Thursday, April 21, 2016

Inexpensive Baby Gift- Pocket Bib Pattern and Tutorial to Sew for an Infant or Toddler with a Bonus Pattern for a Matching Doll Bib! Easy to make!

Handmade gifts are a tradition in our family. My grandmother knitted, crocheted and sewed things for my mom, me and my kids, my mom sews and knits for me, my kids and now my grandkids. There’s something very special about using an item that was made with so much love, especially when it’s from your great-grandma or your grandma!
For each baby I usually make a couple of flannel receiving blankets. I always use plaid flannel shirting, it looks the same on both sides and is so very soft. (Our family isn’t really into baby fabrics. We all like fabrics that can be used well into childhood.) I crochet a simple edge onto one of them. I also sew burp cloths and bibs.

When my daughter became pregnant 4 years ago, I went into full grandma mode. I started sewing up a storm and found a bib pattern that I liked but it didn’t have a pocket and I wanted slightly more coverage with a wider neck strap to cover their shoulders a bit better. How babies can get food on their shoulders is beyond me but we all know it happens! I started making my own pattern and adjusting it each time I made it. Now 3 years later and 4 grand babies later,  I have come up this bib pattern that I love and even better, my daughter and daughter-in-law love!

This is a very easy pattern to make and feel free to adjust it to suit your baby or grand baby. This bib can be made without the pocket as well. There are some bibs that have different sizes. We’ve found that this size works from infant through ages 3-4. For an infant it gives total coverage which is good since they make the biggest messes. 

These make a wonderful inexpensive baby gift. At around $3.00 each, you can make a few and give a handmade gift that is unique and made with love. 

Print the bib pattern out. Make sure when printing not to click Fit to Page! You want it to print at 100% size to be correct. There will be 3 pages- A- Bib Top, B- bottom and C-pocket. The Doll bib pattern is on the last page. If you buy 3/4 of a yard of fabric you won’t need to print the C Pocket pattern page.
Cut the extra paper off of the bottom of the Top-A pattern piece and lining up the bottom line with the top line of piece B- Bottom. Tape the 2 parts together to make the full bib pattern.

Prewash and dry before cutting and sewing the bibs!
I like to use a cotton print for the front, a layer of white cotton
flannel for the lining and a layer of a colored or print flannel for the back. I like a flannel backing because it’s soft against their skin. You can easily use 2 cotton prints one on the front and one for the back. I add a layer of cotton flannel in-between my front and back fabrics. It adds some absorbency to the bib. You can skip that if you want but I highly recommend it! You can also use a waterproof layer in the middle if you want to. Do NOT use cotton gauze in the middle. Even after pre-washing the cotton gauze in hot water and drying in a hot dryer, it continues to shrink wash after wash and distorts and ruins the bib! 

Amount of Fabric
For 3 bibs with pockets buy: 
3/4 of a yard of front fabric 
1/2 yard of lining flannel 
1/2 yard of backing fabric

3/4 yard (27”) will make 3 bib fronts with pockets.
1/2 a yard will make 3 Bib fronts without pockets OR 3 Bib Liners OR 3 Bib Backs- You don’t cut pockets out of these just the Bibs.

If you want to use scraps here are the measurements of the full bib cut out.
The bib front with a pocket needs a piece of fabric 12” wide by 26 3/4” long
The bib front without a pocket, the bib back and the lining EACH need a piece of fabric 12” wide by 15 3/4 long.

Using coupons at Joann’s or looking for sales I usually can make 3 bibs for $3.00 each. Less if there’s a great sale! 

  • Thread to match fabric for inside sewing and topstitching.
  • Pins to pin the layers together before sewing. (If I am using flannel for the lining and the backing, I don't pin! The fabrics "stick together" enough to not need pins. 
  • A chopstick or knitting needle to use to smooth seams when turning bib right side out.
  • An Iron- to press bib flat before top stitching.

Cutting Your Fabric
Take your 3/4 yard of fabric and fold in half with selvage edges to your left. If your cut edges are not even, trim them now. I printed 2 copies of the pattern out so I could pin and cut once. 

Fold the selvage edges in 1/3 of the width. You will now have a double layer fold (will make 2 bibs) on the left and the original single fold on the right. (one bib) 

Place your pattern on a fold.

Fold the bottom of the fabric up until the fold is at the bottom of the pattern. Make sure the top of the pattern isn’t pushed off the edge.

Fold the fabric down so that the raw edge is even or extends slightly beyond the bottom of the pattern.
Pull pattern out of pocket and place on top, lining up on fold. Pin in place and cut with scissors or rotary cutter.
Cut out one back piece and one liner piece using the pattern placed on a fold and without the extra pocket material.

Layering The Fabric
Unfold the cut out pieces. Fold the bib pocket into place.
Place the backing fabric face down against the bib
front- Right sides should be together. Lay the liner layer on top of the backing.      

Pin in place. Cut the neck piece along the fold line.

Place pins or marks where the bottom opening will be.

Begin sewing from the left mark all the way around the bib to the right mark.
Make sure you leave a large enough opening at the bottom to turn the bib inside out

I sew with a 1/2 in seam allowance until I get the the neck and then I use a 1/4” to a 3/8” allowance around the neck. I also do a little reverse and go again right where the top of the pocket is to reinforce that area.

Once you've sewn around the entire bib- Trim off the corners of the neck tab, cut V’s on the outside curves and cut clips into the inside curves. This will make the curves nice and smooth when you turn the bib!

Trim the seams . I trim to a 1/4” all the way around- EXCEPT at the opening. Leave all the fabric so you have enough to  sew the bottom shut when you top stitch.

I use a chopstick or a knitting needle to push the corners out with, as I turn it right side out. Once I get it fully turned, I take the chopstick and from the inside push gently out against the seam all the way around the entire bib to
get it fully extended and turned. This also helps smooth the inside seams.
Turn in the extra fabric at the bottom and pin into place.

With an iron, press the entire bib and then topstitch around. This topstitching closes up the turning hole at the bottom of the bib.  

I also do a quick reverse and continue sewing at the top of the pocket, on each side, to reinforce this area one extra time.

Separate Pocket Pattern
If you want to use a different fabric to make the pocket or you want to cut the bib and pocket from a smaller piece of fabric use the pattern piece- C-Pocket.
Take the piece of pocket fabric and fold it into quarters placing the pattern against the 2 folds.

You may also choose to print 2 of the pocket pieces and tape them together in which case you would fold the fabric in half and then place the top edge of the pattern against the fold.

Once you’ve top stitched around, I add my fastener. If you choose to use velcro then sew the squares of velcro to each side of the neck pieces.
If using snaps then sew or using plastic KAM snaps applied with a KAM faster pliers.
I got my snaps and pliers on Ebay for $15.

WARNING- Bibs can be a choking hazard!
NEVER leave a baby or child unattended wearing a bib- especially a snap on one!!!!
Never let a child sleep or play wearing a bib!

Other Notes
You may choose to round off the corners on the neck tabs. That’s up to you. I personally enjoy the squared ends to see how imprecise I am when I sew! No 2 are ever alike! HA!!
I actually make both rounded ends and squared off ends depending on my mood. 

For the Doll Bib 
I only do a front and a back with a pocket- No lining. Just follow the same instructions as a full size bib using a 1/4" seam allowance all around and velcro so it's easier for little hands to put the bib on or off of their favorite stuffed animal or baby doll! 


There are 2 of each bib in this photo below. That why it looks like there is solid fabric under the turned down corner! 


1 comment:

Jade Graham said...

It's a rubber bracelet with numbers on it so you can keep track of not only what side you used last, personalised towels for kids