Velcro Fails – Making Bibs Part II

After Making Bibs Part I, the rest is really fine-tuning and the pitfalls. Like Velcro. As usual, I’m ahead of myself.

While sewing right-sides together, one must keep a place open to turn the bib right-side-out.

Keep Spot Open
Keep Spot Open

 

I tried a few places, at first thinking someplace around the neck or fastening area would be less conspicuous, but really found that just an easy 3-4 inches at the bottom of the bib is easiest, and after top stitching, it doesn’t really matter where it is anyway other than the bottom of the bib is the easiest place to line up for top-stitching and turning right-side-out. So,while the photo above shows it at the neckline, I now leave it open on the straight part of the bottom of the bib.

There are all kinds of tools you can buy to turn fabric right-side out and push out corners….

Pushing out fabric corners
Pushing out fabric corners

The fancy tool I use?

Chopstick
Chopstick

A novelty chopstick. It’s round, has a round top with an aluminum cap so I won’t damage fabric or push through a seam…and it was free. My chopstick and a baby diaper pin is all I ever use to turn fabric inside out, feed elastic or any of those things. Please don’t notice that above, the pattern is upside down. Again. Ha. At the end of the day, as long as I’m using every last bit of the fabric, I really don’t stress about it.

Ok, after turning right side out, press….

Press before top stitching
Press before top stitching

and top-stitch….

Top Stitch
Top Stitch

Top-stitching is important. Top-stitch ALL THE WAY AROUND. It may seem excessive, especially when you’re making dozens of bibs, but it’s a must. The bib will get ‘poofy’ in the wash, the layers will separate and never quite lay flat together unless you want to iron them every time (oh, hell no!), so this little bit of top-stitching does wonders for the bib to lay flat.

Here’s a photo of a used bib without top-stitching and the insanity of Velcro:

Bib Fail velcro and no top stitch
Bib Fail velcro and no top stitch

Velcro. I love Velcro, but it has it’s compromises. Velcro is plastic and there’s just no world where that plastic Velcro isn’t going to eventually chew and slice through the thread that is holding it down. The friction of the pulling, washing and just general usage shimmy that Velcro enough next to the thread, that it will break free. I’ve tried various methods of sewing down the Velcro from zig-zag stitching all around, to the X in the middle that seems popular to my final solution of just going around the outside parameter 3-4 times.

Sewing around outside
Sewing around outside

As I was making bib after bib and trying them out on my own daughter, her father suggested at one point to make the Velcro longer so that it is adjustable. These are large bibs to give good coverage, and they certainly have room to grow, so it was a brilliant idea to make the neck area adjustable. I sew down the longer side with the “loop” side, or soft side, of the Velcro. This leaves less scratchy, or “hook” side to irritate baby skin.

adjustable velcro
adjustable velcro

And that’s the general method. I buy 1.5 yards of pattern fabric and back it with either flannel or minky, and can usually get a baby blanket and 2-3 bibs out of it. Perfect baby shower gift, charity donation or craft bizarre item.

Baby bib and blanket set
Baby bib and blanket set

 

 

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