For Bugaboo’s first birthday, I made a bib that matched the party’s theme for him to wear during the cake smash. I had already based the party on specific fabrics that it just made sense to make the bib and party hat using these fabrics! I have used this same method to make several bibs for Bugaboo that are easy to wipe clean and perfect now that he is a messy toddler!
- Bib to lift pattern from – any size works! One with a pocket or crumb catcher is great for messy eaters!
- Fabric for front of bib *
- Fabric for back of bib*
- Fabric for pocket of bib*
- Iron on vinyl if you are not using waterproof fabric
- Bias tape (store bought or create your own 1.5″ wide)
- Velcro for closure
- Sewing Notions: Ruler, needles, pencil, paper, paper and fabric scissors, pattern weights (optional)
** The amount of fabric you need will depend on the bib you are using to create your pattern. No seam allowance is necessary.
Step One: Find a bib to use as a pattern.
Using a pre-exhisting bib your child already owns is a great base to create a new bib using your custom fabric. Knowing the bib fits and is the right size takes out a lot of guess work.
Step Two: Create your bib pattern.
Trace the pre-exhisting bib with pencil onto a sheet of paper marking where the bib pocket connects. This will be your new pattern. You can create a separate bib pocket pattern by tracing that part of the bib onto another sheet of paper.
Step Three: Prepare your fabric.
If you are using waterproof fabric like PUL, you can skip this step. However, if you are making a smash cake bib to match a party theme, you will most likely be using a cotton fabric. While the vinyl isn’t technically necessary if you just plan to use this bib once, it makes a huge difference if you plan to use it again or save it. The vinyl allows you to wipe the bib clean after your messy eater is all done. I bought iron-on vinyl from Joann.com called Heat ‘n Bond. A 2-yard package was more than enough for one bib. Follow the instructions for your iron-on vinyl. Make sure to adhere it to your fabric before cutting out the actual bib pieces.
Step Four: Cut out your fabrics.
Once your fabric has been “vinyl-ed,” you are all set to cut it out. You will need to cut your bib front, the bib back (or lining as I referred to it on my pattern), and the bib pocket, both a front fabric and lining. I made my pocket from the same monkey fabric as the front of the bib, but you could always use a third fabric! If you are making your own bias tape, you can go ahead and do that now so all of your cutting is done!
**Tip: Pin holes can leave marks in your vinyl-covered fabric depending on the type of vinyl used. I used pattern weights to hold my pattern in place rather than pins to avoid this. When sewing my bias tape on, I tried to keep my pins in or close to the seam allowance to avoid too many holes.
Step Five: Pipe the pocket.
The steps you use to pipe the top edge of the pocket are going to be the same as the ones you use to pipe the entire bib. For my pocket, both the outside fabric and the lining are the same. I arbitrarily chose one to be the lining of the pocket.
- Place your pocket pieces together, right sides facing out. Lay the bias tape along the top edge of the pocket – right sides to right sides.
- Sew 1/2″ in or along the folded edge of store-bought bias.
- Trim the pocket seam allowance to reduce bulk. The size of your seam allowance will be the width of bias that is shown on the bib, so you don’t want to trim it a lot. I trimmed mine to about 3/8″.
- Fold over your bias tape, bringing it to the lining side of the pocket, and pin into place. All raw edges of the bias should be enclosed.
- Stitch in the ditch from the right side of your fabric.
Step Six: Sew on velcro for your closure.
I decided to use velcro for my closure – my son likes to pull on his bibs when he is all finished and we’ve found that snaps don’t allow that very well! Sew the female or soft side of the velcro to one end of the bib and the male side to the other end. I did two rows and trimmed them to the curved shape of the bib ends.
Step Seven: Apply the bias tape!
Final step! Place your pocket onto the front of your bib. You can sew this in place around the bottom curved edge or just catch it when you sew on your bias tape. Follow the same steps you did to attach the bias tape to the top edge of your pocket. This will be slightly trickier because of all the curves; the hardest part is the top edges around the velcro. Don’t worry if you have to seam rip this area and do a little section at a time. I did the entire bib but did have to come back to this area and work with it to get it perfect. I flipped the bias around to the other side to check which area wasn’t lying the way I wanted it to and then just seam-ripped that little section and fixed it.
This bib worked out great for the smash cake photos at Bugaboo’s birthday party. I thought it was really cute to have a bib that matched his party hat and the entire theme. The bib wiped clean after his cake smash. I have used the bib since and it has always wiped clean and hasn’t stained yet, but I do not use this bib for Bugaboo’s messier dinners with tomato sauce, so I can’t say if the vinyl is really stain proof.
Since his party, I have made several more bibs following this same method and using the bib pattern I created. I tried using the waterproof fabric PUL and thought they turned out really nice. I have not started using them yet, as I just finished them, so I’ll have to see how they hold up and if they stain. The directions do say the PUL fabric can be washed so that would be really handy!