Friday, August 26, 2011

Baby Bib: TUTORIAL (!!!!)

That's right. I'm making a TUTORIAL because that is what some cool crafty blogs do that I know. I am usually the type of person who makes stuff up as they go along, with a lot of "winging it" and "trial and error", and therefore my processes tend not to be the best for tutorials, but this was pretty straight forward and I made a pattern and everything instead of just free-handing. I had to make some baby gifts (see last post) and so I was thinking about what could be useful and Fletcher drools A LOT so they have to make him wear a bib almost constantly. This is what I made! Okay, disclaimer, I just kind of guessed about how big a baby/a baby's neck is. I didn't exactly have one around to be a fit model for me, but this looks about right.
Ok, it's pretty simple, it has some curved seams, but that's about the trickiest part.

1. Get some fabric--100% Cotton--easy to work with and washable. I got 11" of several patterns and it was more than enough. Wash and dry the fabric before you do anything to make sure it has been pre-shrunk!
2. Download my nifty bib pattern:
Bib Pattern
It should print on a regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper.

3. Cut out the pattern and fold your fabric in half. Lay the straight edge of the pattern along the fold of the fabric, and pin pattern to fabric if desired. Then cut around the pattern, so that you have a symmetrical piece that looks like a bib. The pattern includes an aprox 1/4 inch seam allowance, so don't worry about adding that on. Clip the strap along the fold at the top, so you can eventually get the baby's head in.

4. Repeat step 3 so that you have a piece to go on the back. Use different fabric if you like. Essentially they are reversible. TIP: cut the second piece slightly larger than the first, leaving a little space between the pattern edge and where you cut the fabric. This way when you are sewing you will always know that are sewing through both pieces (because the back one will be sticking out from under the top one) and it means you can be less precise with your cutting. In the end, where you sew determines the shape of the bib, not what you cut.

5. Align and put right sides of the two pieces together and pin (if you cut the back piece larger, make sure the front piece is on top) and then sew around the edge, about 1/4 inch away, starting and ending about an inch apart, so that you can turn the bib right-side-out. It is best to leave the opening at a part in the bib that is less-curvy, such as the very bottom. Note: if you are using a machine and struggling with the curvy parts, put your needle in halfway, lift the presser-foot, and adjust the fabric as needed. Just make sure to put the presser-foot back down before you continue sewing.

6. Trim seams. Not too close, just so there is less bulk.

7. Turn right-side-out! If you use a chopstick and kind of scrunch the skinny end pieces on it like a woman putting on panty-hoes, then you can easily stick it through that little opening. Once the bib is right-side-out, run the end of the chopstick along the inside of the seams to make sure all the curves are fully popped out.

8. Use your finger to stick the edges of the little opening back into the bib, so that the raw edges are contained, and it basically looks like the rest of the seams. Press with an iron. This will get the raw edges to stay inside, and will also make your big instantly look about 1000 times better.

9. Top stitching! Sew around the edge of the entire bib, making sure you secure the raw edges of the opening. I like to stay pretty close to the edge. When you get all the way around, be sure to sew over your original stitches to secure them, and you can even backstitch for some extra security. If you are hand sewing: you could do a blanket stitch along the edge instead of a top-stitch which might be easier to make look cleaner. I never hand stitch because I am way to lazy, but if you want to, good for you. Clip all the threads hanging off.

10. Buttons! Get a button that seems like the right size and then if you have a button holer, make an appropriately sized hole in one of the ends and sew the button on the other. You could also sew on snaps or velcro if you don't know how to sew a button hole. Also, you could add extra button holes (or buttons I suppose) to make the bib adjustable.

11. Please keep in mind during this entire process, that this is something for a baby to drool on. It does not need to be perfect. If your seams aren't totally straight, it's A-OK. The new mom and dad will hopefully appreciate the "hand-made quality" a.k.a. not perfect.

12. you're done!!!! Be proud of yourself, then repeat steps 1-11, then send off to gift recipient.

I made some adjustments to my pattern along the way, so the blue one with turtles is the most accurate to the pattern.

Ok, hopefully this will be helpful to someone out there who wants to make something handmade for some babies, but doesn't want to take on something crazy difficult.

Sayonara amigos!

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