Welcome to our new series with Fabric.com: Oh Baby! It seems like any time we feature baby projects here on Sew4Home, they immediately rise to the top of everyone’s “must-do-now” lists. We think it’s because there are so many fun fabrics out there these days... especially at Fabric.com. You can choose everything from traditional bunnies and duckies, to bold graphics and colors, such as the modern Oh Deer! prints by MoMo we selected. There’s absorbent chenille on the bib’s back for protection against the twin terrors of fruit punch and mashed carrots, plus a special Cheerios® front pocket (sure... you can put anything you want in the pocket, but we all know it's really for Cheerios®). Download and print our free pattern and follow the easy step-by-step instructions. You’ll have a bevy of bibs in no time.
Our thanks to everyone at Fabric.com for sponsoring the Oh Baby! series. We have two full weeks of fun planned: bibs, blankies, bottle pods, and lots more baby stuff that starts with letters other than “B” - plus an amazing Great Giveaway to top it all off. We’re also introducing some projects using soft knits, and have included our usual great tips and techniques to make sewing with knits easier.
Sewing Tools You Need
Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome DC4030 Pink Ribbon)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Supplies listed below are for ONE bib, however, the cuts shown are calculated to allow you to fussy cut a vertical motif. You will have more than enough fabric, and can make several bibs from the quantities specified.
- ½ yard of 44-45" wide cotton fabric for bib front: we used 44" wide Sparrow in Bark from MoMo’s Oh Deer! collection for Moda from Fabric.com for one bib and 44" wide Tiny Deer in Leaf from MoMo’s Oh Deer! collection for Moda from Fabric.com for the second bib
- ¼ yard 44-45” wide cotton twill fabric for bib pocket: we used 44” wide Dot Twill in Bark/Leaf from MoMo’s Oh Deer! collection for Moda from Fabric.com
- ½ yard of 56-58" wide cotton chenille for the bib back: we used 58” 10 ounce cotton chenille in natural from Fabric.com
- One package of ½" double-fold bias tape: we used Wrights extra wide, double-fold bias tape in Mocha
- All-purpose sewing thread in colors to match fabric and bias tape
- Snap setting tool
NOTE: See our tutorial for more information on installing metal snaps.
- TWO size 16, long prong snap sets; the long prongs are necessary to go through the heavy chenille
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- See-through ruler
- Straight pins
- Iron and ironing board
- Download and print the Bib Bottom and Bib Top patterns. Print ONE copy of the Bib Top pattern. Print THREE copies of the Bib Bottom pattern.
IMPORTANT: Each pattern consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print these PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out each pattern along the solid line.
- Butt one top and one bottom together to create the full pattern, following the assembly arrows drawn on the pattern. Do NOT overlap. Tape together.
- With the remaining two bottom pieces, flip one over and tape the two pieces together in the center (at the fold line). Cut along the marked Pocket Line. This is your pocket pattern.
NOTE: If you would like to create a full bib pattern rather than cutting on the fold, you can print additional copies of the bottom and top pieces and flip one set to create an entire patten. This might be especially useful if you’d like to very precisely fussy cut the motif for the bib front.
- Using the pattern (as noted on the pattern piece, you cut along the fold), cut ONE from the print fabric for each bib front and ONE from the chenille for each bib back.
NOTE: Make sure your fabric’s design motif as well as the ribs of the chenille run lengthwise along the pattern’s fold line.
- Using the pocket pattern, cut one one piece from the cotton twill.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Place your pocket piece right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Open up your package of bias tape binding. You'll notice the binding is folded so one edge is slightly longer than the other. For this project, you will encase the raw edges of the bib with the shorter fold on the front and the longer fold wrapped around to the back.
- Slip the bias tape over the top raw edge of the pocket piece and pin in place. Cut to length after you’ve pinned it in place.
- Edgestitch the bias tape in place.
- Place the bound pocket, right side up, on the right side of the bib front, aligning the bottom curved edges.
- Place the bib front (with the pocket in place) wrong sides together with the chenille bib back.
- Pin around the edges.
NOTE: Chenille can be stretchy so don't be afraid to use plenty of pins to hold it in place. And, whenever you have dissimilar fabrics being sewn together, it’s best to stitch with the more difficult one (in this case the chenille) down, in order to let the feed dogs (those little grippy teeth in the plate below your presser foot) move it through the machine for you. Keep an even tension on the layers as they go through the machine.
- Machine baste all the layers together ⅜" from the edge all the way around. This allows you to now treat the three pieces as one for the binding steps.
- Slip the bias binding over the edge and pin it in place all the way around. As you did above with the pocket, encase the raw edges with the shorter fold on the front and the longer fold wrapped around to the back. Start pinning your binding on the gentlest part of your curve; the place where it is the closest to being straight. On our bib pattern, that would be along the side. Do not stretch or pull the binding as you pin. Pin the binding through all layers as shown.
NOTE: If you are new to binding, applying binding around all these curves can look a little scary. Not to worry. Nice, neat binding is really all about practice, and going slowly and evenly, gradually feeding the fabric into the binding. Don't expect to just wrap, pin and stitch. Going too quickly or assuming everything stays put and never moves is where disappointment lurks: you pull it out of the machine and there's a big chunk of fabric that's slipped out and isn't captured within the binding. Save yourself some seam ripper time and some tears. Go nice and slow and feed a little bit at a time. If possible with your machine, set your needle so it stops in the down position; there's less worry about your stitches getting out of line. Slow and steady wins the race.
- When you reach the tight curve at the neck of the bib begin pinning across the curve and only pin through the top layer of binding into the bib.
- Use lots of pins and carefully work your way around the curve slightly folding the fabric where necessary.
- To smooth out the bigger folds you can even go back add more pins in between to divide up the extra fabric between the first set of pins.
- After you have worked your way around the curve on the top side, turn the piece over and repeat this process on the back side. Yes, it looks a little like a porcupine.
- Continue pinning until you reach the starting point and trim the end so it overlaps by approximately 1".
- Fold and press the end under ¼" and pin so that it overlaps the unfinished end of the binding.
- Thread your machine with thread to match the binding in both the top and bobbin.
- Edgestitch the binding in place all around. If you are new to binding, you can use a zig zag stitch to stitch. A zig zag is more 'forgiving' than a straight stitch; in other words, your seam line can wobble a little without it being noticeable on the finished piece.
- Sew slowly and remove each pin as you come to it, easing the fabric into the binding as you go. To keep "on track", you can stop periodically, with your needle in the down position, and pivot your fabric slightly. Yes, we know... it looks like we went against our own words and sewed over pins... we did sew over some, but we stick by our company line about removing them as you go; it really is the best practice. You can hand baste the binding in place with smaller than usual stitches to hold it all together.
NOTE: If you are new to working with working with packaged bias binding around curves, we have a similar bib tutorial that has a few additional step-by-step photos of the pinning and finishing that may be helpful to you.
- Apply snaps to each end of the neck. If you are new to snap application, see our tutorial: How To Apply Metal Snaps to Fabric. As we mentioned in the supply list, the long prong snaps are recommended in order to make it through all the layers.
- Press well with steam.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler