How to make a bib out of an (old) kitchen towel

slab11Courtney and I have had more than one discussion about ‘which bib is best’.  Amongst the two of us and in the past 4 years we have tested a fair amount of different varieties and in the end we have both agreed on our all-time favourite bib. (We also talk about other things, BTW, but we seem to have a strange interest in bibs).
The advantage of our favourite bib is that it’s so big it covers a lot of your child, including the shoulders.  It is made of terrycloth, which makes it ideal to use as a napkin during dinner or to wipe faces and hands with afterward.  It can be washed at high temperatures, doesn’t require ironing at all and still looks great.  It is super durable — it is well possible that my grandchildren will be using these bibs!  And last but not least, they are easy and cheap to make yourself: you can use any old towel you have around and for the binding you can use any old piece of fabric you have left over from previous sewing projects.  You’re free to make your own colour combinations — the possibilities are endless!  And you can make plenty —  I always have a nice, clean stack of these bibs on hand.

Now, even though I love sewing, I’m not at all an expert in this field, so forgive my clumsy way of explaining everything…  But I made a bib for my son, Pim, from a kitchen towel and photographed the different steps in the process to give you an idea of how to do it…

Step 1:
Print these 2 download-able patterns: here (1) and here (2).  Cut out and stick together following the directions.
Fold fabric (if there’s a print, make sure it will look good) and cut out bib.  Don’t cut where the fold is!  Don’t worry about seams — there are none.

bib step 1

Step 2:
Cut out 4 cm (1,6″) strips from any cute fabric you have laying around.  Iron strips in half lengthwise, then iron edges to fold as shown in pictures.  You need about 120 cm (47″) and 90 cm (35″) of binding.  (You can also use store bought binding.)

bib step 2

Step 3:
Pin binding around bib at straight edges.  Fold binding at the corners as shown in picture.  Sew binding to bib. Cut off excess binding at neck part.

bib step 3

Step 4:
Pin binding neatly around neck part of bib. Start in the centre of the circle (with the middle of the binding) and work towards edges. Sew.  (The neck part looks sort of tiny but it’s correct!)

bib step 4

Step 5:
Presto!

bib step 5

Step 6 (optional):

I made a little doll bib from the leftover terry cloth and binding, here’s the free download-able pattern.  You need about 15 cm (6″) of binding for the neck part, and 82 cm (32″) for the bib part and tie strings. In this case you first start with the neck part and after sew on the bib part (including tie strings).

bib step 6

I hope this explanation is clear enough — the bib is really easy to make!  Honestly, it took me much longer to write these instructions down than to make the bib and the doll’s bib together!

xxx Esther

P.S.  For on the go: fold bib lengthwise, roll up starting from bottom, tie with tie strings.
P.P.S. These bibs are more suitable for 1+ than for babies!

3 COMMENTS - Add your own

1. Michela | October 5, 2009 | Reply

this bib is so cool!!!
I want a stack of them too

2. Emilie | October 5, 2009 | Reply

This is fantastic, can’t wait to start cutting up my old towels!

3. Zandaleigh | March 19, 2010 | Reply

This is the perfect gift idea. Just what I was looking for! Thanks for sharing!

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