Baby shopping can be fun and exciting and cute, but it can also sometimes be (to be entirely honest) a bit of a chore. We have trailed through shops ticking things off lists, and sometimes it’s been disappointing. There’s still an awful lot pastel pink for a girl, blue for a boy, on almost everything from bibs to bedding.
So I decided to make some of my own things. There are some absolutely awesomely gorgeous fun prints out there, that aren’t all teddy bears and hearts, and I think they’re perfect for children’s stuff (and grown ups’ stuff too), like all of these I got from Lucie Summers and M is for Make.
But since it’s been years, if not decades, since I sat at a sewing machine, I’ve been doing incredibly basic stuff but I’m pleased with the results so wanted to share them here.
Bibs have to be the easiest things ever to sew, especially the triangular ‘dribble’ ones. It’s literally sewing two triangles together. I used this tutorial at Love Me Sew and used some soft creamy white fleece from John Lewis (£4 for a half metre) as the backing fabric. Then, using a bib we got given as an early baby gift as a template, I decided on doing a few round bibs too. I found these a little trickier because I’m not that used to sewing curved edges (tips, anyone?) and turning them inside out was slightly iffy, but by the third one I’d got the hang of it.
I’d recommend any fellow novices to use the tutorial I linked to as it’s so simple, but here is my version in a simple nutshell. Cut out your templates (for the triangular bib: 16.5 inches by 11.5 inches by 11.5 inches; for the round bib, use an existing one as a template or there is a handy template here), pin to your fabric and cut.
Do the same with your choice of backing fabric (fleece or towelling fabric, whichever you prefer), so you have two pieces per bib like this:
Now add your choice of fastenings – some people use little popper clasps but I kept it simple and used stick on velcro which I secured with the sewing machine. Sew the velcro into the same position on each piece (the left hand corner). I added longer strips of velcro on the triangular bibs so that they can be easily adjusted for size.
Place the fleece right side facing up (with the velcro on the left hand corner) and put your top fabric right side down (so that the velcro ends up being on the right hand corner on the top piece, ie the opposite corner to the backing fabric) and pin. Stitch on the machine using a straight stitch, leaving about 0.5 inch seam allowance.
Make sure you leave at least a 2 inch gap from where you started sewing so that you can turn the bib inside out (secure with a reverse stitch). Turn the bib inside out and poke out the corners like this:
Iron the bibs and fold the edges of the 2 inch gap you left and stitch over it neatly with the machine. On the triangular bibs, I did a top stitch all the way round to conceal the gap in a contrasting thread for some of them.
The end result is our baby has a lot of bibs, or at least a lot for now. I love that the fabrics are so different from what you’d see in the baby shops and I’m quite pleased with how they’ve turned out. This weekend, I’m going to try and tackle making a cot sheet using this gorgeous grey and yellow fabric. The bibs may not stay so pristine, but we’ll see how quickly we get through them and how many more he/she needs!