Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DIY Toddler Bib

Jaden has entered his terrible terrific two-year-old stage. This means that he is beginning to assert his independence by voicing his own opinions. One thing he particularly insists upon is feeding himself. I am not allowed to help him. At all. Not even by cutting up his food into bite-sized peices. (In his opinion, a full sized Snickers bar is bite-sized, not the tiny actually bite-sized peices). He won't even allow me to help him eat hard to spear with a fork foods. As you can imagine, meal times have become very very messy. Messy meals are a problem when you only have two toddler-sized bibs....I mean bibs big enough to handle toddler-sized messes....especially when those two bibs are Halloween and Thanksgiving themed and those holidays are long since over. The solution? Make more bibs. Like this.

Gather your supplies. You will need:
*A bib that currently fits your toddler
*Fabric for the front and back of the bib
     For the front of my bibs, I used 3 fat quarters from Robert Kaufman's Airplanes, trains, and cars collection. The colors and designs are darling and totally boy, plus the fabric is 100% organic cotton (so be sure you wash it before you cut and sew it). I used plain white cotton flannel for the back of my bibs.
*Newspaper or other large sheet of paper
*Scissors, matching thread, pins, a pencil, and a sewing machine.

Since I didn't have a pattern for a bib, I made my own simply by tracing the Halloween one I already had onto a page from the newspaper. When you trace your bib, be sure that you add 1/4 of an inch to the outside edges of the bib so that you have a seam allowance when you go to sew it together. If you forget to add the seam allowance, your bib may turn out smaller than you want.

After your pattern is made, pin it to your fabric and cut it out.

Cutting out the back and the front

You can probably cut the back and the front out at the same time if you want to. I cut them separately when I made my first bib. Since I was making three bibs in one day, I found it faster to cut everything out at the same time & didn't notice that it made much of a difference in the size or pattern of each peice.

Before you put the right sides of the front and back peices together, you need to pin the velcro on. It will go in the upper right hand corner on the right side of each peice.

This is where the velcro should be when you're finished.

I had to use two strips of velcro to get the width I wanted. There was a very limited selection at my local hobby store. I will try harder to find wider velcro in the future. This works in a pinch, though.

After you have your velcro pinned where it belongs you can put the right sides of the front and back peices together, pin them in place, and then sew. Make sure you leave 2" opening along the bottom edge so you can turn your bib right side out.

Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Measure where that would be on your sewing machine and align your fabric accordingly. I always have to do this because I am a ditz and forget which markings on my machine are for which allowances. Silly moi, I know.

REMEMBER (as in DON'T FORGET) to leave an opening on the bottom edge so that you can turn your work right side out. I mark my opening with two pins side by side on each side of the opening I want to leave so that I remember not to forget to leave a whole.

After you've sewn around the edges of your bib, trim the curve around the neck and the corners, and then turn it right side out. Press the bib flat.

What about that opening? It is easy to deal with. My preferred method is to fold the fabric under 1/4 of an inch and iron it flat, making sure that the edges of the opening line up with the sewn edges of the rest of the bottom edge. I close the opening when I topstitch around the whole bib....which is the next step.

After you've ironed the opening in the bottom edge, topstitch as close to the edge as possible around the entire bib. This will look great and make sure that you've got that opening closed.

Here is the finished product.


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