scissors – If you use a towel, I recommend using craft scissors rather than your nice sewing scissors, otherwise they’ll get dull super quick.

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