Lots of Baby Bibs….Making Baby Bibs Part 1

Portland has had is having a baby boom. A bumper crop of babies. Even friends who didn’t think they could have babies are having babies.

Being that I’ve had a few babies myself and I am also included in this baby boom, I know what I like and what I don’t like out there in the baby product world. One thing I don’t like is the choice of either teeny, tiny baby bibs that are cheap and fall apart or large, comfy baby bibs at the posh boutique for $25 a pop. Riiight. So, I like to make bibs to give away (and keep). I’ve made a few. Okay, I’ve lost count of bibs….

Baby Bibs
Baby Bibs
Boy Bibs
Boy Bibs
Girl Bibs
Girl Bibs

I’ve learned a LOT about sewing bibs. Foremost, I’m not alone in wanting big, comfy bibs! I also learned I cut the fabric pattern upside-down more than I’d like to admit. My baby has a lot of the “factory rejects.”

I started this mecca towards the perfect bib about a year ago when nesting towards the end of my last pregnancy. I borrowed my mom’s 1978 steal body Kenmore and went crazy. I knew of 4 babies on the way and even though I hadn’t done a whole lot of (successful) sewing, I was going to make stuff, dammit.

This is what I turned out in a few days. What you really can’t see, is that the blankets are very eh, I didn’t realize I did most of it with a basting-length stitch (WAY too long) and while the stabilizer worked great with the sock monkey knit, it was not so great with the dots in the minky.

Nesting Pile
Nesting Pile

However, I felt I was really on to something with the bibs.

I had picked up these three pattern packets while at Joann’s with 8 yards of brown and green fine wale corduroy, convinced I have really been bit by this sewing bug after years of my mom praying it would happen:

Sewing Patterns
Sewing Patterns

These three inexpensive pattern packs have been used so many times, over and over. The bibs’ Sew&Sew B5669 has been so used that I lost one pattern of the two in the pack, and the other has been taped to a cereal box. I should explain….I had to make a sturdier template out of it because it wasn’t going to last at this 1-woman-sweatshop rate.

Fruit Loops Bibs
Fruit Loops Bibs
Fruit Loops Bibs 2
Fruit Loops Bibs 2

So….There’s lesson one. Make a cheap template. I can run my rotary cutter around this template and through 3 layers of fabric which cuts my time down. I can pull out this handy template and cut out a pattern from a scrap piece of fabric as I’m seeing there’s enough room as I cut something else.

Superman Bib
Superman Bib

Admittedly, this is when I tend to get patterns upside down – I’m a big fan of words like Pragmatic and Efficient…..and end up biting myself in the butt because I’m too narrowly focused. Makes for a fun learning curve.

Another fun learning curve, PREWASH all cottons. I used some flannel (below) that I had leftover from the faux chenille blanket, which you’re NOT supposed to prewash, and when it shrunk and the prewashed cottons didn’t, it made for some funky curling. It didn’t even occur to me that the flannel wasn’t prewashed because I prewash everything since I never know if it will be clothes or what when I buy it. Le sigh.

Prewash cottons
Prewash cottons

Like I said, with my funky template, I like to cut multiple layers at a time. I just fold the fabric back on itself in 3rds. One of the 3 cut-outs will have the neck-tabs facing the opposite way, but when I cut the backing fabric in a 3 fold the opposite way, they work out matching up.

layers for cutting
layers for cutting
3 cut layers
3 cut layers
matching up the layers
matching up the layers

This here is 2 fabrics, each doubled, one with the print on the inside, and then cut all 4 layers at once. Made it a bit wonkier, but the seam allowance is so large on patterns, in my opinion, that it worked out fine.

lots'o'layers
lots’o’layers

Next up….sewing, top-stitching and adventures in Velcro….

 

 

 

 

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